Autism is a widespread and misunderstood disease. It affects one percent of the population, and grows each year. In the US alone, that’s around 3 million people.
There are lots of theories about why this condition is becoming so common and what causes it. Genetics play a role, but as you know, genes don’t dictate your future. How you express your genes matters. Changing the expression of your child’s genes can drastically reduce their risk of autism, and may help reduce the symptoms if they already have it.
Autism is an inflammatory neurological disorder, which is why doctors often focus on the brain. New evidence is showing that autism is far more than a brain problem.
Researchers at the Columbia University have found that children with autism and gastrointestinal problems express genes in their digestive tract differently than normal kids. This leads to changes in gut bacteria, which directly affect brain function. Changes in digestive gene expression alter the way humans are able to metabolize certain foods. It’s a vicious cycle. Autism causes the expression of genes which disrupt gut flora. The bad gut flora disrupt brain function. Poor brain function leads to more bad gene expression, and so it goes.
The connection between gut health and autism is already well established.
Fifty percent of children with autism are proven to have gastrointestinal problems. The actual number is likely much higher. The digestive system plays a large role in brain function. In fact, your gut makes many of the neurotransmitters your body uses. Making dietary changes is an effective way to treat some neurological problems with almost no side effects.
Mady Hornig, MD, Director of Translational Research at the Center for Infection and Immunity, has been one of the most proactive researchers in this field. After one of the latest studies looking at the effect of gut flora on brain function, she said,
“The findings are consistent with other research suggesting that autism may be a system-wide disorder, and provide insight into why changes in diet or the use of antibiotics may help alleviate symptoms in some children.”
According to Dr. Hornig, autism is more than just a problem with the brain. It’s a “system-wide” disorder which involves the entire body. The use of diet and supplements can change the way your body expresses certain genes, which can reduce your child’s risk of autism.
We don’t recommend taking antibiotics in most cases because they can cause real damage to the GI tract. However, there are ways you can manipulate gut flora in a way that can improve the health of your child.
One method is to take a well formulated probiotic with the right strains of beneficial (pro) bacteria.
Glutamine, an amino acid, can be used to heal the gut lining and reduce inflammation. Eating small amounts of soluble fiber from whole foods are also a good way to feed beneficial bacteria. The bacteria digest the soluble fiber, and turn it into short chain fats which fuel the brain and augment inflammation and metabolic function. Good sources of soluble fiber include sweet potatoes, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and small amounts of fruit.
By ensuring the health of your child’s gut, you can improve their brain function and reduce their risk of autism.
For most parents, autism seems to be a sick game of Russian roulette. Doctors say there’s no way to predict with certainty if your child will be born with autism. They’re right. What they don’t tell you is that there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of your child developing autism.
In our Better Baby Book, we outline specific protocols that will help prevent your baby from being affected by neurological disease. There’s always an element of chance, which is why we’ve worked to turn the tables in your favor. By focusing on epigenetics, we’ve been able to craft methods that will turn the inflammation/autism genes “off”, and the healthy genes “on.”
Diet is one of the biggest factors when it comes to gene expression. We’ve created a diet that enhances fertility and nourishes your child’s brain while you’re pregnant. It also supports healthy gut bacteria to reduce the risk of autism. Click here to see the diet.
By using the dietary and lifestyle guidelines in our book – you can give your baby the best chance at living a long, healthy, autism free life.