Is a difference in gut microflora a factor leading to autism, or is autism causing the microbial changes?
The hypothesis that gut health influences autism has been turnedon its head by a new Australian study. Based on the analysis of microflora in children, the study indicates that rather than playing a causal role, these microbiome differences are the result of restricted diets associated with autism.
Our understanding of the gut-brain connection and the role our microbiome plays in a whole raft of health conditions is growing rapidly. Alongside autism, obesity, inflammatory bowel diseases, autoimmune diseases and depression have all been linked to what's going on in our gut. Generally, a more diverse microbiome has been associated with better health.