Autism: New Research Will Examine How Diet Influences Gut Microbiome

Shirley Amy
April 5, 2019
asd research

The Institute of Health and Environmental Research has been awarded a grant from uBiome for the purpose of analyzing microbiome changes brought about by diet, in children who have ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Dr. Kyle Fluegge, PhD, MPH, will head a team of researchers at the institute who will examine: the planning, study design, collection of samples, and analysis of the effects of a sprouted grain diet on autistic disorder symptoms and the composition of  the microbiome [1].

The Main Goal

The focus of the project is to determine potential reductions in the permeability of the gut, by asking participants with ASD to eat sprouted grains for a short period of time. Then to see if such gut transformations co-occur with microbiome adjustments which have been shown to alleviate some symptoms of common autistic spectrum disorder.

The scientists who are taking part in this project, believe that investigating these aspects could: “lead to insights into whether the nutritional advantages of sprouting grains translates into clinical benefit in neurological disorders, including ASD” [1]. If the results are positive, and further studies reach the same findings, then this could be hugely beneficial to those suffering from ASD. – Not only are there no side effects from this natural food which is frequently consumed by those who would like to have optimum health; the food which can be sprouted costs hardly anything to buy, and everyone can sprout using a large jar or purpose-made sprouter.

More About the Method

The data which will be acquired from each child, will incorporate a composition of gut microbiome. The patented kits from uBiome will show the participant’s gastrointestinal symptoms, intestinal permeability, and Autism rating – the latter of which evaluates their intensity of symptoms and behavior.  When discussing the study, the CEO and co-founder of uBiome, Jessica Richman, PhD, noted that it: “is important because it seeks to expand the knowledge about manipulating the diet to alleviate key symptoms in a disorder that increasingly affects so many”.

Dr. Fluegge

Dr. Fluegge has served as a health economist at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene since 2016. His is particularly interested in certain areas of research including medical nutrition, through which he applies the standard measures used in economic evaluations.

With regard to the grant, Dr. Fluegge remarked that: “The Institute of Health and Environmental Research is proud to partner with uBiome to carry out an original research project at the nexus of agriculture and health” [1]. The co-action brings together the alternative method of eating foods which are functionally active, with microbiome health restoration and diversity. – And it is hoped that this will relieve mental health disorder symptoms such as autism [1].

Dr. Fluegge concluded that: “uBiome’s highly innovative technology offers a major step forward towards precision medicine, and as a result, our research will provide critical insight of an individual modifiable risk factor that can help to ameliorate psychiatric disease severity”.

Shirley Amy

Shirley Amy is a Holistic Health Specialist and professional writer who's published 4 books. Her  interests include optimum wellness, mental health, fitness, and positive lifestyle change. She holds University and College qualifications in the fields of Health Science, Nutrition, Mental Health, Fitness, Holistic Therapy and Aromatherapy.

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