About one in 68 children and one percent of the world population has autism. The prelevance of this condition has increased by over 119 percent from 2000 to 2010. Although the exact cause is unknown, researchers believe that autism may be triggered by several factors, such as diet, metabolic imbalances, and viral infections.
According to the latest studies, a Paleolithic style diet may prevent autism spectrum disorders. It seems that sugar consumption contributes to the high autism rates. The paleo diet, which is low in carbs and rich in monounsaturated fats, can prevent and reduce autism symptoms. Mothers who follow this eating plan during pregnancy have higher chances of giving birth to healthy children.
These findings are based on the fact that many patients with autism have gastrointestinal issues. The link between diet and autism spectrum disorders is subject to extensive research. In 1965, scientists have tested a diet low in processed foods on patients with learning problems and hyperactivity. They concluded that autism symptoms could be improved by eating gluten and dairy free foods. Although this kind of diet won’t work for everyone, it does have its benefits.
Autism is a complex disorder and can not be pinned down to one sound bite. However, more and more studies are showing that nutrition can prevent its onset. Eating whole, natural foods and limiting carbs can restore gut flora, reduce GI problems, and lower autism rates.
Researchers have also found a strong link between severity of autism symptoms and severity of gastrointestinal symptoms. Autistic children have an altered pattern of gut flora. The ratio of Bacteroidetes to Firmicutes in their GI tract is much lower that that in healthy individuals. It’s no secret that the brain and the gut are strongly connected. For this reason, pregnant women should pay close attention to what they eat.
Other studies have found that autistic children carry a higher risk of leaky gut syndrome, which may explain their symptoms. About 37 percent have unusual intestinal permeability. Over time, this may lead to poor immune function and mental disorders.
Going paleo during pregnancy can lower the baby’s autism risk. Future moms are advised to take probiotics and eat a diet high in fermented foods that feed the good gut bacteria. It’s recommended to use a probiotic supplement containing streptococcus, bifidumbacteria, and lactobacillus strains. These products are available in any drug store and can balance gut flora, reduce inflammation, and prevent pregnancy complications.