Probiotics improved autism symptoms
Those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have gut and digestive imbalances, and because of this, recent research has begun to focus on the role of non-psychiatric factors. This study included 112 boys and 19 girls, average age seven years, 86.3 percent with severe ASD Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scores of 5 or higher. Also, 39.7 percent had gastrointestinal symptoms, mostly constipation with or without pain.
Doctors gave lactobacillus plantarum to 105 participants and different probiotics to the other 26 children, at doses of 3 billion colony-forming units per day up to 66 pounds, and 6 billion CFUs if over that weight.
After six months, CGI scores declined to 3 or lower in 77.1 percent of participants, with side effects of irritability and temporary diarrhea in six participants, mostly those taking the non-lactobacillus plantarum probiotics.
Reference: Frontiers in Pediatrics; 2021, 635176, Published Online
Probiotics reduced colic and crying
Doctors don’t know what causes infant colic—crying for more than three hours a day, more than three days per week, and resolving after four months—but suspect that gastrointestinal discomfort may play a role. This study included 90 exclusively breastfed or mixed-fed infants, under two months, with colic but otherwise healthy, who took a daily probiotic or placebo.
All had similar crying episodes at the start of the study. At seven days, 83 percent of those taking probiotics had improved vs. 36 percent for placebo; 96 percent vs. 43 percent at 14 days, and 90 percent vs. 64 percent at 21 days.
Reference: Nutrients; 2021, Vol. 13, No. 6, nu13062036