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Nutr Rev. 2016 Dec;74(12):723-736.

Microbiome and nutrition in autism spectrum disorder: current knowledge and research needs.

Author information

1
K. Berding and S.M. Donovan are with the Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, USA; S.M. Donovan is with the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, USA.
2
K. Berding and S.M. Donovan are with the Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, USA; S.M. Donovan is with the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, USA. sdonovan@illinois.edu.

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the fastest growing neurodevelopmental disorder in the United States. Besides genetic risks, environmental factors have been suggested to contribute to the increase in ASD diagnosis over the past decade. Several studies have reported abnormalities in microbiota composition and differences in microbial metabolites in children with ASD. Gastrointestinal discomfort is commonly reported in children with ASD. Additionally, food selectivity and picky eating patterns are commonly reported. A number of mechanisms underlying the interaction between nutrition, the gut microbiota, and ASD symptoms via the microbiota-gut-brain axis have been proposed, including immune, hormonal, or neuronal pathways. Here, the current evidence base regarding the gut environment and nutritional status of children with ASD is reviewed. Potential underlying mechanisms of the microbiota-gut-brain axis in ASD and the interplay between nutrition, microbiota, and ASD symptoms are also reviewed. Future studies investigating the microbiota in the context of dietary intake are needed to increase understanding of the interplay between diet and the gut microbiota in ASD and to identify potential dietary, probiotic, or prebiotic intervention strategies.

KEYWORDS:

autism; diet; metabolites; microbiota

PMID:
27864534
DOI:
10.1093/nutrit/nuw048
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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