Autism-related dietary preferences mediate autism-gut microbiome associations

Journal:
Cell
Published:
DOI:
10.1016/j.cell.2021.10.015
Affiliations:
12
Authors:
20

Research Highlight

Gut microbes don’t appear to affect autism

© Yagi Studio/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Behaviour related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) probably affects bacteria in the gut, rather than the microbes being a cause of the condition itself.

There has been much interest in links between the gut microbiome and ASD, with some animal studies suggesting that differences in gut microflora may compound or even cause ASD.

Now, by analyzing stool samples from 247 children, a team led by researchers from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, has found no direct association between the gut microbiome and ASD. Rather, the children with ASD tended to be pickier about their food, which probably accounts for them having less diverse microbiomes.

This finding casts doubts on diets touted to alleviate ASD, but it highlights the importance of well-rounded diets for the overall healthy development of children.

Supported content

References

  1. Cell 184, 5916–5931 (2021). doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2021.10.015
Institutions Authors Share
Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC), Australia
6.000000
0.30
The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia
3.833333
0.19
Microba, Australia
2.500000
0.13
Telethon Kids Institute, Australia
1.666667
0.08
The University of Western Australia (UWA), Australia
1.666667
0.08
Mater Research Institute - University of Queensland (MRI-UQ), Australia
1.000000
0.05
La Trobe University, Australia
1.000000
0.05
University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney), Australia
0.833333
0.04
Centre for Children’s Health Research (CCHR), Australia
0.666667
0.03
Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia
0.500000
0.03
University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia
0.333333
0.02