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Could Beneficial Bacteria Protect Babies from Autism?

The cluster of developmental disorders linked to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is one of the greatest challenges many American families will face.

Autism presents itself uniquely in each child depending on the range and intensity of his/her symptoms, typically with communication and social skills.

One out of 54 children (18.5 out of every 1,000) experience ASD to some degree, according to recent statistics reported by the CDC just from 2016, and the numbers keep climbing.

Over the years, evidence has shown connections between gut health and ASD that are hard to ignore. Often, studies show ASD children possess a distinctly different mix of gut bacteria than those who aren’t living on the spectrum.

Although consistent treatments remain elusive, future moms may be able to reduce some ASD risk factors for their newborns with some gut-friendly help.

Moms: Don’t stress out!

Stress can be a real problem, not only for new moms but their babies (both before and after they’re born). Stress may lead to serious problems, including miscarriages, preemie births and developmental delays.

In previous research, University of Colorado scientists observed how female rats that were stressed and given the drug terbutaline (prescribed by doctors in some cases to delay premature birth) later gave birth to pups presenting autism-like symptoms.

For this new study appearing in Brain, Behavior and Immunity, Colorado scientists conducted essentially the same experiment with one major difference: another group of mice was inoculated with a species of beneficial bacteria known for its lasting anti-inflammatory effects on the brain (M. vaccae).

Female mice injected with beneficial bacteria had pups that didn’t experience autism symptoms compared to those that didn’t receive it.

No autism vaccine!

Researchers were quick to throw cold water on any assumptions they were creating a “vaccine” for autism, or that microbial interventions could relieve ASD symptoms in children (although there’s documented evidence that some have benefitted from it).

However, a day may come in the not-too-distant-future when stressed-out moms who are at a higher risk of having a child with challenges like ASD could be given a probiotic or be inoculated to support healthy brain development, says Dr. Christopher Lowry, co-author of the Colorado study.

Based on the positive results of studies like this one, researchers recommend that new moms consider gentle approaches to preventing potential problems with ASD with an emphasis on bacteria.

Some of these interventions for new moms include lowering their stress levels with a walk in nature surrounded by microbes (remember the hygiene hypothesis?), eating fermented foods and taking a probiotic.

For a new mom wanting to give her body a gut-friendly boost, EndoMune Advanced Probiotic provides a plethora of benefits from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families, plus a proven prebiotic (FOS) that feeds the beneficial bacteria in her gut.

Resources

Graphic with healthy habits for flu season: 1. wash your hands often 2. Cover nose and mouth 3. Pay attention to overall health 4. Get your flu shot 5. Take a probiotic

Take a Probiotic During This Dangerous Cold/Flu Season!

Are you REALLY prepared for the cold and flu season?

Depending on where you live in the United States, the flu season has already arrived much earlier than expected, and with a vengeance — spreading even more quickly in the Southern states.

Experts believe the flu season may peak much earlier than usual. As of now, more than 1.7 million cases have been diagnosed so far, according to the CDC — because one of the viruses now in circulation (a B/Victoria strain) usually doesn’t spread until Spring.

The signs point to many Americans being sick with the flu at the same time, leading some experts to suggest preparing for the worst.

We’re already in the “season” when we spend more time inside than outside. And, our respiratory systems are dealing with changes in humidity, thus creating opportunities for sore throats, and runny noses.

Fortunately, there are a lot of simple things you can do to protect and fortify your health during the cold and flu season.

Follow these healthy habits!

  1. Wash your hands often, especially during the cold and flu season. Avoid using soaps, toothpastes or shampoos containing antimicrobial chemicals like triclosan.
  2. When you’re sneezing or coughing, cover your nose and mouth.
  3. Pay attention to your overall health. Get the right amount of rest, keep stress at a minimum, stay active and eat nutritious foods.
  4. Be sure to get the flu shot, even now!

But, are you taking a probiotic too?

Improve your immune system!

There are good reasons for taking a probiotic, especially if you’re older. However, one of the most important reasons for taking a probiotic right now is boosting your immunity to the flu.

Based on a systematic review of studies, researchers concluded taking a probiotic or a prebiotic anywhere from 2-28 weeks, boosted the overall effect of receiving a flu shot — especially when taken for longer periods of time and by healthy older folks, too.

Take fewer antibiotics!

Patients and health professionals rely way too much on antibiotics. People fall back on antibiotics for many health problems, and doctors are all too happy to write prescriptions for them.

Yet, the CDC estimates about 47 million prescriptions written every year for antibiotics are completely unnecessary, raising the risks that when you really need them, they will not work as they’re intended.

However, a recent economic modeling study found taking probiotics may be the better (and safer) option to fight flu-like infections.

A daily probiotic could save the American economy (and your pocketbook directly) as much as $1.4 BILLION, not to mention decreasing the need for antibiotic prescriptions by at least 1.39 million.

Protect your kids!

When it comes to the immune health of your kids during the cold and flu season, don’t forget to protect your little ones with probiotics too.

A team of Swedish researchers recently found giving young children a daily dose of probiotics (containing strains of Lactobacillus) in a day care setting was very beneficial in treating common cold infections, according to t a study appearing in the European Journal of Nutrition.

Not only did their severity of symptoms fall sharply, so did the use of medications, absences from day care and even fewer instances of fussiness and crying.

Maintain your good health by taking a probiotic!

I cannot stress enough that a healthy immune system is the foundation that will help to protect you when everyone else around you is fighting colds and the flu.

Following the steps I outlined above plus taking a daily probiotic containing multiple strains of beneficial bacteria can go a long way toward keeping you and your family healthy.

EndoMune Advanced Probiotic and EndoMune Jr. Advanced Probiotic feature strains of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families plus a prebiotic (FOS) that feeds the good bugs in your gut.

References

NBC News

Nutrients

WebMD

CDC

Frontiers in Pharmacology

European Journal of Nutrition

McMaster University

Fast Company

Associated Press

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