Diet: The Gut and Autism?

Autism rates have risen over recent years. Heightened awareness and more diligent efforts at diagnosis account for some of the increase, yet researchers believe an epidemic is occurring. One possible factor is the overuse of antibiotics at an early age. This lowers the diversity of the gut microflora and lower diversity of gut microbes is positively correlated with the presence of autistic symptoms. Bacterial richness and diversity are essential for maintaining a robust and adaptable bacterial community capable of fighting off environmental challenges. PLOS ONE, July 2013