ADHD: The role of probiotics
Probiotic bacteria given to autistic children improved their behaviour
and concentration to such an extent that the medical trial that made
the discovery had to be stopped. The parents, whose children were on
placebos, demanded that theirs also be given the probiotics.
The effect of the ‘friendly bacteria’, which helps the functioning
of the gut, was so pronounced that the parents knew if their child as
given a probiotic or a placebo.
Prof Glen Gibson, a microbiologist from Reading University, England,
who conducted the trial, said he was disappointed that it had to be
stopped. However, the early signs were very positive, and many parents
told him their children’s concentration and behaviour had improved.
Many children with learning difficulties have ‘bad’ bacteria, called clostridia, in their gut, earlier research has established.
The probiotic used by Prof Gibson was designed to reduce or
eliminate clostridia levels, and promote ‘friendly’ bacteria, which
helps the gut properly process food and nutrients.
While the trial was running, children taking the probiotic were
showing fewer signs of autism, Prof Gibson said. The probiotic was
taken every day in powder form.
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