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Diet Can Impact Microbiota Composition in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Front Neurosci. 2018;12:515

Authors: Berding K, Donovan SM

Abstract
Diet is one of the most influential environmental factors in determining the composition of the gastrointestinal microbiota. Microbial dysbiosis in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the impact of some bacterial taxa on symptoms of ASD has been recognized. Children with ASD are often described as picky eaters with low intake of fiber-rich foods, including fruits and vegetables. However, the impact of diet on the microbiota composition in children with ASD is largely unknown. Herein, fecal samples, 3 day food diaries and the Youth and Adolescence Food Frequency questionnaire (YAQ) were collected from children with ASD (ASD; n = 26) and unaffected controls (CONT; n = 32). Children’s ASD symptoms were determined using the Pervasive Developmental Disorder Behavior Inventory Screening Version (PDDBI-SV). Differences in the microbiota composition at the phyla, order, family, and genus level between ASD and CONT were observed. Microbiota composition of children with ASD was investigated in relation to feeding behavior, nutrient and food group intake as well as dietary patterns derived from the YAQ. In children with ASD, two distinct dietary patterns (DP) were associated with unique microbial profiles. DP1, characterized by higher intakes of vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, fruit, refined carbohydrates, and starchy vegetables, but lower intakes of sweets, was associated with lower abundance of Enterobacteriaceae, Lactococcus, Roseburia, Leuconostoc, and Ruminococcus. DP2, characterized by low intakes of vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds and starchy vegetables, was associated with higher Barnesiellaceae and Alistipes and lower Streptophyta, as well as higher levels of propionate, isobutyrate, valerate, and isovalerate. Peptostreptococcaceae and Faecalibacterium predicted social deficit scores in children with ASD as measured by the PDDBI-SV. Diet-associated microbial profiles were related to GI symptoms, but no significant interaction between nutrition and microbiota in predicting social deficit scores were observed. In conclusion, dietary patterns associated with fecal microbiota composition and VFA concentrations in children with ASD were identified. Future studies using a larger sample size and measuring other behaviors associated with ASD are needed to investigate whether dietary intake may be a modifiable moderator of ASD symptoms.

PMID: 30108477 [PubMed]

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