Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Bio-Algorithms and Med-Systems

Editor-in-Chief: Roterman-Konieczna , Irena

Managing Editor: Wisniowski, Zdzislaw

4 Issues per year

Online
ISSN
1896-530X
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Role of the gut-brain axis in the eating behavior of children with autism spectrum disorders

Justyna Siwek / Aleksandra Kawala-Janik
  • Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Automatic Control and Informatics, Opole University of Technology, 45-758 Opole, Poland
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Piotr Walecki
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Bioinformatics and Telemedicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, 31-008 Kraków, Poland
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-09-16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bams-2017-0020

Abstract

Introduction:

The occurrence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has significantly increased in the last few years. One of the common problems in this group are eating disorders and ailments from the gastrointestinal systems. According to some studies, these problems have a significant impact on the occurrence and severity of symptoms in the neurological system, so it is crucial to increase the attention paid on the role of diet in the treatment of this disease. One of the theories connects ASD with disorders of the digestive system and the intestinal bacterial flora. This theory is based on the gut-brain axis, which means the interaction between the gastrointestinal and nervous systems.

Objectives:

To demonstrate the differences in behavior habits, interest in nutrition, and frequency of consumption of food products between children suffering from ASD and healthy children.

Materials and methods:

The study was conducted among 44 children suffering from ASD and 33 healthy children as a control group. Data were collected using a questionnaire that was specially designed for this study. The questionnaire contained questions about eating habits and the frequency of consumption of selected food products.

Results:

Parents of healthy children showed more interest in their children’s way of feeding and nutritional recommendations compared to parents of children with ASD (4% and 11.3%, respectively). In addition, 24.3% more children with ASD consulted with a nutritionist compared to the control group. Complaints of the digestive system were 21.1% more likely by children with ASD. Children suffering from ASD were characterized by a higher intake of red meat and giblets and less frequent consumption of milk and milk products compared to the control group. There were no statistically significant differences between the study group and the control group in terms of frequency of consumption of products, which are the source of gluten, artificial food additives-preservatives, and artificial colors.

Conclusions:

There are differences in the habits and eating behaviors and the frequency of consumption of selected food products between a group of children with ASD and a group of healthy children.

Keywords: autism; behavior; diet; eating; gut-brain axis; nutrition

References

  • 1.

    Das UN. Autism as a disorder of deficiency of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and altered metabolism of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Nutrition 2013;29:1175–85.Web of ScienceCrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • 2.

    Neggers YH. Increasing prevalence, changes in diagnostic criteria, and nutritional risk factors for autism spectrum disorders. ISRN Nutr 2014;2014:514026.PubMedGoogle Scholar

  • 3.

    Compart PJ. The pathophysiology of autism. Glob Adv Health Med 2013;2:32–7.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • 4.

    Yates K, Le Couteur A. Diagnosing autism. Paediatr Child Health (Oxf) 2009;19:55–9.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • 5.

    Johnson CR, Turner K, Stewart PA, Schmidt B, Shui A, Macklin E, et al. Relationships between feeding problems, behavioral characteristics and nutritional quality in children with ASD. J Autism Dev Disord 2014;44:2175–84.Web of SciencePubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • 6.

    Attlee A, Kassem H, Hashim M, Obaid RS. Physical status and feeding behavior of children with autism. Indian J Pediatr 2015;82:682–7.CrossrefPubMedWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 7.

    Kral TV, Eriksen WT, Souders MC, Pinto-Martin JA. Eating behaviors, diet quality, and gastrointestinal symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorders: a brief review. J Pediatr Nurs 2013;28:548–56.CrossrefWeb of SciencePubMedGoogle Scholar

  • 8.

    Marí-Bauset S, Llopis-González A, Zazpe-García I, Marí-Sanchis A, Morales-Suárez-Varela M. Nutritional status of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs): a case-control study. J Autism Dev Disord 2015;45:203–12.CrossrefPubMedWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 9.

    van De Sande MM, van Buul VJ, Brouns FJ. Autism and nutrition: the role of the gut-brain axis. Nutr Res Rev 2014;27:199–214.PubMedWeb of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • 10.

    Carabotti M, Scirocco A, Maselli MA, Severi C. The gut-brain axis: interactions between enteric microbiota, central and enteric nervous systems. Ann Gastroenterol Q Publ Hell Soc Gastroenterol 2015;28:203–9.Google Scholar

  • 11.

    Petra AI, Panagiotidou S, Hatziagelaki E, Stewart JM, Conti P, Theoharides TC. Gut-microbiota-brain axis and its effect on neuropsychiatric disorders with suspected immune dysregulation. Clin Ther 2015;37:984–95.CrossrefPubMedWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 12.

    Sadowska J, Cierebiej M. Ocena sposobu żywienia i stanu odżywienia dzieci z autyzmem. Badania wstępne. Ped Współ Gastroenterol Hepatol Żyw Dziecka 2011;13:155–60.Google Scholar

  • 13.

    Przybylska-Felus M, Furgala A, Zwolinska-Wcislo M, Mazur M, Widera A, Thor P, et al. Disturbances of autonomic nervous system activity and diminished response to stress in patients with celiac disease. J Physiol Pharmacol 2014;65:833–41.PubMedGoogle Scholar

  • 14.

    Buie T. The relationship of autism and gluten. Clin Ther 2013;35:578–83.PubMedCrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 15.

    Volkert VM, Vaz PCM. Recent studies on feeding problems in children with autism. J Appl Behav Anal 2010;43:155–9.CrossrefPubMedWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 16.

    Bandini LG, Anderson SE, Curtin C, Cermak S, Evans EW, Scampini R, et al. Food selectivity in children with autism spectrum disorders and typically developing children. J Pediatr 2010;157:259–64.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • 17.

    Williams PG, Dalrymple N, Neal J. Eating habits of children with autism. Pediatr Nurs 2000;26:259–64.PubMedGoogle Scholar

  • 18.

    Curtin C, Hubbard K, Anderson SE, Mick E, Must A, Bandini LG. Food selectivity, mealtime behavior problems, spousal stress, and family food choices in children with and without autism spectrum disorder. J Autism Dev Disord 2015;45:3308–15.PubMedCrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 19.

    Must A, Curtin C, Hubbard K, Sikich L, Bedford J, Bandini L. Obesity prevention for children with developmental disabilities. Curr Obes Rep 2014;3:156–70.CrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • 20.

    Cermak SA, Curtin C, Bandini LG. Food selectivity and sensory sensitivity in children with autism spectrum disorders. J Am Diet Assoc 2010;110:238–46.Web of ScienceCrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • 21.

    Grubišić V, Parpura V. The second brain in autism spectrum disorder: could connexin 43 expressed in enteric glial cells play a role? Front Cell Neurosci 2015;9:242.PubMedWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 22.

    Marí-Bauset S, Zazpe I, Mari-Sanchis A, Llopis-González A, Morales-Suárez-Varela M. Food selectivity in autism spectrum disorders: a systematic review. J Child Neurol 2014;29:1554–61.Web of ScienceCrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • 23.

    Herndon AC, DiGuiseppi C, Johnson SL, Leiferman J, Reynolds A. Does nutritional intake differ between children with autism spectrum disorders and children with typical development? J Autism Dev Disord 2009;39:212–22.Web of ScienceCrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • 24.

    Zimmer MH, Hart LC, Manning-Courtney P, Murray DS, Bing NM, Summer S. Food variety as a predictor of nutritional status among children with autism. J Autism Dev Disord 2012;42:549–56.PubMedWeb of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • 25.

    Graf-Myles J, Farmer C, Thurm A, Royster C, Kahn P, Soskey L, et al. Dietary adequacy of children with autism compared with controls and the impact of restricted diet. J Dev Behav Pediatr 2013;34:449–59.Web of ScienceCrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • 26.

    Hyman SL, Stewart PA, Schmidt B, Cain C, Lemcke N, Foley JT, et al. Nutrient intake from food in children with autism. Pediatrics 2012;130(Suppl):S145–53.CrossrefPubMedWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 27.

    Adams JB, Audhya T, McDonough-Means S, Rubin RA, Quig D, Geis E, et al. Nutritional and metabolic status of children with autism vs. neurotypical children, and the association with autism severity. Nutr Metab (Lond) 2011;8:34.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • 28.

    Brzozowski B, Mazur-Bialy A, Pajdo R, Kwiecien S, Bilski J, Zwolinska-Wcislo M, et al. Mechanisms by which stress affects the experimental and clinical inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Role of brain-gut axis. Curr Neuropharmacol 2016;14:892–900.PubMedCrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 29.

    Valicenti-McDermott M, Lawson K, Hottinger K, Seijo R, Schechtman M, Shulman L, et al. Parental stress in families of children with autism and other developmental disabilities. J Child Neurol 2015;30:1728–35.CrossrefWeb of SciencePubMedGoogle Scholar

  • 30.

    Mankad D, Dupuis A, Smile S, Roberts W, Brian J, Lui T, et al. A randomized, placebo controlled trial of ω-3 fatty acids in the treatment of young children with autism. Mol Autism 2015;6:18.PubMedWeb of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • 31.

    Bent S, Bertoglio K, Hendren RL. ω-3 fatty acids for autistic spectrum disorder: a systematic review. J Autism Dev Disord 2009;39:1145–54.PubMedWeb of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • 32.

    Schnoll R, Burshteyn D. Nutrition in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a neglected but important aspect. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback 2003;28:63–75.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • 33.

    Jarosz M, Stoś K, Walkiewicz A. Żelazo. In: M. Jarosz, editor. Normy żywienia populacji polskiej-nowelizacja. Warszawa, 2012:128–30.Google Scholar

  • 34.

    Hergüner S, Keleşoğlu FM, Çöpür M, Tanıdır C. Ferritin and iron levels in children with autistic disorder. Eur J Pediatr 2012;171:143–6.PubMedWeb of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • 35.

    Dosman CF, Brian JA, Drmic IE, Senthilselvan A, Harford MM, Smith RW, et al. Children with autism: effect of iron supplementation on sleep and ferritin. Pediatr Neurol 2007;36:152–8.PubMedCrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

About the article

Received: 2017-08-18

Accepted: 2017-08-18

Published Online: 2017-09-16

Published in Print: 2017-09-26


Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

Research funding: None declared.

Employment or leadership: None declared.

Honorarium: None declared.

Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.


Citation Information: Bio-Algorithms and Med-Systems, Volume 13, Issue 3, Pages 117–123, ISSN (Online) 1896-530X, ISSN (Print) 1895-9091, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bams-2017-0020.

Export Citation

©2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in