Chances are, you know a kid who is on the autism spectrum. Studies show 1 in 59 children now have autism, up from 1 in 88 in 2008. In addition to struggling with social and behavioral challenges, many of these kids also battle chronic digestive issues such as constipation and leaky gut. A recent pilot study provided hope on that front. It showed that a modest daily dose of soluble fiber – the same clinically proven prebiotic fiber used in Regular Girl – helped autistic children go more often. The study also showed that supplementation with this fiber decreased the children’s irritability. This was likely good news for their families, as well.
According to nutritional biochemist Shawn Talbott, your mood and behavior are influenced by your gut health. “What your gut tells your brain – and vice versa – is part of what scientists call the gut/brain axis. The good bacteria (probiotics) in your gut create most of the serotonin, dopamine and other neurotransmitters responsible for your mood,” he explained. Serotonin (a.k.a the happy chemical) and dopamine (a.k.a. the feel-good hormone) contribute to feelings of pleasure, satisfaction and happiness.
“Autism is one of the classic gut/brain dysfunction diseases,” he added. “When the gut has an imbalance of the wrong kinds of bacteria, it sends improper signals to the brain. That can show up as irritability. So, the question is: How can we change the bacteria in the gut so the child feels and behaves better?”
One answer may be soluble fiber. This good-for-the-belly nutrient feeds the good bacteria in your gut, helping them thrive, contributing to a healthier and happier microbiome. Soluble fiber also helps with constipation by helping move foods through the body at a comfortable pace. Yay for regularity!
The children in the study supplemented their diet with 6 grams of guar fiber (a.k.a. Sunfiber) per day. Every child experienced constipation relief after a single week of supplementation! Their irritability, measured using a standardized scale, also improved significantly. We get it. It’s hard to be in a good mood when your belly isn’t cooperating.
Boosting fiber intake is important for everyone. The average 11-year-old consumes just 11 – 13 grams of fiber each day. That’s less than half the recommended amount! Adults don’t do much better, downing just 15 grams. The Institute of Medicine recommends adults consume 25 – 38 grams of fiber each day.
Regular Girl makes it easy to boost your child’s daily intake. One serving provides 6 grams of tasteless and colorless soluble fiber (the same type used in the study) plus 8 billion clinically proven Bifidobacterium lactis, a potent probiotic known to support digestive health and support overall wellbeing. That’s a definite plus for everyone.