I was giving a talk to a group of parents about the ConfidentCalmKids Autism Intervention programme and a very important question was asked by a parent, “What is your view on the Gut/Brain axe and how important do you think it is?”.
I think the Gut/Brain axes is vitally important for a child’s/adults overall wellbeing. The health of the digestive system is the foundation for a persons immune system. This is based on the microbiome(bacteria) in the intestines, mainly the large intestines. All the latest research is now showing how important having a healthy balance of the Good/Bad bacteria is for a persons wellbeing. Ideally 80% good/20% Bad.
The gut produces more neurotransmitters, that are used by the brain for communications throughout the body, than produced by the brain. These neurotransmitters are created by the bacteria in the gut. If your child’s gut does not have a good balance of the good/bad bacteria, then these neurotransmitters will be produced in less quantity for use by the Brain.
If your child has had a lot of antibiotics, this is going to impact the bacteria in the digestive system. It would be very important for your child to take prebiotics/probiotics to help to repopulate the gut with the good bacteria. If your child gets sick alot and it takes several days to get ride of the cold/flu, it would be an indication that focusing on strengthening the health of the digestive system would be very important.
If a child/adult has a healthy digestive system, they will have a strong immune system, so they will be able to fend off colds/flu’s much easier and will be less susceptible to getting a cold/flu.
When taking probiotics it would be good to take them long term and use different brands so that your child will be getting different strands of the good bacteria. Particularly if your child has had a course of antibiotics. Also as well as taking probotics, it would be good to take a prebiotic like Inulin. Prebiotic’s also help to strengthen the bacteria in the gut.
You can also get the good bacteria from foods:
Varies Fermented foods like sauerkraut. You could add these to shakes and blend it up. You can get these in health stores.
Kefir: This is a fermented milk that has the good bacteria. You can make this at home yourself or get it in a health store.
Yoghurts: You would need to get Live Cultured Yoghurts. Like the Glenilen or Bio yoghurts. It is best to get the Natural flavours instead of the yoghurts that have added fruits as sweeteners.
A good way to get these in to children is to blend them up into a shake. It does not need to include a large amount of these foods, just a small amount of each should be good. Good to get variety into the diet instead of large quantities of less variety.