How the Gut-Brain Axis Can Affect Health
Medical science has recently discovered that a root cause of particular health issues involves the gut and the Gut-Brain Axis.
The Gut-Brain Axis is the communication system between the brain and the trillions of bacteria and enzymes living within our intestines – our gut microbiome.
The gut microbiome in an adult weighs about 2 kg and is bigger than the average human brain. It’s an active community of trillions of bacteria and microbes.
The gut microbiome is a crucial part of this gut-brain connection. It develops simultaneously with the central nervous system and has a powerful influence over many different mental processes.
Multiple studies have shown that the composition of our gut bacteria has a profound impact on mental health and the functioning of our nervous system.
Gut microbes make a number of chemicals that affect how our brains function. Gut microbes play a crucial role in brain development and the flow of signaling information across the central nervous system.
As neurotransmitters synthesized by the brain are involved in regulating mental health, emotions, behaviors, and mood, a disrupted gut microbiome can play a significant role in neurological conditions.
“The gut microbiome is the most important scientific discovery for human healthcare in recent decades,” says James Kinross, a microbiome scientist and surgeon at Imperial College London. “We discovered it – or rediscovered it – in the age of genetic sequencing less than 15 years ago. The only organ that is bigger is the liver.”
Professor Jack Gilbert, an award-winning microbiome scientist at the University of California San Diego and author, has stated, “Over the last 80 years and since the dawn of antibiotics, there has been a multi-generational loss of microbes that appear to be important for human health. They are passed from mother to child (during birth, via breast milk and skin contact) throughout the generations, but at some point, in the last three or four generations, we lost some. We’re not entirely sure if the cause was our lifestyle, our diet, cleanliness in our homes or the use of antibiotics. We’re missing certain immune stimulants that people in the developing world have plenty of.”
Studies have shown that children with special needs (for example, cognitive, behavioral, speech, sleep or digestive issues) often have compromised gut health. They can have a lower abundance of specific beneficial bacteria and a higher abundance of the less beneficial bacteria. There were important differences between the microbiota of children with special needs and typically developing children.
So, what can be done to improve a child's gut microbiome?
As general advice, The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation suggests the following. However, we do acknowledge that children with special needs are often picky eaters.
The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation says:
“Make sure to eat your vegetables!
"Especially the leafy green ones. Vegetables are loaded with fibers which cannot be digested by people but are consumed by the good bacteria in your gut. It has been observed that people who follow a diet rich with fruits and vegetables are less likely to grow disease-causing bacteria. Some great examples of vegetables that feed your microbes are:
“Stock up on dietary sources of prebiotics
"Prebiotics are food for your microbiome! It’s important to feed these little guys to give them the energy they need to complete their very important task of managing your enteric (relating to the intestines) nervous system. Here is a list of dietary prebiotics that should be staples in your home kitchen:
- Whole Grains
- Cocoa Extracts
- Red Wine Extracts
- Root Vegetables
- Green Tea Extracts.
“Fermented foods are gut-friendly
"Fermented foods are another great source of probiotics. The crowd favorite is yogurt, however, if you’re going to be eating a lot of yogurt, make sure that it is sugar-free! There are several other options that are a great source of good bacteria. Kombucha is becoming a very popular source of probiotics. You can also eat things like pickles, kimchee, and kefir to ensure that you’re getting enough live cultures to keep your gut healthy and happy.”
Supplements Can Help, Too
The Spectrum Care+ Protocol was designed to optimize gut and metabolic health in children with special needs by providing comprehensive dietary support in the form of 2 powder supplements.
The first supplement is Camelicious camel milk powder.
Camel milk can help promote optimum gut health because camel milk contains probiotics (good bacteria) that can help keep the gut microbiome in balance with optimal numbers of good bacteria.
Camel milk contains probiotics, including LACTOBACILLUS PANTARUM, LACTOBACILLUS PENTOSUS & LACTOBACILLUS LACTIS.
The second supplement, Spectrum Care+/Metabolic Boost contains a probiotic blend of BACILLUS SUBTILIS, LACTOBACILLUS ACIDOPHILUS AND BIFIDOBACTERIUM LACTIS.
When used as indicated, the Spectrum Care+ Protocol has shown to support better metabolic, gut and neurological health in children and young adults with resulting improvements in these key factors:
2. Social Communication
4. Sleep patterns