Could BFing help prevent autism?

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Could BFing help prevent autism?
12
Sun, 07-31-2011 - 10:20am
It All Starts in the Gut…

Dr. Campbell is convinced that autistic children are in fact born with perfectly normal brains and perfectly normal sensory organs.

"What happens in these children [is that] they do not develop normal gut flora from birth…" she says.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sun, 07-31-2011 - 10:28am

Looks dubious.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, quacktitioner extraordinaire and author of

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Sun, 07-31-2011 - 10:34am

Just because they think she is a quack, doesn't mean her ideas are necessarily crazy or wrong.

We talk a lot about the gut regarding BFing or not - could that not affect our health in such a way? Is it truly impossible?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sun, 07-31-2011 - 10:53am

We talk a lot about the gut regarding BFing or not - could that not affect our health in such a way?

I absolutely think that there is a link between the gut and behavior. I think one of the many breastfeeding perks is gut flora. But this woman seems to be taking two trendy topics and trying to meld them together (probiotics, autism). I think it is more sensational than anything else.

Breastfeeding has lots of evidence that it helps many different conditions type II diabetes and heart disease included - but autism, ADHD, bipolar, schizophrenia etc consistently fall outside the breastfeeding umbrella.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sun, 07-31-2011 - 10:59am

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Sun, 07-31-2011 - 11:03am
nisupulla wrote:

Breastfeeding has lots of evidence that it helps many different conditions type II diabetes and heart disease included - but autism, ADHD, bipolar, schizophrenia etc consistently fall outside the breastfeeding umbrella.


Hmm... well, I see some merit in her ideas, even if she is "out there". Especially that the mother having poor gut floria cannot pass on what baby needs, beause she does not have it. How many generations of that would need be to affect us dramatically?

It makes sense to me in my family, and makes me wonder if her gut flora ideas might explain a lot about my children's health and allergies. Jason was definitely ADHD, and I wouldn't be surprised if Josh was diagnoised with Aspergers.

I can't help wondering if it will turn out like the HIV discussions we had years ago, where I was the lone voice posting about BFing and HIV beeing safe, posting articles that others considered radical at the time - and now it is becoming more acceptable, though not totally accepted, to consider BFing when HIV-positive.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Sun, 07-31-2011 - 11:17am

I had a thought - wondering how many autisic Amish children there were - one article I found said that going by statistics he should be able to find 130 Amish men, women and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Lancaster County.

He was only able to locate 3 - and at least one was adopted, from China. http://www.whale.to/vaccine/olmsted.html

Yes, he seems to attribute it to vaccines, but it was the numbers I am looking at, not the reason he offers.

What lead me to his page was wondering if more Amish women BF, and for longer times - and since there were generations of BFing women - and less dependancy on antibioties, process foods etc. - their gut flora would generally be better than the average persons?

So if they have healthier gut flora to pass onto their babies, would there be less austism? Just one man's opinion, I realise - but it was the first article I found - so I thought it was interesting.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sun, 07-31-2011 - 11:19am

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sun, 07-31-2011 - 11:28am

I think gut flora studies have a lot of merit.

Autism and schizophrenia seem to have significant genetic components. If the Amish have reduced rates, my first guess would be genes, not diet.

Unfortunately, so little is known about the causes of disorders such as ADHD, autism, schizophrenia, etc that IMO anything at this stage of the game that claims to be "the" answer is almost definitely too premature to have meaning.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Sun, 07-31-2011 - 11:30am

Thanks for finding that! My eyes tend to glaze over when I try to read and understand studies - I am really not good at it .

The conclusion was: "This study indicates that increased

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Sun, 07-31-2011 - 11:34am

Yes, there is a genetic component that cannot be ignored. But the dramatic recent increase means (to me) that something else is going on too.

No, we definitely need more studies before we can say we have "the answer". I just think it is worth looking into.

BTW, I did more reading on the Amish, and they do vaccinate, though at a lower rate than the rest of the country, so that is not the reason for lower insidence of autism. However, some say autism is simply under reported - so that may wipe out my theory for them! LOL

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