Dietary fat effect on the gut microbiome, and its role in the modulation of gastrointestinal disorders in children with autism spectrum disorder

Monia Kittana, Asma Ahmadani, Farah Al Marzooq, Amita Attlee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) report a higher frequency and severity of gastrointestinal disorders (GID) than typically developing (TD) children. GID-associated discomfort increases feelings of anxiety and frustration, contributing to the severity of ASD. Emerging evidence supports the biological intersection of neurodevelopment and microbiome, indicating the integral contribution of GM in the development and function of the nervous system, and mental health, and disease balance. Dysbiotic GM could be a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of GID in children with ASD. High-fat diets may modulate GM through accelerated growth of bile-tolerant bacteria, altered bacterial ratios, and reduced bacterial diversity, which may increase the risk of GID. Notably, saturated fatty acids are considered to have a pronounced effect on the increase of bile-tolerant bacteria and reduction in microbial diversity. Additionally, omega-3 exerts a favorable impact on GM and gut health due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Despite inconsistencies in the data elaborated in the review, the dietary fat composition, as part of an overall dietary intervention, plays a role in modulating GID, specifically in ASD, due to the altered microbiome profile. This review emphasizes the need to conduct future experimental studies investigating the effect of diets with varying fatty acid compositions on GID-specific microbiome profiles in children with ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3818
JournalNutrients
Volume13
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Dietary fat
  • Fatty acid
  • Gastrointestinal disorder
  • Gut microbiome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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