Can a child's microbiome change their behavior?

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By Serena Gordon
Reporter HealthDay

TUESDAY, January 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) – School-aged children with behavioral problems may have different bacteria in the gut compared to well-behaved peers, new research for see.

The study also notes that parents can play an important role in the development of specific bacteria in the child's intestines (collectively called microbiomes). That role goes even beyond the foods parents give their children, researchers suspect.

"We were interested in determining whether there are aspects of the intestinal microflora that explain behavioral changes in children," said Thomas Sharpton, study author of the study.

And, it appears. For example, Sharpton said, "Children in families that demonstrate stronger carer bond have differences in microbiomes compared to those without." He is an associate professor of microbiology at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

Sharpton was quick to note that the study did not prove a causal link.

"We are not saying that the microbiome is causing the behavior. It is possible that the behavior is causing microbiome changes. It is difficult to address the confounding factors," he said.

Researchers have shown that the diet does not seem to account for the changes seen in this study.

This is not the first study to link microbiomes with children's behavior.

A team from the Texas Children's Hospital in Houston reported in May last year that …


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