Bugs, Bowels and Behavior: The Groundbreaking Story of The Gut-Brain Connection


Bugs, Bowels, and Behavior: The Groundbreaking Story of the Gut-Brain Connection is a fascinating look at the correlation between the gut issues and autism. It contains 15 papers that explore how the gut and it’s bacterial residents can affect the brain and cause autism. Each paper seems to fall into one of three categories:

  1. A broad overview of the intestinal system
  2. A detailed analysis of an element in the intestinal system
  3. A personal account about how to apply this knowledge in real life

However, odd as it may seem to some readers, the microbial world of the gastrointestinal tract has been increasingly recognized as a potential source of neuropsychiatric symptoms. While it is somewhat easy to understand how brain inflammation could lead to autistic features, it is more challenging to comprehend the role of the gut ecosystem (microbiome) in both creating and maintaining an ongoing central nervous system (CNS) inflammatory response.

After reading this book, I felt that I had a much better handle on the science behind intestinal permeability and how it can affect our brain. The science was usually presented in a way that was easy for a non-science minded person to grasp. The material does build with more complex reports near the end, however there are simpler, more personal reports sprinkled refreshingly throughout. It was nice to have the freedom to skip a report if it got too bogged down in scientific jargon that I didn’t understand.

Who I would recommend this book too? Any involved adult working with a child that has development issues, whether autism, ADD, Asperger’s, dyselxia, etc.