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  • Writer's pictureDr. Amber Brooks

The Link Between Gut Bacteria And Your Kid’s Behavior Just Got Stronger

"Ohio State University researchers have found that gut bacteria can affect a toddler’s temperament. After examining the stool samples of 77 kids aged 18-27 months, the researchers concluded that it was time to step outside and get some fresh air. They also concluded that mood, curiosity, sociability, impulsivity, and — in boys — extroversion were linked to more genetically diverse bacterial species.

Gut bacteria, also known as a microbiome, is having a moment lately — and for good reason. Microorganisms swimming around your pipes not only digest food and fight disease, but they also secrete mood-regulating chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA. There is a growing connection, in other words, between a diverse microbiome and health, stability, and even athletic prowess.

“There is definitely communication between bacteria in the gut and the brain, but we don’t know which one starts the conversation,” says the OSU study‘s co-author Dr. Michael Bailey. “Maybe kids who are more outgoing have fewer stress hormones impacting their gut than shy kids. Or maybe the bacteria are helping mitigate the production of stress hormones when the child encounters something new. It could be a combination of both.”

Abnormalities in gut bacteria, on the other hand have been linked to anxiety, depression, and even autism and hyperactivity. Research like that from OSU is focused on how the mood-regulating chemicals get from the gut to the brain, and how that process might be involved in chronic disease. For this reason, there’s an uptick in pro-dirt play as well as a growing anti-antibiotics movement.

Another implication of this research: What if gut bacteria were linked to your toddler’s mood? What if it turned out there was a dietary cure for wild toddlers? “It is possible that effects of diet would emerge if we used a more detailed assessment,” says Bailey’s co-author, Dr. Lisa Christian. “It is certainly possible that the types or quantities of food that children with different temperaments choose to eat affect their microbiome.”

Howard, M., 2021. How Gut Bacteria Affects Your Kids' Mood. [online] Fatherly. Available at: <,be%20involved%20in%20chronic%20disease.> [Accessed 8 September 2021].

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Dr. Amber Brooks- Autism & Special Needs

Dr. Amber Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP, DC is a pediatric expert bridging alternative and traditional

medicine by providing individualized and comprehensive approaches to pediatric wellness. Her experience is unique, as she is Board Certified in Integrative Pediatrics, Board Certified as a Pediatric Chiropractor, a Family Nurse Practitioner and Craniosacral Therapist.

Dr. Amber Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP,

Dr. Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP, DC has been extremely successful in assisting her patients in achieving optimal health and wellness by using the best integrative methods to help support their growing bodies. She provides traditional and alternative medicine for maximal health. Dr. Brooks has developed specialized methods to answer today's biggest pediatric health problems including allergies, constipation, chronic ear infections, birth trauma, developmental delays, digestive problems, Autism, ADD/ADHD, MTHFR, nutritional, and behavioral problems.

Dr. Amber Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP, DC has extensive experience solving complex pediatric and unique perspective of diagnosing the problem rather than treating the symptoms has led to 

remarkable results worldwide. Parents praise her current, yet practical, guidance to what a child is struggling with and tools to help the family improve their child's future health.

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