Autism, anxiety and the gut: Microbiota transfer therapy or fecal microbiota transplant

April 17, 2017

We know that one of your greatest ally in health is your microbiome – the trillions of bacteria that are the control center of your health! But sometimes your microbiome can actually cause problems. One way to improve the microbiome is via microbiota transfer therapy (MTT), also called fecal microbiota transplant (FMT).  

I was recently interviewed by Dr. Raphael Kellman for the Microbiome Medicine Summit 2 (it starts May 8) and shared newly published research on this approach – Microbiota Transfer Therapy alters gut ecosystem and improves gastrointestinal and autism symptoms: an open-label study

Here are some of the details of this very promising research:

  • It was a small study on children 6 to 7 years old
  • They were given antibiotics for 2 weeks
  • They were given a bowel cleanse
  • They were given an extended fecal microbiota transplant. This was a high initial dose followed by daily and lower maintenance doses for 7–8 weeks.
  • By the end of treatment and 80% reduction of gastrointestinal symptoms were seen. This included: constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and abdominal pain.
  • These gastrointestinal symptoms improvements persisted for 8 weeks after treatment.
  • They also saw behavioral autism spectrum disorder symptoms improve significantly and remain improved 8 weeks after treatment ended. These symptoms included irritability, hyperactivity, lethargy and socialization

During the interview Dr. Kellman asked what bacterial changes were observed and I didn’t have the study on hand. I looked it up after the interview and this is what they report

Specifically, overall bacterial diversity and the abundance of Bifidobacterium, Prevotella, and Desulfovibrio among other taxa increased following MTT, and these changes persisted after treatment stopped (followed for 8 weeks).


following MTT, the relative abundance of Bifidobacterium significantly increased fourfold and became comparable to its relative abundance in neurotypical children

They conclude that the MTT

shifted gut microbiota of children with ASD toward that of neurotypical children … consistent with the hypothesis that gut microbiota may be at least partially responsible for GI and ASD symptoms

Research just published last month reports similar results with digestive issues and anxiety. Germ-free mice were given the fecal microbiota from healthy control individuals or IBS patients with diarrhea, with or without anxiety. They found that the microbiota profiles in the mice matched the microbiota profiles of the human donors, affecting their digestive function and anxiety levels! I’ll share more on this study in a future blog post.

I hope you’ll join us on the Microbiome Medicine Summit 2, May 8-15, 2017 to learn more

Your host, Dr. Raphael Kellman, has seen the profound healing power of microbiome medicine and how it can address many diseases.

Learn the lessons and methodologies of microbiome medicine – it could improve your health, longevity, vitality and assist with unresolved problems!

It can enhance your brain function, improve mood, reduce anxiety and depression; and address gastrointestinal illnesses, including IBS, Crohn’s and colitis; counter newly identified GI/brain syndromes; and address autism and autoimmune diseases at the root cause!

I thoroughly enjoyed my interview with Dr. Kellman and look forward to hearing all the other great interviews. You can find details and registration here

I hope you can join us!


Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

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4 Comments on "Autism, anxiety and the gut: Microbiota transfer therapy or fecal microbiota transplant"

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FMT’s are a great idea for many people, including Autistic kids but will only give temporary relief for many unfortunately when they still have too much Mercury in their system like Autistic kids do, they need to chelate first, then later some will benefit from FMT (some won’t even need it once the Mercury that is continually damaging their Gut is gone).


Hi Trudy
Thankyou for the article. A while ago I had a CDSA and my stool sample had an overgrowth of prevotella including other SIBO bacteria. At the time Professore Henry Butt stated that prevotella was a bad anaerobic species, particularly not good for the liver. Not sure why you stated they were beneficial?