A note for parents: It's important to rev up your kid's gut microbiome

A note for parents: It's important to rev up your kid's gut microbiome
Kids need vitamins, minerals and other nutrients for healthy growth and development. © Shutterstock.

While a new study establishes link between your child's behaviour and his gut microbiome, we tell you how improve his gut health.

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : January 23, 2020 11:07 AM IST

Turns out that the gut microbiome of your school child, who has behaviour issues, is likely to be different from his well-behaved peers. Yes, you heard us right here. A new study by scientists from Stanford University and University of Manitoba found that there is a link between gut microbiome and kids' behaviour. However, they do not claim any cause-and-effect relationship between the two, yet. The study experts observe that it's not clear whether the gut microbiome leads to a change in the kids' behaviour or vice versa.


As already mentioned, your kids'gut bacteria For this study published in the journal mBio, scientists had collected stool from the children and parents filled out questionnaires on socioeconomic risk, behavioural dysregulation, caregiver behaviour, demography, gut-related history (like antibiotic use) and a week-long diet journal, reports IANS.

As reported by this news agency, the analysis showed that children with behavioural problems and higher socioeconomic stress had different microbiome profiles than those who didn't. Also, that the quality of the parent-child relationship, as well as parental stress, played a role in how pronounced those differences were.

Also Read

More News

However, there have been other studies in that past that have found connections between gut bacteria and children's behavioural pattern. Scientists from the Ohio State University found that gut microbiome has an impact on toddlers' mood and temperament. Their study observed that your child's diverse gut bacteria has a link with some of his cognitive functions like curiosity, sociability, impulsivity, and extroversion (in boys).

This connection is probably due to the fact that these tiny microorganisms of the gut also produce mood-regulating brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and gamma. However, more research is needed to reach a conclusion.


We are yet to be sure if healthy gut bacteria can be the answer to your kid's behavioural issues. However, there's no denying that, as a parent, you can do a lot to ensure that he is hale and heart while it comes to the health of his tummy.

Make your kids have good bacteria

Good bacteria live best in indigestible fibres found in complex carbohydrates, plant chemicals known as polyphenols and foods like yiogurt, kefir (both are loaded with good bacteria named probiotics), so on and so forth. Make sure your kid's meals have foods like oatmeal, whole wheat, broccoli, beans, grapes, cherries and dark chocolate. While all of it may not be that appealing to your little one's maturing taste buds, look for interesting ways to sneak these into his plate.

Avoid unnecessary antibiotics

These are lifesaving drugs. But they come with their own side effects too. Yes, antibiotics have wide ranging negative impacts on our health and one of them is, they kill our good bacteria too. So, consult your paediatrician if he prescribes antibiotics. Ask if there's an alternative. Consider taking second opinion.

Allow your kids to get dirty

Don't cringe if your pet licks your little one or he comes back home smeared in mud and dirt. That's the way he'll get a gamut of good bacteria.

(With inputs from IANS)