About one in 59 children in the US has been identified1 with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Most of these children also have chronic digestive issues2 – including constipation and leaky gut – because their good gut bacteria (probiotics) are out of balance. Frustratingly, these gut disorders often contribute to a child’s irritability. 

In a new pilot study, scientists found soluble guar fiber (Sunfiber) may improve both constipation and irritability in children with ASD. This opens many new potential opportunities for companies interested in developing formulations for the ASD market. Sunfiber is appropriate for all ages. 

Study connects soluble fiber with better ASD symptom management 

In a pilot study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemical Nutrition3, researchers at the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine supplemented the diets of 13 children diagnosed with ASD with 6 grams/day of Sunfiber guar fiber.

The children – 12 boys and one girl – ranged from four to nine years old. By the end of the first week, all the children experienced some constipation relief. They went from defecating once or twice a week to being able to go two to four times a week. Their irritability – measured on a standardized scale – also improved significantly.

“These researchers found that a modest dose of Sunfiber produced results on four levels: tangible (less constipation); prebiotic (modulation of the gut microbiome); biomarker (fewer inflammatory cytokines), and behavioral (less irritability),” says Derek Timm, PhD, RDN. 

Explaining these encouraging results  

The gut’s good bacteria (probiotics) create most of the dopamine, serotonin and other neurotransmitters responsible for mood. When gut bacteria are imbalanced, they send improper signals to the brain. 

Soluble, prebiotic fiber feeds the gut’s good bacteria and helps to establish a healthier probiotic balance in the gut. Soluble fiber is also known to help manage occasional constipation. The theory is that by using soluble fiber to support gut health can make you feel better and may result in behavioral improvements. 

Sunfiber is a popular soluble fiber ingredient because it is an all-natural, versatile, soluble powder that can easily be added to a wide variety of foods, beverages and supplements without impacting the flavor, color, texture or aroma. 

It is also a premium choice for formulators because it is certified Kosher, 100 percent gluten-free, vegetarian, Non-GMO Project Verified, Monash University Low FODMAP Certified™.  Sunfiber is certified organic by Ecocert, the certification body for sustainable development in the US. 

A complete list of research supporting Sunfiber is available at www.Sunfiber.com

Biography: Derek Timm, PhD, RDN

Derek Timm, PhD, RDN is more than your typical nutrition expert. In addition to being a registered dietitian nutritionist, Timm has earned a PhD in nutrition science. He’s passionate about improving consumers’ health through the sharing of evidence-based nutrition research and facts. Positive and easily approachable, Timm excels at making complicated or confusing information clear to the general public.

In addition to his academic and clinical research background, Timm has worked as a nutrition scientist for several global nutrition companies. He’s extremely well-versed on the health benefits of fiber and how this nutrient can impact digestive health and overall well-being. Timm is currently serving as a functional ingredient technology expert for Taiyo International, a global leader in the development and production of functional ingredients. 


1.      Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Data and Statistics on Autism Spectrum Disorder 

2.      Gastrointestinal problems in children with autism, developmental delays or typical development

3.       Dietary supplementation with partially hydrolyzed guar gum helps improve constipation and gut dysbiosis symptoms and behavioral irritability in children with autism spectrum disorder