Recent research suggests that children with autism spectrum disorder (or ASD) may benefit from a diet free from gluten and casein. Researchers from the Penn State College of Medicine found that kids with autism who avoided wheat and fairy experienced an improvement in behavioral and physiological symptoms.
The change in diet appeared to affect children with both autism and gastrointestinal symptoms. Christine Pennesi, study author, toldHuffington Post“Research has shown that children with ASD commonly have GI symptoms.” After the children were switched to a gluten- and casein-free diet, they experienced improvements in both GI symptoms and ASD symptoms.
Christine Pennesi also commented “Some experts have suggested that gluten- and casein-derived peptides cause an immune response in children with ASD, and others have proposed that the peptides could trigger GI symptoms and behavioural problems.”
Despite the positive findings, the researchers explained that more research is still needed. They concluded “While more rigorous research is needed, our findings suggest that a gluten-free, casein-free diet might be beneficial for some children on the autism spectrum.” Pennesi also noted “It is possible that there are other proteins, such as soy, that are problematic for these children.”
Caroline Hattersely of the National Autistic Society, told theHuffington Post“Although some individuals and parents of children with autism report benefits from following special diets, we would still urge caution over this study as there simply has not been enough scientific research investigating the link between autism and food intolerances.”
Do you think there is a link between food intolerances and autism?