Research Refutes Dietary Treatment for Autism

May 20, 2010

Research Refutes Dietary Treatment for Autism

new study claims gluten-free casein-free diet does not improve symtoms

New research from the University of Rochester Medical Center suggests that diets eliminating both gluten and casein do not improve the behavior of autistic children. The study authors report that at the present time an estimated one in three children with autism eats a gluten- and casein-free diet in an effort to lessen the symptoms of the neurodevelopmental disease.

“The study authors looked at 14 children with autism between the ages of 2½ and 5½ years old – but without celiac disease or allergies to milk and wheat.

First they removed gluten and casein from the children’s diet. After four weeks, the children were randomly given either gluten or casein, both, or a placebo, through a carefully measured snack. Parents, teachers and research assistants were questioned about the child’s behavior before and after the snack was eaten.

‘Under these controlled circumstances we did not find an effect on behavior in response to challenges with gluten and casein in children with autism but without GI disease,’ says lead study author, Dr. Susan Hyman.”

Dr. Hyman concludes that more research focused on the effects of diet and the specific subtypes of autism is still needed.

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