Risks and Benefits of Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diets for Autism  

What did the most comprehensive double-blind study of diet for autism hear, and what are the potential downsides? When “youre reading” in alternative medicine magazines that there is “a great deal of evidence that menus containing casein or gluten contribute hugely to ASD[ autism spectrum disorder] and should be eliminated from the diet” and that “implementation of a strict casein- and gluten-free( CFGF) nutrition almost always leads to symptomatic improvement, ” the authors are presumably talking about the published anecdotes and speciman series that claim wild success but had no control group. There were two year-long insured experiments, however, that also demo remarkable benefits, but neither could dismiss placebo outcomes. The double-blind studies that did mastery for placebo aftermaths failed to find benefits, but they only lasted a few weeks.

As I discuss in my video Pros and Cons of Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diets for Autism, investigates then conducted the study that was supposed to break the logjam: a months-long, double-blind, ensure study. Fourteen kids with autism were is available on a gluten- and casein-free diet for four to six weeks. Then, for the next three months, the researchers challenged them every week with double-blind, placebo-controlled food research, privately uttering them “foods that contained gluten merely, casein only, both gluten and casein, or neither( placebo ), ” every week, month after month.

Researchers analyzed what happened to each of the 14 girls in terms of their social relationships and their language abilities throughout each of the challenges, which you can see at 1:13 in my video. And the findings? Nothing. No supposed wallop of the “GFCF diet” was found on behavioral dislocations or autism-related behaviors. Does that planned the case is closed? Proponents of autism foods “might regard the 4-6 week implementation time prior to the challenges as too short for the GFCF diet to take full effect.” In other statements, one could argue this was yet another double-blind study that didn’t give the diet a long enough time to work. Could it be that the kids were still feeling the effects of gluten and casein the government has ingested before the study started, more than a month previously, which may explain why extra gluten or casein didn’t impel them worse? It’s possible, I guess, which is why, from time to time, you’ll realize methodical reviews of the sum total of testify concluding that although some studies “evaluating gluten/ casein-free diets” registered benefits, the data are “inadequate” to manufacture judgments either way. In other statements, the strength of evidence is considered insufficient to endorse such diets.

But what’s the injure in leave it a try? “Given their own efforts, duration, and money that the GFCF diet requires, knowing whether this investment will pay off”–that is, whether a gluten- and casein-free diet actually labor –” would be valuable.” There are downsides. For speciman, “being on a special diet can have unintended negative social results when children are not able to participate conventionally in birthday revelries and class plows or eat in eateries or other people’s homes.” Autism can be isolating fairly as it is.

The overall “evidence for the effectiveness of GFCF diets in children with autism is shaky and thus these nutritions cannot is usually recommended as a treatment”–yet, parents continue to give it a try, figuring, “Since the dopes don’t work in terms of helping the core indications, why not just give the diet a try and leave no stone unturned? ” I know how it is, but there are the potential downsides, like further “stigmatization, diversion of treatment, and nutritional deficiency.” Nutritional deficiency?

The concern is about bone state, as those with autism are at hoisted threat for bone fractures. Now, lower bone mineral concentration in men with autism may be due to a variety of factors, such as lack of vitamin D, chronic employment of remedies that can weaken bones, and absence of weight-bearing exercise. But, dietary controls may also play a role.

Do children with autism on gluten- and casein-free diets have lower calcium uptake? Yes, in fact, they have nine periods the quirkies of failing to meet recommended calcium uptakes. Does this alter out to reduced bone mass? Maybe so, as those on casein-free diets appear to have less bone growth. Now, there’s controversy over whether dairy produces are the best root of calcium, but that is where most boys are getting their calcium. So, if you remove dairy from the diet, you have to replace it with other calcium-rich meat. As investigate has shown, there are lots of nondairy sources of calcium, but they only add calcium if you actually eat them.


Recommendations with a view to eliminating nutrients containing casein or gluten to improve evidences of ASD are often based on published stories and client series without see radicals. In response, investigates conducted an extended double-blind, verified study on children diagnosed with ASD, targeting them on a gluten- and casein-free( GFCF) diet for four to six weeks, followed by three months of weekly challenges of double-blind, placebo-controlled food tests–gluten only, casein only, both gluten and casein, or neither. No obviou affect of the GFCF diet was are available on behavioral disturbances or autism-related demeanors, but critics have suggested the duration of the study wasn’t long enough and many parents and caregivers continue to try a GFCF diet in children with autism despite the lack of evidence of its effectiveness. Downside of a GFCF diet in children with autism include unintended negative social importances, such as increased isolation and further “stimatization, recreation of therapy, and nutritional deficiency.” Those with ASD are at deepened probability for bone faultings, having lower bone mineral concentration, which may be due to lack of vitamin D, chronic implement of medications that can weaken bones, and lack of weight-bearing exercise. Children with autism on a GFCF diet ought to have found to have lower calcium uptake, but that may be the consequence of not changing the calcium from dairy once milk and other dairy products are removed from the nutrition. If dairy is removed from the nutrition, it must be replaced with other calcium-rich nutrients, such as nondairy calcium beginnings.

This is the final article on my six-part video series on the role of gluten- and dairy-free foods in the treatment of autism. If you missed any of the others, discover:

Autism and Casein from Cow’s Milk Does A2 Milk Carry Less Autism Risk ?~ ATAGEND Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Nutrition for Autism Put to the Test Are Autism Diet Benefits Just a Placebo Effect ?~ ATAGEND Double-Blind Clinical Trial of Diet for Autism

Keep abreast of all of my videos on autism here.

Hold on. Milk isn’t protective against bone faultings? See Is Milk Good for Our Bones ?~ ATAGEND.

What about calcium supplements? Check out Are Calcium Supplements Safe ?~ ATAGEND and Are Calcium Supplements Effective ?~ ATAGEND.

For more on diet and autism, view:

Fever Benefits for Autism in a Food Fighting Autism Brain Inflammation with Food Best Foods for Autism Flashback Friday: The Best Foods for Fighting Autism and Brain Inflammation Dietary Supplements for Autism Alternative Treatments for Autism The Role of Pesticides& Pollution in Autism The Role of the Gut Microbiome in Autism

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t hitherto, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live gives 😛 TAGEND

2019: Evidence-Based Weight Loss 2016: How Not To Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers 2015: Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet 2014: From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food 2013: More Than an Apple a Day 2012: Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death

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What do you think?

Written by WHS


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