A Gluten-Free Diet Will Not Help Your Child’s Autism

Despite gluten-free diets going mainstream, they do have their place.

Not only are they fundamental for those with celiac disease, the issues of non-celiac gluten intolerance appear to be very real (if not indicative of some other hidden food intolerances).

But is gluten a problem for your autistic child? Will putting your child on a gluten-free diet help manage symptoms?

The evidence continually says no.

The Latest Study On Gluten-Free Diets and Autism

Interest around gluten-free diets for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been growing for decades.

Since the 1970s, parents have been reporting behavior improvements when their child has been on a gluten-free (and often times casein-free) diet. The theory is that an incomplete breakdown of gluten and casein (dairy milk) proteins in the body produces opioid peptides. These peptides may cross into the brain of the child, causing the symptoms of ASD.

The latest study from the University of Rochester Medical Center used rigorous methodology to test if a gluten-free, casein-free diet actually does help relieve symptoms of ASD. Over a period of 12 weeks, fourteen children with confirmed ASD were rotated through different food challenges using specially-designed snacks that contained only gluten, only casein, both gluten and casein or neither (the placebo to compare against). It was designed in a way that each child’s individual response to the diet could be measured and is the most well-controlled trial of its kind to date (1).

The main finding was that a gluten-free, casein-free diet did not improve measures of “physiologic function, behavioral disturbance (sleep disruption and over activity), or ASD-related behaviors.” Interestingly on the days that gluten and casein were given, some children actually had fewer negative social relationship symptoms. If anything this trend suggests gluten and casein actually improves social behavior.

Previous Studies 

The design of that latest study is what is considered the “gold standard” of research (double-blinded, randomized and placebo-controlled) and is the highest quality scientific evidence available.

Only two other studies meeting those standard have previously been published. Both of those trials did not observe any significant behavioral changes at any end point where children strictly followed a gluten-free, casein-free diet (2, 3).

So the current evidence overwhelmingly indicates that a gluten-free diet does not help with the primary treatment of ASD, a position that the American Academy of Pediatrics also supports (4).

Summary

There is good evidence that cutting out gluten can be beneficial for those with an underactive thyroid or those with suspected food sensitivities.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for treating autism, so take these findings into consideration before you decide if going gluten-free is right for you or your child.

Perhaps the best next step you could take is adopting a furry friend?

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44 comments

Mary L.
Mary L.2 years ago

hello everybody ,please don't think this testimony is a scam ,is real right there in south Africa ,am a very honest woman ,i can never post false testimony on social media ,so let me go straight to the point .i was diagnosed with Autism for two years,living a life of fear for two good years .until one i saw a post about a good herbalist in south Africa curing people from a deadly disease,such herpes,Autism,Als,cancer, hiv,with his herbal medicine and he is also a spell caster, i thought it was not true,then i said let me try ,because am used to trying ,i have been trying for two years,till that day GOD wipe my tears,with DR Omoa ,He his gifted ,and he is so honest ,so easy to get along with ,so after i contacted him via his email.dradanikesolutionhome@outlook.com , or contact his hot line whatsapp: 2348141309378 so he replied and said my problem is solved that i must stop thinking,so i believed and have faith that i will be cured ,so i purchased the herbal medicine and he sent the herbal medicine to me through courier service ,when i received it ,he told me how to use it ,so i followed exactly the way he said i must use it,he said i will be totally cured after two weeks ,so after two week i went to see our family doctor he tested me and said am negative ,i was so happy i thought i was dreaming ,pls don't ignore this post ,if u think is not real try ,and u will testify just like me …thanks to Dr Omoa ,GOD BLESS U
again email ( dradanikesolutionhome@outlook

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Mary L.
Mary L.2 years ago

hello everybody ,please don't think this testimony is a scam ,is real right there in south Africa ,am a very honest woman ,i can never post false testimony on social media ,so let me go straight to the point .i was diagnosed with Autism for two years,living a life of fear for two good years .until one i saw a post about a good herbalist in south Africa curing people from a deadly disease,such herpes,Autism,Als,cancer, hiv,with his herbal medicine and he is also a spell caster, i thought it was not true,then i said let me try ,because am used to trying ,i have been trying for two years,till that day GOD wipe my tears,with DR Omoa ,He his gifted ,and he is so honest ,so easy to get along with ,so after i contacted him via his email.dradanikesolutionhome@outlook.com , or contact his hot line whatsapp: 2348141309378 so he replied and said my problem is solved that i must stop thinking,so i believed and have faith that i will be cured ,so i purchased the herbal medicine and he sent the herbal medicine to me through courier service ,when i received it ,he told me how to use it ,so i followed exactly the way he said i must use it,he said i will be totally cured after two weeks ,so after two week i went to see our family doctor he tested me and said am negative ,i was so happy i thought i was dreaming ,pls don't ignore this post ,if u think is not real try ,and u will testify just like me …thanks to Dr Omoa ,GOD BLESS U
again email ( dradanikesolutionhome@outlook

SEND
Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Nikki Davey
Nikki Davey3 years ago

Shared to a friend.

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Nikki Davey
Nikki Davey3 years ago

Thanks. Desperate parents will clutch at straws though.

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Fi T.
Past Member 3 years ago

Check well before believing

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Carole R.
Carole R3 years ago

Thanks for the post.

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Patricia Harris
John Taylor3 years ago

I have autism!

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Alyssa R.
Alyssa R3 years ago

Oh, how incredibly shocking /s

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Teresa W.
Teresa W3 years ago

Is the EU stupid? I don't think so. Here is an article for Big Pharma fans on Care2:
http://www.natural.news/2015-09-21-eu-to-begin-investigating-hpv-vaccines-linked-to-permanent-brain-damage-in-children.html

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