Hi, I’m Craig Kendall, the author of The Asperger’s Syndrome Survival Guide. In today’s issue we will discuss…
Can a Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet Help with
Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley and rye) and casein (the main protein in milk and cheese) are known to cause autoimmune responses in a small percentage of people, and are suspected of playing a role in autism symptoms for some people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. If you are caring for someone with autism, you may have noticed the gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms that frequently plague those with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Recent research suggests that cutting out gluten and casein can help improve behaviors, creating compelling evidence of the link between digestion, immune system and autism.
Gluten, Casein and Autoimmune Diseases
Gluten and casein are among the most common proteins that can interfere with the body’s natural immune response. When these proteins are consumed by those with sensitivities, they can trigger an autoimmune disease where the body will attack normal, healthy tissues, creating a wide variety of symptoms that include behavior, digestion and other health problems. Cutting out foods containing gluten or casein can reduce or completely reverse their associated autoimmune diseases.
How Does this Relate to Autism Spectrum Disorder?
In results published earlier this year by ScienceDaily, scientists queried nearly 400 parents or caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and found that in those who had GI symptoms or food allergies, cutting out gluten and casein provided improvement in not only GI symptoms, but also social behaviors such as eye contact, attention span and language production. This improvement was greater than in children who did not already have GI symptoms or food allergies.
These improvements were also much greater in children who followed a strict gluten-free and casein-free diet for more than six months. Researchers also concluded that eliminating both of these proteins was much more effective than eliminating just one.
What Does this Mean for Me?
If your child is suffering from the GI symptoms or food allergies that are more common in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, following a diet that is free from gluten and casein may bring about improvements in digestive health, as well as behavioral issues, but such a diet must be strictly followed for at least six months to see the most benefits.
Research continues to establish the strong connection between digestion, immune system disorders and autism. The more we learn about how diet can impact all of these systems, the better able to treat and improve the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder we will be. For those children with autism suffering from GI, a gluten-free, casein-free diet may provide relief from many of the common symptoms of both of these conditions.
It’s not always possible to avoid gluten and casein at every meal. When you do consume food containing gluten or casein take an enzyme that helps with the digestion of those proteins. One specifically formulated for this and one that I recommend for my family is Nutrafoods’ Gluten Enzyme.
Also remember to consider the importance of Probiotic, the friendly and healthy organisms that live in our intestines. Consuming gluten and/or casein as well as use of antibiotics can result in poor gut health in those with ASD. Replenishing healthy Probiotic organisms is critical to the health of the gut and immune system. The one product I recommend for my family is Nutrafoods’ Probiotic.
NutraFoods often offers BIG DISCOUNTS. Click here to see what specials are currently running.
For much more detail on this subject and other treatments and therapies read Craig Kendall’s book, New Hope for Autism.