Mayo Clinic - No Evidence to Support Gluten Casein Free Autism Diet
Posted Sep 12 2008 11:32am
An unidentified poster asked an expert from the Mayo Clinic whether there special diets, specifically Gluten Casein free diets can help children with autism. The Mayo Clinic per pediatrician Jay Hoecker, M.D., state clearly that there is NO EVIDENCE to support the effeciveness of gluten casein free diets. This one was popular when my son was diagnosed 9 years ago and we tried it for awhile and saw no benefit. Dr. Hoecker also emphasizes the potential harm from nutritional deficiencies that might arise from such a diet.
There's no evidence that special diets, such as restricting certain foods, are an effective treatment for autism.
Autism is a complex brain disorder that has no known cure. For this reason, many frustrated parents turn to unproven alternative treatments in an attempt to help their children. The most popular of these alternative treatments are diets that eliminate gluten or casein, or both.
Proponents of restrictive diets believe that casein, a protein found in dairy products, and gluten, a protein found in many grains, affect brain development and behavior, causing autism in some children. However, there's no scientific evidence that this is true or that restricting these foods improves autism. Furthermore, restrictive diets can result in nutritional deficiencies in growing children.
Parents should talk to their child's doctor before starting any alternative autism treatment. Although no cure for autism exists, early behavioral and educational interventions can help children with autism improve their communication and social skills.