Avoiding Gluten And Milk Doesn't Relieve Autism Symptoms

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Avoiding Gluten And Milk Doesn't Relieve Autism Symptoms
Avoiding Gluten And Milk Doesn't Relieve Autism Symptoms
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Avoiding gluten and milk doesn't relieve autism symptoms

Gluten-free and casein-free diets do not make sense as standard treatment for all children with autism spectrum disorder. Such nutrition is advisable only for certain gastrointestinal disorders.

Avoiding gluten and milk doesn't relieve autism symptoms
Avoiding gluten and milk doesn't relieve autism symptoms

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Gluten-free and casein-free diets do not make sense as standard treatment for all children with autism spectrum disorder. This was shown by a Spanish study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Such nutrition is advisable only for certain gastrointestinal disorders.

Given the limited approaches to the treatment of autism spectrum disorders, ASD, many families are turning to alternative treatments, among which gluten-free and casein-free diets are very popular. According to some authors, such a diet has a beneficial effect on the symptoms of autism, but most studies, especially recent ones, have not found convincing evidence.

Researchers from the University of Granada analyzed the effects of gluten-free and casein-free diets on behavior. They also measured the level of beta-casomorphin (a peptide that is formed in the intestines when the protein in cow's milk casein is not digested) in the urine of children with ASD.

In cases of abnormal permeability of the intestinal wall, beta-casomorphine enters the bloodstream and reaches the central nervous system, having a toxic effect. Some researchers have identified peptiduria (an abnormal presence of peptides in the urine) in children with ASD and have found a decrease in these peptides with a gluten and casein free diet.

Spanish scientists conducted two studies. The first, pilot, involved 28 children and adolescents with ASD who followed a gluten-free diet for three months and then switched to a casein-free diet for another three months. In a second study, 37 children and adolescents with ASD followed these diets sequentially for six months.

Analysis of all the results obtained did not reveal significant changes in either behavior or in the level of beta-casomorphin in urine.

Study leader Pablo José González-Domenech notes the need for further double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, as well as the use of biomarkers to determine who may benefit from these diets.

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