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Scientific study: the ScanBrit randomised, controlled, single-blind study of a gluten- and casein-free dietary intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders

October 2013 | 5 min read

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With the increasing interest in use of gluten-free and casein-free diets in children with autism spectrum disorders, this study sought to determine the effects of these diets using a randomized controlled design. The study included 72 Danish children (4 to 11 years old), with approximately half receiving the gluten- and casein-free diet while the other children ate their regular diets. After two years, 35 children had remained in the study.

Key Points

  • Results suggested symptoms of autism and attention-deficit hyperactivity improved in children on the diet after 12 months.
  • After 24 months, there was evidence these positive results were sustained, although a leveling-off of the effects may have been seen.
  • The authors concluded, “Our results suggest dietary intervention may positively affect developmental outcome for some children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.”

Key Takeaways

While these results are encouraging, further study is needed to help define which children might respond best to dietary intervention or a gluten-free diet.

Source:

Whiteley P, et al. The ScanBrit randomised, controlled, single-blind study of a gluten- and casein-free dietary intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders. Nutritional Neuroscience, 2010; 13(2):87-100. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20406576

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