The experts would say no. (All cites available at my website with much more.)
BMJ. 2002 Aug 24;325(7361):419-21
But parents estimate the food allergies five times as high. And parents are reliable indicators of other autistic behaviors.
What does the Cochrane Database have to say about gluten-free for autism?
the fourth outcome, reduction in autistic traits, reported a significant beneficial treatment effect for the combined gluten- and casein- free diet.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(2):CD003498
So given the downsides of gluten-free are dietary constraints and the upsides are improved neurological function, it makes sense for families with autistic children to go gluten-free for a trial period. Previously it was thought too demanding, but now we have a range of gluten-free products that mimic many of the bread-lover’s favorites. Not to presume for a moment that this will meet the discerning palate of your Autistic child, who can smell “fake” bread at twenty yards.
The reality is that autistic children without gluten symptoms still react to the protein. So it is worth the trial to make sure twenty years in the child has had a trial to check.
To evaluate an association between cytokine production with common dietary proteins as a marker of non-allergic food hypersensitivity (NFH) and gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were obtained from 109 ASD children with or without GI symptoms (GI [+] ASD, N = 75 and GI (-) ASD, N = 34], from children with NFH (N = 15), and control subjects (N = 19). Diarrhea and constipation were the major GI symptoms. We measured production of type 1 T-helper cells (Th1), type 2 T-helper cells (Th2), and regulatory cytokines by PBMCs stimulated with whole cow’s milk protein (CMP), its major components (casein, beta-lactoglobulin, and alpha-lactoalbumin), gliadin, and soy.
PBMCs obtained from GI (+) ASD children produced more tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha)/interleukin-12 (IL-12) than those obtained from control subjects with CMP, beta-lactoglobulin, and alpha-lactoalbumin, irrespective of objective GI symptoms. They also produced more TNF-alpha with gliadin, which was more frequently observed in the group with loose stools. PBMCs obtained from GI (-) ASD children produced more TNF-alpha/IL-12 with CMP than those from control subjects, but not with beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactoalbumin, or gliadin. Cytokine production with casein and soy were unremarkable.
A high prevalence of elevated TNF-alpha/IL-12 production by GI (+) ASD PBMCs with CMP and its major components indicates a role of NFH in GI symptoms observed in children with ASD.
- PMID: 15870662
- Gluten-Free Saver (glutenfreeinga.wordpress.com)
- Seattle Sans Gluten // Blue Moon Burgers (gracefullyglutenfree.net)
- Would You Go Gluten-Free in the Name of Beauty? (bellasugar.com)
- Gluten-Free Bread! (pattiemarie.wordpress.com)
- Special Diets (fromonespecialmothertoanother.wordpress.com)
- Make Your Own Allergy-Friendly Version Of Your Favorite Recipes (thefoodallergymom.wordpress.com)
- Preventing Weight Gain When You Eat Gluten-Free (everydayhealth.com)
- gluten free banana strawberry loaf… (sugar free too if you skip the chocolate chunks) (queenirony.wordpress.com)
- Sidestep the Side Effects of Eating Gluten-Free (everydayhealth.com)
- Gluten-free diet eases autism, say parents (holykaw.alltop.com)
- Some Children With Autism May Benefit From A Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Gluten-free, casein-free diet may help some children with autism (eurekalert.org)
- Gluten-free, casein-free diet may help some children with autism, research suggests (sciencedaily.com)
- Top 10 Gluten-Free Snacks (everydayhealth.com)
- Taking the leap (amominspired.com)
- Free Beer! and a gluten free journey (ibrokemyumbrella.com)
- Will Going Gluten-Free Make You Healthier? (everydayhealth.com)