Gluten/casein free diet reported to have more success than drugs in most autism cases

Added on 09 May, 2006 .

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently released a report on the prevalence of autism in the US. The results were shocking and increased public awareness of autism exponentially with figures that were frightening to read.

Over a two year period the parents of almost 100,000 school age children were interviewed and the results indicated that almost 1 in 175 to 1 in 182 children is living with some form of autism in the US, a number which some researchers believe may still be conservative.

The Autism Research Institute published the findings of an ongoing study in 2005 focusing on different treatment interventions used in autism cases. They questioned over 23,000 parents of autistic children about therapies that they have used, and also their effectiveness or non-effectiveness. The treatment options fell under three major categories: drugs; biomedical non-drug therapies (including vitamin supplements); special diets.

Approximately 50 different drugs were reported as tested, and in approximately 31% of cases an improvement in symptoms was shown, however between 5% & 47% (depending on drug) of cases deteriorated while on drugs.

Biomedical non-drug therapies had a better success rate with between 2% & 16% (depending on supplement used) experiencing deterioration, and approximately 44% reporting an improvement.

And special diets is where the major drug companies experienced most dismay, approximately 50% of cases on a special diet showed improvement and only 2% a deterioration.

The removal of dairy products was trialled the most and 49% of cases on a dairy free diet found that there was an improvement in symptoms, with 2% experiencing a deterioration.

And the most exciting results were in the adoption of a gluten & casein free diet. 65% of trialled children with autism showed an improvement in their symptoms when on a gluten & casein free diet, and only 3% showed deterioration.

The increase in autism is a world-wide issue, the UK for example has seen increases of over 500% in just 7 years in some areas of the country, contributing to approximately 535,000 people suffering from autism in the UK, and more than 50,000 in Scotland alone. It is estimated that approximately 300,000 autistic school age children are now in the US, approximately 190,000 Canadians of all ages, and 1.8 million cases in China.

Because of its high success rate and low risk of side effects, unlike with some drug treatments, the gluten & casein free diet is becoming a more mainstream recommendation in the treatment of autism, and therefore should not be ignored as a potential treatment to alleviate autism symptoms.

This news item is not to be taken as medical advice:

The contents of this news item are not meant to indicate that going gluten & casein free is the magical cure for autism and associated developmental disorders, however it may be worth discussing with your General Practitioner and/or Paediatrician the possibilities of this approach.

No information on this page or website should be taken as medical advice. Before starting any food exclusion diet you must consult your General Practitioner and/or Paediatrician together with a registered Dietician.

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