Original Paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 40, Issue 9, pp 1131-1138

First online:

Digestive Enzyme Supplementation for Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial

  • Sujeeva A. MunasingheAffiliated withState Child Development Centre Email author 
  • , Carolyn OliffAffiliated withState Child Development Centre
  • , Judith FinnAffiliated withUniversity of Western Australia
  • , John A. WrayAffiliated withState Child Development Centre

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To examine the effects of a digestive enzyme supplement in improving expressive language, behaviour and other symptoms in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial using crossover design over 6 months for 43 children, aged 3–8 years. Outcome measurement tools included monthly Global Behaviour Rating Scales, Additional Rating Scales of other symptoms by parents and therapists, and monthly completion of the Rescorla Language Development Survey. Compared with placebo, treatment with enzyme was not associated with clinically significant improvement in behaviour, food variety, gastrointestinal symptoms, sleep quality, engagement with therapist, or the Language Development Survey Vocabulary or Sentence Complexity Scores. A small statistically significant improvement on enzyme therapy was seen for the food variety scores. No clinically significant effect improvement of autism symptoms with enzyme use was shown with this trial, however, possible effects on improvement in food variety warrants further detailed investigation.


Autism Randomized Double-blind Placebo-controlled Enzymes