Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 413–420 | Cite as

The Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet In Autism: Results of A Preliminary Double Blind Clinical Trial

  • Jennifer Harrison ElderEmail author
  • Meena Shankar
  • Jonathan Shuster
  • Douglas Theriaque
  • Sylvia Burns
  • Lindsay Sherrill


This study tested the efficacy of a gluten-free and casein-free (GFCF) diet in treating autism using a randomized, double blind repeated measures crossover design. The sample included 15 children aged 2–16 years with autism spectrum disorder. Data on autistic symptoms and urinary peptide levels were collected in the subjects’ homes over the 12 weeks that they were on the diet. Group data indicated no statistically significant findings even though several parents reported improvement in their children. Although preliminary, this study demonstrates how a controlled clinical trial of the GFCF diet can be conducted, and suggests directions for future research.


Autism diet gluten casein GFCF diet 



This work was supported by the University of Florida’s College of Nursing Biobehavioral NINR-funded research grant P20 NR 07791-03 and GCRC grant M01RR00082 from the National Institute of Research Resources, National Institutes of Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Harrison Elder
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Meena Shankar
    • 2
  • Jonathan Shuster
    • 2
  • Douglas Theriaque
    • 2
  • Sylvia Burns
    • 1
  • Lindsay Sherrill
    • 1
  1. 1.College of NursingUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.General Clinical Research CenterUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.College of NursingUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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