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 Elder
  • Meena Shankar
  • Jonathan Shuster
  • Douglas Theriaque
  • Sylvia Burns
  • Lindsay Sherrill
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Autism diet gluten casein GFCF diet 

REFERENCES

  1. American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.), Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR). Washington, DC: AuthorGoogle Scholar
  2. Arnold G. L., Hyman S. L., Mooney R., Kirby R. S., (2003). Plasma amino acids profiles in children with autism: Potential risk for nutritional deficiencies Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 33(4):449–454PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bzoch K., League R., (1970). The receptive-expressive emergent language scale for the measurement of language skills in infancy. Gainesville, FL: The Tree of Life PressGoogle Scholar
  4. Cade R., Privette M., Fregley M., Rowland N., Sun Z., Zele V., et al., (1999). Autism and schizophrenia: Intestinal disorders Nutritional Neuroscience 3:57–72Google Scholar
  5. Carr E. G., (1985). Behavioral approaches to communication in autism. In Schopler E., Mesibov G., (Eds.), Communicative problems in autism. Plenum Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. D’Eufemia P., Celli M., Finocchiaro R., Pacifico L., Viozzi L., Zaccagnini V., et al., (1996). Abnormal intestinal permeability in children with autism Acta Paediatrica 85(9):1076–1079PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dohan F. C., (1966). Cereals and schizophrenia, data and hypothesis Acta Physiologica Scandinavica 42:125–132Google Scholar
  8. Elder J. H., (1995). In-home communication intervention training for parents of multiply handicapped children Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice 9:71–92PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Elder J. H., Goodman J. J., (1996). Social turn-taking of children with neuropsychiatric impairments and their parents Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing 19:246–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Elder J. H., Valcante G., Won D., Zylis R., (2003). Effects of in-home training for culturally diverse fathers of children with autism Issues in Mental Health Nursing 24:273–295CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Feingold B. F., (1975). Why your child is hyperactive. Random House, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Fombonne E., (2003). The prevalence of autism Journal of American Medical Association 289(1):87–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hagman B., (1990). The gluten-free gourmet: Living well without wheat. Henry Holt & Co., New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. Hastings R. P., Brown T., (2002). Behavior problems of children with autism, parental self-efficacy, and mental health American Journal of Mental Retardation 107(3):222–232CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Hoover D. W., Millch R., (1994). Effects of sugar ingestion expectancies on mother–child interactions Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 22:501–510PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kanner L., (1943). Autistic disturbances of affective contact Nervous Children 2:217–250Google Scholar
  17. Kidder B., (1988). The milk-free kitchen: Living well without dairy products. Henry Holt & Co., New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. Knivsberg A. M., Reichelt K. L., Hoien T., Nodland M., (2002). A randomized, controlled study of dietary intervention in autistic syndromes Nutritional Neuroscience 5(4):251–261CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Lord C., Rutter M., LeCouteur A., (1994). Autism diagnostic interview-revised: A revised version of a diagnostic interview for caregivers of individuals with possible pervasive developmental disorders Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 24:659–685CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. MacDonald J. D., Gillette Y., Hutchinson T. A., (1989). ECO scales manual. Special Press, San Antonio, TXGoogle Scholar
  21. Prinz R. J., Roberts W. A., Hantman E., (1980). Dietary correlates of hyperactive behavior in children Journal of Consulting Clinical Psychology 48:760–771CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rutter M., (1978). Language disorder and infantile autism. In Rutter M., Schopler E., (Eds.), Autism: A reappraisal of concepts and treatment. Plenum Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  23. Schopler E., Reichler R. J., DeVellis R. F., Daly K., (1980). Toward objective classification of childhood autism: Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 10:91–103PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Schopler E., Reichler R. J., Renner B. R., (1986). The Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS): For diagnostic screening and classification of autism. Irvington, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  25. Shannon W. R., (1922). Neuropathologic manifestations in infants and children as a result of anaphalactic reaction to foods contained in their dietary American Journal of Disturbed Children 24:89Google Scholar
  26. Schakel S. F., Sievert Y. A., Buzzard I. M., (1988). Sources of data for developing and maintaining a nutrient database Journal of the American Dietetic Association 88:1268–1271PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Sun Z., Cade J. R., (1999). A peptide found in schizophrenia and autism causes behavioral changes in rats Autism 3(1):85–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sun Z., Cade J. R., Fregly M. J., Privette R. M., (1999). β-casomorphin induces fos-like immunoreactivity in discrete brain regions relevant to schizophrenia and autism Autism 3(1):67–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Tapp, J. (1996). The MOOSES lodge. Retrieved September 24, 2003, from http://kc.vanderbilt.edu/~jont/mooses.htmlGoogle Scholar
  30. Vojdani A., Pangborn J. B., Vojdani E., Cooper E. L., (2003). Infections, toxic chemicals and dietary peptides binding to lymphocyte receptors and tissue enzymes are major instigators of autoimmunity in autism International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology 16(3):189–199PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Wolraich M. L., (1996). Diet and behavior: What the research shows Contemporary Pediatrics 13(12):29–39Google Scholar
  32. Wolraich M. L., Stumbo P., Millch R., (1986). Dietary characteristics of hyperactive and control boys and their behavioral correlates Journal of the American Dietetic Association 86(4):500–504PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Harrison Elder
    • 1
    • 3
  • 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

Personalised recommendations