Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 1066–1071 | Cite as

Intestinal Permeability and Glucagon-like peptide-2 in Children with Autism: A Controlled Pilot Study

  • Marli A. RobertsonEmail author
  • David L. Sigalet
  • Jens J.  Holst
  • Jon B. Meddings
  • Julie Wood
  • Keith A. Sharkey
Original Paper


We measured small intestinal permeability using a lactulose:mannitol sugar permeability test in a group of children with autism, with current or previous gastrointestinal complaints. Secondly, we examined whether children with autism had an abnormal glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2) response to feeding. Results were compared with sibling controls and children without developmental disabilities. We enrolled 14 children with autism, 7 developmentally normal siblings of these children and 8 healthy, developmentally normal, unrelated children. Our study did not detect differences in these measures of gastrointestinal function in a group of children with autism.


Autism Nutrition Intestinal permeability Glucagon-like peptide 2 



We extend thanks to Laurie Wallace, Cathy Osadetz, Sue Smylie for research assistance, David Johnson MD for statistical analysis, as well as all the families who volunteered to participate in this study. This project was funded by the Jonty Foundation, Minnesota, USA.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marli A. Robertson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • David L. Sigalet
    • 3
    • 4
  • Jens J.  Holst
    • 5
  • Jon B. Meddings
    • 6
  • Julie Wood
    • 7
  • Keith A. Sharkey
    • 3
    • 8
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Alberta Children’s HospitalCalgaryCanada
  3. 3.Institute of Infection, Immunity and InflammationUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  4. 4.Department of SurgeryUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  5. 5.Department of Medical PhysiologyUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  6. 6.Department of MedicineUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  7. 7.Gastroenterology and NutritionAlberta Children’s HospitalCalgaryCanada
  8. 8.Department of Physiology and BiophysicsUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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