Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 205–220 | Cite as

The Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Diet: A Double-Blind Challenge Trial in Children with Autism

  • Susan L. Hyman
  • Patricia A. Stewart
  • Jennifer Foley
  • Usa Cain
  • Robin Peck
  • Danielle D. Morris
  • Hongyue Wang
  • Tristram Smith
Original Paper

Abstract

To obtain information on the safety and efficacy of the gluten-free/casein-free (GFCF) diet, we placed 14 children with autism, age 3–5 years, on the diet for 4–6 weeks and then conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled challenge study for 12 weeks while continuing the diet, with a 12-week follow-up. Dietary challenges were delivered via weekly snacks that contained gluten, casein, gluten and casein, or placebo. With nutritional counseling, the diet was safe and well-tolerated. However, dietary challenges did not have statistically significant effects on measures of physiologic functioning, behavior problems, or autism symptoms. Although these findings must be interpreted with caution because of the small sample size, the study does not provide evidence to support general use of the GFCF diet.

Keywords

Autism Diet therapy Gluten-free Casein-free Treatment outcomes 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan L. Hyman
    • 1
  • Patricia A. Stewart
    • 2
  • Jennifer Foley
    • 1
  • Usa Cain
    • 1
  • Robin Peck
    • 2
  • Danielle D. Morris
    • 1
  • Hongyue Wang
    • 3
  • Tristram Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Department of PediatricsUniversity of Rochester Medical CenterRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics and Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, Saunders Research BuildingUniversity of Rochester Medical CenterRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology, Saunders Research BuildingUniversity of Rochester Medical CenterRochesterUSA

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