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No Evidence That Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet Successfully Treats Autistic Disorders

July 1, 2010: 08:38 AM EST
A U.S. review of published research has found that a gluten-free or casein-free (GFCF) diet is not effective in treating the range of disorders associated with autism. The causes of autism and related disorders are still unknown. Nevertheless, various unproven theories have been “translated into treatment methods and shared with the public” before any scientific evidence has been accumulated on safety and effectiveness. One theory suggested that autistic people have a gastrointestinal tract disorder that causes them to absorb the toxins from incompletely digested casein, found in dairy products, and gluten, found in various grains. Scientists looked at 15 major scientific studies on the GFCF diet as a treatment for autism, and found significant design flaws that invalidate the use of the diet as a treatment for autism.
Austin Mulloy, Russell Lang, Mark O’Reilly, Jeff Sigafoos, Giulio Lancioni and Mandy Rispoli, "Gluten-free and casein-free diets in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders: A systematic review", Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, July 01, 2010, © Elsevier B.V.
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