Conditions Associated with Gluten Sensitivity – Autism

September 7, 2010


Autism is a disorder that causes young children to not develop normal social relationships, and can begin from the age of two. An autistic child also behaves in compulsive and ritualistic ways, and often communicates in an abnormal manner.

High levels of antibodies to gluten and casein (a protein in milk products), have consistently been found in autistic children. Compelling research reveals that a gluten-free and casein-free diet can dramatically reduces the symptoms of autism.

A specialist in autism and schizophrenia from the University of Oslo in Norway, Karl-Ludwig Reichelt, M.D. – a paediatric researcher there, purports autistic children do not produce enough peptidases. Peptidases are enzymes that break down the peptides (amino acid chains) of casein and gluten. Consequentially, the partially digested peptides from casein and gluten enter the bloodstream through a compromised gut wall, then migrate to the brain, where they affect the individual’s cognition and behaviour. However, there are also other factors involved in the development of autism. For example, vaccinations and mercury toxicity have been involved, perhaps compromising gut integrity which allows casein and gluten peptides to pass into the bloodstream, attacking the central nervous system.

To investigate just how effective a gluten-free and casein-free diet is, a study by Reichelt in 1995 placed 15 autistic children on this diet for four years. Each autistic child, exhibited improved cognitive skills, social behaviour, and communication abilities – except on occasions when they ate foods containing gluten and casein. J. Robert Cade M.D., from the University of Florida, Gainesville, has also conducted similar research. One of his studies, found that 81 percent of autistic children he treated with a gluten-free, casein-free diet displayed improvements in their behaviour.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dave80 September 8, 2010 at 1:55 pm

unfortunately there are no official numbers about how many people are really strucked by this problem..or do you have some statistics?

2 Christine Harrigan September 29, 2010 at 11:02 am

Great to know theres people out there that have such a great website on Autism mmm………. alot of truth in the last paragrah

3 John Mathew September 30, 2010 at 2:09 am

Hi Paul, thanks for the great and useful information. I’ve got an 14 yo baby girl with autism. It’s not easy but every time I look at her smiling I forget all the problems,

4 Gluten Free Diet October 9, 2010 at 4:21 am

Here are some basic diet guidelines for autism and gluten free.

5 Kelly March 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Fair article. However, one other food allergen was not mentioned in this post – soy. This is another food item that many autistic children on the CFGF (casein free, gluten free) are now avoiding, particularly in the US. As soy is so widely used in today’s products, presenting various health concerns and being the most undiagnosed (& common) serious food allergens, many parents are now being advised to consider the removal of soy from the diet of a child struggling with ADHD and Autistic symptoms.

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