FeaturesAug/Sept 2008 Issue

Dietary Intrervention for Autism

 Dietary intervention for autism has its roots in solid science and medical research.

• 1991  Dr. Kalle Reichelt at the University of Oslo found opioid peptides derived from milk and wheat proteins in the urine of autistic patients. These peptides are believed to cause some symptoms of autism, such as self-absorption, self-stimulatory behaviors, sensory disturbances, bowel irregularities and insensitivity to pain. Researchers in Great Britain and the United States later replicated and expanded upon Reichelt’s work. This research became the basis for the “opioid excess” theory that underlies the GF/CF diet for autism.

• 2002  Dr. Timothy Buie, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Harvard/Mass General Hospital, performed over 400 endoscopies on autistic children. He discovered chronic inflammation of the digestive tract and abnormally low levels of starch-digesting enzymes in a disturbing proportion of these children. Buie estimates that more than half of all autistic children have symptoms of gastrointestinal illness, including stomach pain, gas, bloating, chronic diarrhea, food allergies and malabsorption issues.

• 2005  Research by Dr. J. Jyanouchi of the Autism Center at the New Jersey Medical School showed that children on the autism spectrum have an abnormal immune system response to cow’s milk, wheat and soy proteins.

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