Autism Awaken Nutrition


ARI Publication 40 – 2013 Version

Single-blind study of 10 children with autism found that 8 benefitted from a GFCF diet.

Knivsberg et al. A randomised, controlled study ofdietary intervention in autistic syndromes. Nutr
Neurosci. 2002 Sep;5(4):251-61.

A 12-week, double-blind, cross-over study of a GFCF diet in 15 children with autism did not find
significant benefits, but parents reported benefits that were not identified by the testing.

Elder et at The gluten-free, casein-free diet in autism: results ofa preliminary double blind clinical trial.
J Autism Dev Disord. 2006 413-420.

A 12-month, randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled GFCF diet involving 54 children with
autism found statistically significant benefits in communication subscores (ADOS evaluation) in the
GFCF diet group compared to the control group. The parents (who were not blinded) also reported
benefits in social interaction, daily living skills, inattention, and hyperactivity.

Whitely et at The ScanBrit randomised, controlled, single-blind study ofa gluten- and casein-free dietary
intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders. Nutr Neurosci. 2010 Apr;13{2):87-100.

Overall, most of the above studies (except a small, short one by Elder et al) found that the GCFC
diet was beneficial for children with autism. More research is needed to determine if the primary
problem with these foods is immediate-allergy, delayed allergy, lactose intolerance, possible opioid
effect, or other factors, since in all these studies, characterization of food sensitivities in the study
subjects were lacking.

Other Diets:
Several other diets are being investigated currently. One alternative diet is the Specific
Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), which involves avoiding all carbohydrates and most sugars (except
monosaccharides in fruit). This diet is reasonable to consider in patients who do not respond well
to a gfcf diet because some individuals with autism have low levels of digestive enzymes for certain
sugars and carbohydrates (see Digestive Enzyme section). For more information on this diet, see It is recommended that an experienced nutritionist assist you with
implementing the diet, as some individuals have done poorly on a poorly-implemented version of
the diet.

For more information on GFCF and other diets, go to:

Autism Network for Dietary Intervention:

Books on how to implement GFCF and other Special Diets

Special Diets for Special Kids, by Lisa Lewis

The Kid-Friendly ADHD &Autism Cookbook, Updated and Revised: The Ultimate Guide to the
Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet by Pamela Compart M.D., Dana Laake R.D.H. M.S. L.D.N., Jon B.
Pangborn Ph.D. F.A.I.C. and Sidney MacDonald Baker M.D. (Apr 1, 2012)

Nourishing Meals by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre

Digestive Wellness by Elizabeth Lipski





Agape is proud to have been involved in this study and mentioned on page 16.>

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