What RDs and Other Professionals Advise about Working with Families with Autism
This page contains several Peer-Reviewed Articles to provide more evidence on the current research about the GFCF diet and other issues. It is not meant to be a comprehensive collection of the research base available.
Marcason W. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Mar;109(3):572.What is the current status of research concerning use of a gluten-free, casein-free diet for children diagnosed with autism?
- Widespread use of complementary and alternative medicine including supplements and gluten and casein free diet (GFCF).
- Drawbacks to GFCF diets: difficult for parents to follow, extra costs, extra time for preparation, risk of nutritional inadequacies, especially in children who self-restrict diets
- “….at this time more research is needed” – two studies underway
- Implications: “nutrition professionals have an important role to play in ensuring the health and safety of autistic children whose families have chosen to pursue dietary approaches…….it’s important to urge families to regularly evaluate the pros and cons of all dietary approaches to treatment.
- RE supplements: “Some therapies don’t have good documentation but seem to be beneficial. I establish that I am an expert in sorting through nutrition therapies, and that is why they are paying me.” “ I encourage them to take a good look at the cost….”
- “Remind everyone that this is a marathon, not a print. Is this something you can mange long term and, if not, do you see a time when this treatment will be able to be discontinued….how will you handle emergencies when mom or whoever is managing the diet is unavailable…when your child is an adult?
- “Much of the research is anecdotal, that that doesn’t mean any of these treatments won’t yield improvements. ….I encourage parents to look at both sets of research both peer-reviewed and anecdotal and make up their own minds.
Page Updated 11/5/2010 -- Yvette Fierce