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Here's What We Know:
Over 500,000 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with some form of autism.

Studies have shown that the inability to break down certain foods may affect neurological processes in some children, causing autistic behavior.

The proteins found in wheat, rye, oats, barley and dairy products (Gluten and Casein) are not completely broken down in some autistic children.

Gluten/Casein proteins are similar. For best results both should be eliminated for a trial period.

A Urinary Peptide Test can detect any protein that is not fully broken down and digested.

Contact your physician or health professional to have this simple, yet conclusive test done.

How Can a Gluten-Free & Casein Free Diet Help?
Studies have shown that certain foods may affect neurological processes in some children, causing Autistic behavior. Recent research suggesting that foods containing gluten (the protein in wheat, oats, rye & barley) and casein (the protein in milk products) should be avoided by many Autistic children is gaining credibility.

Most people have the ability to break down gluten and casein proteins into peptides and further into amino acids. When our bodies are unable to break down these foods, the problem is often misdiagnosed as food allergies.

Medical professionals in England and Norway have performed several tests on children with Autism and discovered that 50% of these children do not break down gluten/casein proteins completely into amino acids. These undigested proteins (peptides) are then eliminated harmlessly in the urine. However, a few peptides enter into the bloodstream.

Unbroken peptides entering into the bloodstream may cause abnormal brain development and create an opiate-like affect. Opiates depress the activity of the nervous system including such reflexes as breathing rate and heart rate. They can cause the individual to feel drowsy, warm and content due to the relaxation. They also block pain sensations.

These opiates are highly addictive and can reach toxic levels. A chemical dependency may develop that makes it difficult to “quit” eating foods containing these substances. This may be a possible explanation as to why many children with Autism crave milk and wheat products.

A simple urine sample taken to perform a Urinary Peptide Test can detect unbroken peptides.

If high levels of these peptides do appear in the urine, many parents have chosen to remove gluten and casein from their child’s diet. Recent studies have indicated that many show positive results from this new diet. Others have not shown any changes. However, the positive results may be evident within one week or it may take a full year before parents notice any changes.

Of those parents reporting changes after removing gluten and casein proteins from their child’s diet, the experience is varied. Some parents have stated that their child was able to sleep through the night. Others have reported that their child was now able to interact with other children and more importantly, with the family. The most positive feedback voiced from parents is “My child, who never had speech, is now talking in sentences.” Many families feel this much evidence warrants a gluten-free and casein-free trial period for their child.

The Gluten-Free Pantry™ can help families adjust to the diet. Our staff is caring and knowledgeable regarding the gluten-free & casein-free diet. We carry a host of tasty products which meet these dietary requirements.

For More Information Contact These Resources

Autism Network for Dietary Intervention (ANDI)
Fax: 609-737-8453
E-mail: AutismNDI@aol.com

Autism Society of America
7910 Woodmont Avenue –Suite 650
Bethesda, Maryland 20814-3015
Phone: (301) 657-0881
Fax: (301)657-0869
E-Mail: info@autism-society.org

Special Diets for Special Kids, by Lisa Lewis Ph.D.
Future Horizons Inc.
721 W. Abram Street
Arlington, TX 76013
Phone: 800-489-07227
Fax: 817-277-2270

The Autism Research Unit (Sunderland, UK) - The Use of Gluten and Casein Free Diets with People with Autism

GFCF Diet - Gluten Free Casein Free Diet Support Group

Stocking A Gluten-Free Pantry
The offending gluten proteins are found in wheat, rye, oats and barley. Gluten is hidden in many unexpected foods such as licorice, soy sauce, vinegar, certain flavorings, most processed foods, self-basting turkeys, some cold cuts, and many prepared stocks and soups.

Gluten is also used as a binder in some pharmaceutical products and can be the starch in the non-specified food starch. Others include: modified food starch, caramel coloring, hydrolyzed or vegetable protein. It’s also important to avoid products where the ingredients are of questionable origin or are listed as simply “natural flavorings, flavor extracts, or spice extracts”, as gluten may be used in processing them.

Most food manufacturers have toll-free customer service numbers and will gladly check on the source of these questionable ingredients. Until you are sure a product is gluten-free, it’s best not to use it.

Please remember that not every treatment may be right for your child. This information is provided as a resource. We do not suggest changing your child’s diet without consulting a physician first.

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