Here's What We Know:
500,000 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with
some form of autism.
have shown that the inability to break down certain
foods may affect neurological processes in some children,
causing autistic behavior.
proteins found in wheat, rye, oats, barley and dairy
products (Gluten and Casein) are not completely broken
down in some autistic children.
proteins are similar. For best results both should
be eliminated for a trial period.
Urinary Peptide Test can detect any protein that is
not fully broken down and digested.
your physician or health professional to have this
simple, yet conclusive test done.
Can a Gluten-Free & Casein Free Diet Help?
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
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
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
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 childs 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 childs
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
For More Information Contact These Resources
Network for Dietary Intervention (ANDI)
Society of America
7910 Woodmont Avenue Suite 650
Bethesda, Maryland 20814-3015
Phone: (301) 657-0881
Special Diets for Special Kids, by Lisa Lewis
721 W. Abram Street
Arlington, TX 76013
Autism Research Unit (Sunderland, UK) - The Use
of Gluten and Casein Free Diets with People with Autism
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.
Its 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
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, its 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 childs
diet without consulting a physician first.