Gluten-free /Casein-free Diet Improves Behavior in a Subset of Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

Jeffrey M. Kornitzer, Deborah Horenstein, Keith W. Pecor, Xue Ming

Division of Child Neurology, Department of Neurology, New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey, USA. Department of Biology, The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), Ewing, New Jersey, USA


This study investigated whether a gluten-free/casein-free (GFCF) diet was associated with amelioration of behavioral symptoms, language, and gastrointestinal symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).  A retrospective chart review compared gastrointestinal, developmental, and behavioral symptoms in children with ASDs and gastrointestinal complaints on a GFCF diet to those not on a GFCF diet.  Individuals on the GFCF diet were more likely to have reported improved speech (p < 0.001), behavior (p < 0.001), and severity of gastrointestinal symptoms (p = 0.038) than children in the control group.  Particularly noteworthy, all children with regressive ASDs on the GFCF diet reported improvement in behavior and/or language.  In this cohort, the GFCF diet was generally well-tolerated and without any serious adverse effects. Journal of Nature and Science (JNSCI), 3(1):e300, 2017



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