The new Gluten and Casein free diet is quite popular among parents with autistic children. The Gluten and Casein free diet, known as the GFCF diet is considered as an alternative treatment for autism symptoms.
The GFCF diet was based on the theory by WebMD that suggests that autistic children are prone to gluten or casein allergy. The theory also states that autistic individuals process the peptides and proteins present in foods with gluten and casein differently. The idea behind opting for the GFCF diet was to reduce autistic symptoms.
Gluten is mix of proteins in grains like wheat and rye. Most of the baked products contain Gluten as it provides binding for baked foods. Casein is usually found in dairy products. Therefore, it is difficult to completely eliminate Gluten and Casein from the diet. It is necessary to find other sources of calcium, and vitamin D to add to the diet as the GFCF diet restricts dairy products and many grains.
No medical research till date, has been able to support the effectiveness of the GFCF diet for autism. The American Academy of Pediatrics in two systematic reviews and a consensus report has concluded that cutting down Gluten and Casein is unlikely to help symptoms of Autism. Though a few unscientific reports claim to see improvement due to implementation of the GFCF diet, it is more likely to be due to accompanying treatments and healthy lifestyle habits.
The GFCF diet can be considered in case the child is tested and found to be allergic to Gluten or Casein. As there is no concrete evidence about the positive changes for managing symptoms of Autism, the GFCF diet should not be used to treat it.
Tags : Gluten , Casein , Autism,