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Food and Autism

Written by: Dr. Lynn Averill, MD, PhD & Dr. Bennett

Lucarelli S, Frediani T, Zingoni AM, Ferruzzi F, Giardini O, Quintieri F, Barbato M, D'Eufemia P, Cardi E. Food allergy and infantile autism. Panminerva Med. 1995 Sep;37(3):137-41.

Original PubMed Article


Dr. Averill:

  • Autistic patients should be tested for wheat and milk products by IgG in standard panel; patients with epilepsy, migraine and schizophrenia should also be tested
  • A worsening of neurological symptoms has been reported in autistic patients after the consumption of milk and wheat- because there is cross reactivity in immune response to food peptides and neuropeptides.
  • Report a marked improvement in the behavioural symptoms of patients after a period of 8 weeks on an elimination diet and we found high levels of IgA antigen specific antibodies for casein, lactalbumin and B-lactoglobulin and IgG and IgM for casein. The levels of these antibodies were significantly higher than those of a control group which consisted of 20 healthy children. Our results lead us to hypothesize a relationship between food allergy and infantile autism as has already been suggested for other disturbances of the central nervous system.
  • Also migrane and epilepsy may be related to food allergy
  • Dohan noticed an improvement in the psychiatric symptoms of schizophrenic patients on a gluten free diet regimen. The idea was confirmed by the anti-gliadin antibodies which were found in 17-20% of his schizophrenic patients. It was then hypothesized that an immunological mechanism could be at the root of psychiatric disturbance.

Dr. Bennett:

  • Rationale for IgG food allergy testing for children with diagnosed autism