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Science Daily: Gluten & Autism

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The Age of Autism: Gluten clue from Case 2 By DAN OLMSTEDSnippet follows, click link for full article.

WASHINGTON, May 3 (UPI) -- Finding a treasure trove of documents about the family of one of the earliest cases of autism has led this column to offer two observations: Mercury may be associated with the disorder from the beginning, and cutting-edge research near the nation's capital may help explain why it was first discovered at Johns Hopkins University in nearby Baltimore.

There is another possible clue from that early case, and it bears directly on the observation by many parents that restrictive diets seem to improve autism symptoms in affected children.


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"At the present time, we do not know why the gluten/casein-free diet helps many autistic individuals." One theory is that they release opioid-like substances in the gut that can migrate to the brain.

From what I've researched and learned from discussions with my Dr.'s I'm pretty sure they do have a good understanding of why Autistic kids improve on a gluten-free/cf diet. Its just not "recognized" by mainstream because of the controversy surround mercurys involvement in triggering Autism. Its mainly the alternative Dr.'s who are recommending this diet as part of treatment in Autism.

Its been proven that the enzyme needed to break down gluten and casein is extremely sensitive to mercury. Mercury inhibits the function of enzymes....this is why kids do better on restricted diets....because they cant break down these foods.

It has also been shown that the dpp4 enzyme that we need to break down casein and gluten is blocked by mercury. So, in addition to the diet and giving appropriate nutrient supplementation, we also recommend children be properly assessed for heavy metal toxicity like mercury overload. After a child is stabilized on the diet, the gut symptoms diminish and they are being adequately fortified nutritionally (all very important), we often recommend testing and chelation therapy to remove the excessive toxins.

This is the exact problem that I have due to mercury overload. I do not have Celiac and according to the Dr.'s...after treatment...and when my body regains enzyme function I will again be able to eat the foods that I'm unable to eat now....which is nearly everything at this point. :rolleyes:

My Dr.'s are very involved in treating Autism. My treatment is similar to how they treat these kids...we share the same issues and I'm told that if all of this had occured when I was a year old rather than 31 years old...I would have been at very high risk for Autism.

Anyone can develop a gluten intolerance if mercury diasbles this critical enzyme. It can happen to anyone and at any age.

When the enzyme loses function the undigested proteins do end up leaving the gut....they enter the bloodstream and ultimately trigger an immune response.

Its not proven whether or not opiates are the cause of the symptoms which occur but it seems likely.

Isn't It Possible That the Positive Effects from the Gluten Free/Casein Free Diet Are Simply the Result of Improved Digestion?

I think your hypothesis that the improvements we see in behavior, speech, etc., are the result of a decrease in GI symptoms, and not the removal of opioid like substances has some merit. However, many researchers like Reichelt, Shattock and others are convinced that the removal of gluten and casein and the subsequent reduction in peptides directly impact those symptoms. It's most likely a combination of both.


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These are cookbooks, some might find interesting, they are based on the known connection between improved behavior and diet....

The Kid-Friendly Food Allergy Cookbook

More Than 150 Recipes That Are Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut Free, Egg Free

and Low in Sugar by Lynne Rominger and Leslie Hammond

Leslie Hammond knows that left-out feeling all too well. As a child she suffered from severe food allergies and would watch year after year as, when the birthday song had ended and she'd blown out the candles, her fancy party cake was whisked away and served to her friends, while she ate a dry rice cake. Now the mother of allergic children herself, Leslie vowed to spare her own children that trauma. She had developed over 100 recipes that will appeal to a kid's tastes. Unlike other food- allergy cookbooks already on the market, her recipes hardly ever call for the kinds of ingredients that would gross out any kid - like tofu.

The book's recipes take into account all of the most common food sensitivities like wheat and gluten, peanuts, or dairy. Each recipe can be modified to fit the dietary needs to the child.

It's divided into three sections - snacks, main dishes, and treats, Leslie and co-author Lynne Rominger also provide information about how to find what you need in a regular grocery store, instead of requiring a separate trip to the natural foods store. She writes from the perspective of an ordinary working mom, and doesn't design eating regimes that would take all day in the kitchen to satisfy.

With the recipes in this book, even the most sensitive child will get a cookie too.

The Kid-Friendly

ADHD and Autism Cookbook

The Ultimate Guide to the

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet

by Pamela Compart, M.D., and Dana Laake, RDH, MS, LD-N

The best 'kid-friendly' recipes and guide to the gluten-free milk-free diet for ADHD and Autism.

Common to both of these conditions is the negative impact of certain foods - especially milk products and glutens such as wheat(and to a lesser degree - soy and corn.) One of the challenges that parents face is coping with children who have picky appetites and crave the very foods that affect their behavior, focus and development. The other challenge is finding ways to get their children to eat healthy foods and improve their nutritional status.

The uniqueness of this book is that it not only provides gluten-free milk-free substitutes and recipes, it provides successful suggestions for feeding the picky eater. The authors share details about just how and why the diet works. The specialty ingredients are explained and extensive sources provided. There are also testimonials from the parents and from the children themselves.


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Here is more about the same...

About 20 years ago, Norwegian physician Kalle Reichelt, M.D. began studies of the digestion of autistic, schizophrenic and bi-polar children. At the same time, at the Sunderland University in England, Paul Shattock began work on the blood of autistic children.

They found, almost without exception, abnormal digestive processes, and especially of casein and gluten. In particular they found abnormal by-products called peptides in the urine of affected children. These peptides were almost identical in molecular form to opiates like morphine. It was determined these substances could cross the blood brain barrier and trigger the "opiate receptors." i.e. receptors in the brain.

If an autistic child appears stoned or far away, it is because they are being bombarded by peptides (gliadin and casomorphins). Where do these peptides come from?

Normal digestion of casein and gluten requires an enzyme called Di Peptyl Peptidase IV (DPPIV). Heavy metals, as well as yeast interfere with the production of DPPIV. Incompletely digested gluten and casein do not break down into the fundamental amino acids available to the body. Instead they become toxic peptides. Because of the leaky gut, the peptides go straight to the brain and interact with the opiate receptors there.


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