Celiac.com 11/18/2019 - So far, the little research that's been done suggests that a gluten-free diet does not help to improve to improve the functioning of children with autism spectrum disorders.
A team of researchers recently conducted a randomized, controlled, single-blinded trial to see if children with autism spectrum disorders showed any difference in functioning on a gluten-free diet compared with a gluten-containing diet.
Their team assessed a total of sixty-six children with autism spectrum disorders, within normal IQ range, above 70, who had been on a gluten-free diet for at least two months before enrollment.
After continuing a gluten-free diet for two-months, the gluten-free diet group continued this diet, while the gluten-containing diet group consumed at least one normal meal containing gluten per day for 6 months.
At the end of the trial period, the two groups showed no differences in autistic symptoms, maladaptive behaviors, or intellectual abilities. In this study, children with autism spectrum disorders eating a gluten-free diet did not show any significant signs of improved functioning compared with those who ate a gluten-containing diet.
These results confirm the results of an earlier, similar study from 2015.
So, the takeaway here is that a gluten-free diet does not improve functionality in patients with autism spectrum disorder.