Many parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) report that behavior improves when their children eat a diet free of the proteins gluten and casein. Much has been said about the gluten free, casein free (GFCF) diet and its use to help individuals with autism.
Many families with children newly identified with autism wonder if it’s something their child should follow, and others who have been following the diet wonder if they should continue to adhere to it.
How good is the gluten free casein free diet for autism? The main studies show that children with autism do better in school. Some children with autism improve, some only modestly and some barely at all. The gluten free casein free diet is not an anti yeast diet.
The gluten free casein free diet allows some major yeast offenders such as vinegar, pickles, chocolate, peanut butter and corn. Both peanuts and corn are often contaminated with mold. Chicken are fed much cottonseed and cottonseed is contaminated with mold.
So if a child with autism is taken off gluten and casein but is continued on vinegar and is put on more chicken, peanut butter and corn, what will happen? Whatever benefits there are from removing gluten and casein will be taken away by adding to the diet more mold in the form of chicken, peanut butter and corn.
The intestinal yeast will still be there making toxic chemicals. The child with autism will show only minimal improvement and the improvement and behavior will fluctuate, depending on what the child has eaten.
This gluten free casein free diet is often recommended today as the main thing to do for autistic children. However, the gluten free/casein free diet is appropriate only after the anti-yeast diet has been started. The gluten free casein free diet allows eating of vinegar, pickles, and other foods containing toxic yeast chemicals which are quite toxic to the brains of autistic children.
Except for elimination of malt, there is no overlap between foods eliminated on a gluten free/casein free diet and foods eliminated on Stage 1 of the anti-yeast diet (as described in the book An Extraordinary Power to Heal and Feast Without Yeast). Malt (which is actually a specially sprouted barley product) should be eliminated on a gluten free/ casein free diet and malt is the number 1 item to eliminate on an anti-yeast diet. However, too many other foods containing toxic chemicals can be left in on a gluten free/casein free diet, to use this diet as the only therapy.