1. bookVolume 75 (2021): Issue 6 (December 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2255-890X
First Published
14 Sep 2008
Publication timeframe
6 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD/GAPS) and Dietary Supplements for Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Volume & Issue: Volume 75 (2021) - Issue 6 (December 2021)
Page range: 417 - 425
Received: 22 Mar 2021
Accepted: 17 Nov 2021
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2255-890X
First Published
14 Sep 2008
Publication timeframe
6 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

The objective of the study was to investigate the potential of a specific carbohydrate diet and selected dietary supplements in reducing some autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms in children. This was a quantitative, non-blinded, non-randomised three-month pilot study of a dietary and nutritional intervention. The study participants were 17 children from Latvia and the United Kingdom with a diagnosis of ASD or autistic symptoms waiting to be diagnosed (intervention group n = 10, control group n = 7). The intervention group received a specific carbohydrate dietary plan — Specific Carbohydrate Diet / Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet (SCD/GAPS) — and a few dietary supplements (omega-3 essential fatty acids, ascorbyl-palmitate, probiotics, vitamin D, and vitamin C). Family compliance to the dietary guidelines was 40–80%. Autistic and digestive symptoms were evaluated by parents using validated questionnaires. By the end of the study, gastrointestinal symptoms decreased in both groups (p = 0.01 for the intervention group, p = 0.02 for the control group), especially abdominal pain and bloating. The Overall Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) score decreased by 23% in the intervention group (p = 0.05), with the largest improvement in Socialising (p = 0.03) and Health/Behaviour (p = 0.02) aspects. The Aberrant Behaviour Checklist (ABC) score decreased by 29% in the intervention group (p = 0.01), with the largest improvement in Irritability (p < 0.01) and Hyperactivity (p = 0.02) subcategories. Overall Parent Global Impressions — Revised-2 (PGI-2) evaluation showed a 43% improvement in the intervention group in comparison to 14% in the control group, p = 0.02. The specific carbohydrate diet (SCD/GAPS) and supplements were found to be a safe and effective approach for reducing some symptoms of ASD in children.

Keywords

Abele, S. (2019). Uzturs ar samazinātu ogļhidrātu saturu (SCD/GAPS) autiskā spektra simptomu mazināšanai bērniem — pilotpētījums, Maģistra darbs, Latvijas Universitāte, Latvija. [Low Carb Diet (SCD/GAPS) for Reducing Autistic Spectrum Symptoms in Children — A Pilot Study]. https://dspace.lu.lv/dspace/handle/7/46763 (accessed 05.11.2021). Search in Google Scholar

Adams, J. B., Audhya, T., Geis, E., Gehn, E., Fimbres, V., Pollard, E. L., Mitchell, J., Ingram, J., Hellmers, R., Laake, D., et al. (2018). Comprehensive nutritional and dietary intervention for autism spectrum disorder: A randomized, controlled 12-month trial. Nutrients, 10 (3), 369.10.3390/nu10030369587278729562612 Search in Google Scholar

Adams, J. B., Audhya, T., McDonough-Means, S., Rubin, R. A., Quig, D., Geis, E., Gehn, E., Loresto, M., Mitchell, J., Atwood, S., Barnhouse, S., Lee, W. (2011a). Effect of a vitamin/mineral supplement on children and adults with autism. BMC Pediatr, 11, 111.10.1186/1471-2431-11-111326620522151477 Search in Google Scholar

Adams, J. B., Audhya, T., McDonough-Means, S., Rubin, R. A., Quig, D., Geis, E., Gehn, E., Loresto, M., Mitchell, J., Atwood, S., Barnhouse, S., Lee, W. (2011b). Nutritional and metabolic status of children with autism vs. neurotypical children, and the association with autism severity. Nutr. Metab. (Lond), 8, 34.10.1186/1743-7075-8-34313551021651783 Search in Google Scholar

Adams, J. B., Johansen, L. J., Powell, L. D., Quig, D., Rubin, R. A. (2011c). Gastrointestinal flora and gastrointestinal status in children with autism -comparisons to typical children and correlation with autism severity. BMC Gastroenterol., 11, 22.10.1186/1471-230X-11-22307235221410934 Search in Google Scholar

Barbaro, J., Dissanayake, C. (2009). Autism spectrum disorders in infancy and toddlerhood: A review of the evidence on early signs, early identification tools, and early diagnosis. J. Devel. Behav. Pediatr., 30 (5), 447–459.10.1097/DBP.0b013e3181ba0f9f19823139 Search in Google Scholar

Buie, T., Campbell, D. B., Fuchs, G. J., Furuta, G. T., Levy, J., VandeWater, J., Whitaker, A. H., Atkins, D., Bauman, M. L., Beaudet, A. L., et al. (2010). Evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders in individuals with ASDs: A consensus report. Pediatrics, 125 (Supplement 1), S1–S18.10.1542/peds.2009-1878C20048083 Search in Google Scholar

Campbell-McBride, N. (2004). Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Depression, Schizophrenia. Medinform Publishing, Cambridge. 392 pp. Search in Google Scholar

[CDC] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Data & Statistics on Autism Spectrum Disorder. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html (accessed 03.01.2021). Search in Google Scholar

Chiarotti, F., Venerosi, A. (2020). Epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders: A review of worldwide prevalence estimates since 2014. Brain Sci., 10 (5), 274.10.3390/brainsci10050274728802232370097 Search in Google Scholar

Cubala-Kucharska, M. (2010). The review of most frequently occurring medical disorders related to aetiology of autism and the methods of treatment. Acta Neurobiol. Exp. (Wars), 70 (2), 141–146. Search in Google Scholar

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM – V (2013). American Psychiatric Publishing, Washington, DC. 947 pp. Search in Google Scholar

Edelson, S. M. (2019). ATEC: Development and Application. https://www.autism.org/atec/atec-development/ (accessed 03.01.2021). Search in Google Scholar

Gogou, M., Kolios, G. (2017). The effect of dietary supplements on clinical aspects of autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review of the literature. Brain Devel., 39 (8), 656–664.10.1016/j.braindev.2017.03.02928438367 Search in Google Scholar

Gottschall, E. (1986). Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet. Kirkton Press Ltd., Ontario. 205 pp. Search in Google Scholar

Gottschall, E. (2004). Digestion-gut-autism connection: The specific carbohydrate diet. Med. Veritas, 1, 261–271.10.1588/medver.2004.01.00029 Search in Google Scholar

Grossmann, R. (2019). The ASD Assessment Scale Screening Questionnaire, Child Neurology and Developmental Center, http://www.childbrain.com/services/autism/the-asd-assessment-scale-screening-questionnaire/ (accessed 03.01.2021). Search in Google Scholar

Haas, S. V., Haas, M. P. (1951). The Management of Celiac Disease. Edition of 2011 published by Literary Licensing, LLC. 206 pp. Search in Google Scholar

Horvath, K., Perman, J. A. (2002). Autism and gastrointestinal symptoms. Curr. Gastroenterol. Rep., 4 (3), 251–258.10.1007/s11894-002-0071-612010627 Search in Google Scholar

Lange, K. W., Hauser, J., Reissmann, A. (2015). Gluten-free and casein-free diets in the therapy of autism. Curr. Opin. Clin. Nutr. Metab. Care, 18 (6), 572–575.10.1097/MCO.000000000000022826418822 Search in Google Scholar

Li, Y. J., Ou, J. J., Li, Y. M., Xiang, D. X. (2017). Dietary supplement for core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder: Where are we now and where should we go? Front Psychiatry, 8, 155.10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00155557233228878697 Search in Google Scholar

McIntosh, D. N., Miller, L. J., Shyu, V. (1999). Development and validation of the Short Sensory Profile. In: Dunn, W. (Ed.). Sensory Profile Manual. Psychological Corporation, San Antonio, TX, pp. 59–73. Search in Google Scholar

Piwowarczyk, A., Horvath, A., Ùukasik, J., Pisula, E., Szajewska, H. (2018). Gluten- and casein-free diet and autism spectrum disorders in children: A systematic review. Eur. J. Nutr., 57 (2), 433–440.10.1007/s00394-017-1483-228612113 Search in Google Scholar

Rimland, B., Edelson, S. M. (2016). Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC). Autism Research Institute (ARI), Autism Research Institute; San Diego, CA, USA. www.autism.org/autism-treatment-evaluation-checklist/ (accessed 03.01.2021). Search in Google Scholar

Rose, S., Bennuri, S. C., Murray, K. F., Buie, T., Winter, H., Frye, R. E. (2017). Mitochondrial dysfunction in the gastrointestinal mucosa of children with autism: A blinded case-control study. PLoS ONE, 12 (10), e0186377.10.1371/journal.pone.0186377564025129028817 Search in Google Scholar

Schmidt, J. D., Huete, J. M., Fodstad, J. C., Chin, M. D., Kurtz, P. F. (2013). An evaluation of the Aberrant Behavior Checklist for children under age 5. Res. Dev. Disabil., 34 (4), 1190–1197.10.1016/j.ridd.2013.01.002363206823376629 Search in Google Scholar

Shattuck, P. T., Durkin, M., Maenner, M., Newschaffer, C., Mandell, D. S., Wiggins, L., Lee, L. C., Rice, C., Giarelli, E., Kirby, R., Baio, J., Pinto-Martin, J., Cuniff, C. (2009). Timing of identification among children with an autism spectrum disorder: Findings from a population-based surveil-lance study. J. Amer. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psy., 48 (5), 474–483.10.1097/CHI.0b013e31819b3848318898519318992 Search in Google Scholar

Tomchek, S. D., Dunn, W. (2007). Sensory processing in children with and without autism: A comparative study using the short sensory profile. Amer. J. Occup. Ther., 6 (2), 190–200.10.5014/ajot.61.2.19017436841 Search in Google Scholar

Washnieski, G. L., Seaborn, C., Schmidt, C., Nyland, R. (2010). Gluten-free and casein-free diets as a form of alternative treatment for autism spectrum disorders. J. Amer. Dietetic Assoc., 110 (9), A39–A39.10.1016/j.jada.2010.06.148 Search in Google Scholar

Wasilewska, J., Klukowski, M. (2015). Gastrointestinal symptoms and autism spectrum disorder: Links and risks — a possible new overlap syndrome. Pediatric Health Med. Ther., 6, 153–166.10.2147/PHMT.S85717568326629388597 Search in Google Scholar

Whiteley, P., Shattock, P., Knivsberg, A. M., Seim, A., Reichelt, K. L., Todd, L., Carr, K., Hooper, M. (2013). Gluten- and casein-free dietary intervention for autism spectrum conditions. Front Hum. Neurosci., 6, 344.10.3389/fnhum.2012.00344354000523316152 Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo