Autism and diet
When casein (milk protein) and gluten (grain protein) are partially broken down, opioid peptides are formed. These are substances which have a morphine-like effect on the brain. Many autistics react very strongly to these substances, and autistic children often show tremendous improvement when adhering to a strict diet. They often show much more interest in social interaction and communication. For adult autistics the benefit of a diet is much more modest, but if the autistic in addition has other mental illnesses, a diet could be of great help. An adult autistic described that the diet made it more easy to have conversations or to maintain a line of thought. It’s not uncommon that autistics become addicted to the harmful food peptides. An unvaried diet with large consumption of bread or dairy products is a classic indicator of protein intolerance, which this phenomenon has been termed. Withdrawal symptoms when a gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) diet is started are not unusual.
To implement a gluten-free and/or casein-free diet is a pretty drastic intervention into a person’s life. Most people would therefore like to know if there is any basis for a diet. Far from all patients with autism have elevated levels of opioid peptides, and therefore would have no benefit from a GFCF-diet. Many of the patients only react to casein or gluten (not both) and can implement a much less severe diet.
To find out whether or not a GFCF-diet can be of use, we perform a urinary peptide analysis. This analysis determines with a fairly high degree of certainty if the patient has protein intolerance. Testkits can be ordered on our ordering page.
Probiozym in autism
Probiozym is a probiotic product which consists of 4 species of lactic acid bacteria with two distinct functions. The first is that Probiozym in most instances very efficiently establishes a healthy gut flora. Autistics often suffer from disturbed gut flora and studies show that harmful Clostridium-bacteria are far more common in the gut of autistics than non-autistics. Two of the strains in Probiozym have been shown to inactivate Clostridium toxins (see the in depth article about Probiozym).
The other two strains have the ability to break down opioid peptides. The bacteria will devour the opioid peptides formed by small amounts of casein and gluten eaten accidentally by the patient. A huge number of products contain trace amounts of gluten or casein and this could be enough to render a diet ineffective. For instance, few people know that ordinary gluten-free flour contains trace amounts of gluten. It is good enough for celiacs, but not necessarily for autistics with protein intolerance. Probiozym may also reduce the negative effects caused by a more massive diet breach.
These two features is what makes Probiozym especially well suited for autistics with abdominal problems or protein intolerance.