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Opioid theory may explain role of diet and digestion in autism. Shattock P & Whiteley P, Expert Opin Ther Targets, 6(2):175-83, 2002

Paper

 

Opioid theory may explain role of diet and digestion in autism. Shattock P & Whiteley P, Expert Opin Ther Targets, 6(2):175-83, 2002

Details

The authors review evidence for the theory that proteins in the diet, particularly from foods containing gluten and casein (cereal and milk proteins), play a part in causing autistic symptoms. In this theory, opioids (morphine-like proteins) are formed from certain foods. These are then absorbed through the gut wall, which is often found to be more permeable in autistic patients. The opioids would then potentially affect nerve transmission in the brain and nervous system, producing behavioural and psychological symptoms of autism. The theory is backed up by reports from parents and professionals that exclusion diets can produce some improvement in autistic and related behaviours.

P Shattock, P Whiteley, ‘Biochemical aspects in autism spectrum disorders: updating the opioid-excess theory and presenting new opportunities for biomedical intervention.’, Expert Opin Ther Targets, vol 6(2):175-83, 2002

Click here for the abstract