New Research Found on Diets of Autistic Children

autism and special diets

A recent study published in this month’s Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that autistic children put on special diets may not receiving all of the vitamins and nutrients that they need.

Families with autistic children often choose gluten-free, casein-free diets, or add supplements to ease symptoms of autism as well as making up for picky eaters. However, the published study has found that by doing this, children are not getting a proper balance of nutrients. 

The study had the caregivers of hundreds of autistic children log their daily food and drink intake, including any supplements that are added to their diets. The study focused on children ages 2 to 11.

Researchers found that children with autism consumed normal levels of micronutrients but had deficiencies in vitamins D and E, calcium, potassium, and choline. This is typical for most children. However, those who were taking supplements were also lacking in vitamin D and calcium. Along with that, those children were taking in excessive amounts of vitamin A, folic acid, and zinc. Children who had special diets, such as gluten or casein-free, took in more magnesium and vitamin E, had appropriate levels of vitamin D, but not enough calcium. 

Patricia Stewart, who led the study, said that the excess intake of nutrients in multivitamins might lead to adverse effects. She advises that when supplements are used, one should pay careful attention to the amount of vitamin D and calcium intake too.

Sourced from Disability Scoop

Written by Sejal Sheth