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A review of dietary interventions in autism

Pramila Srinivasan, PhD

Founder, Medical Mine, Inc. Palo Alto, CA, USA

BACKGROUND: Anecdotal reports and parent surveys have shown evidence that dietary interventions have had some success in ameliorating the symptoms of autism.

METHODS: In this paper, key findings that prompt a dietary intervention strategy are reviewed and popular intervention diets are described.

RESULTS: There is a significant body of literature pertinent to dietary interventions in autism from the perspectives of gastroenterology, immunology, and excitotoxicity. Some articles report benefits to patients on standardized rating scales.

CONCLUSIONS: This article presents a survey of the literature related to dietary interventions studied in the context of autism as well as various hypotheses on the rationale for dietary interventions. Patients or caregivers increasingly are attempting such interventions. Further studies are needed to establish the efficacy of these diets, the patients who would best benefit from diets, the mechanism of action, and the role of diets in addition to other treatments.

KEYWORDS: autism, dietary interventions, gastrointestinal


CORRESPONDENCE Pramila Srinivasan, PhD 3188 Ross Road Palo Alto, CA 94303 USA E-MAIL:
Annals of Clinical Psychiatry ©2009 American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists

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