Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2009 May;9(3):194-201.

Food allergy and autism spectrum disorders: is there a link?

Author information

Division of Allergy/Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Pediatrics, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School, 185 South Orange Avenue, F570A, MSB, Newark, NJ 07101, USA.


Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are common comorbidities in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Parents often attribute these GI symptoms to food allergy (FA), although an evaluation for IgE-mediated FA is often unrevealing. Our previous studies indicated a high prevalence of non-IgE-mediated FA in young children with ASDs. Therefore, non-IgE-mediated FA may account for some but not all GI symptoms observed in children with ASDs. This raises the question of what treatment measures are applicable to ASD children with GI symptoms. A wide variety of dietary supplements and dietary intervention measures for ASD children have been promoted by medical professionals practicing complementary and alternative medicine despite the lack of rigorous scientific validation in most instances. This review summarizes possible (or proposed) etiologies of GI symptoms in ASD children and discusses risks and possible benefits of intervention measures promoted by complementary and alternative practitioners, with emphasis on FA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center