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Comprehensive Nutritional and Dietary Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder—A Randomized, Controlled 12-Month Trial

FOOD-AS-MEDICINENote: Food has always been the starting point of health since "an apple a day," and all that. Many of us have found some relief from the symptoms of autism via dietary changes. Some have had life altering successes for their kids. Still others, nothing.  I read the local Mom lists on Facebook and am shocked at how many women suffer from migraines. And then ask where is the best take out XYZ food in the next breath. Below is a study may help you talk to your child's doctor about dietary interventions, or perhaps quell your Mother-In-Law's stink eye at the Passover table.

Comprehensive Nutritional and Dietary Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder—A Randomized, Controlled 12-Month Trial


This study involved a randomized, controlled, single-blind 12-month treatment study of a comprehensive nutritional and dietary intervention. Participants were 67 children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) ages 3–58 years from Arizona and 50 non-sibling neurotypical controls of similar age and gender. Treatment began with a special vitamin/mineral supplement, and additional treatments were added sequentially, including essential fatty acids, Epsom salt baths, carnitine, digestive enzymes, and a healthy gluten-free, casein-free, soy-free (HGCSF) diet. There was a significant improvement in nonverbal intellectual ability in the treatment group compared to the non-treatment group (+6.7 ± 11 IQ points vs. −0.6 ± 11 IQ points, p = 0.009) based on a blinded clinical assessment. Based on semi-blinded assessment, the treatment group, compared to the non-treatment group, had significantly greater improvement in autism symptoms and developmental age. The treatment group had significantly greater increases in EPA, DHA, carnitine, and vitamins A, B2, B5, B6, B12, folic acid, and Coenzyme Q10. The positive results of this study suggest that a comprehensive nutritional and dietary intervention is effective at improving nutritional status, non-verbal IQ, autism symptoms, and other symptoms in most individuals with ASD. Parents reported that the vitamin/mineral supplements, essential fatty acids, and HGCSF diet were the most beneficial.


The study results suggest that the comprehensive nutrition/diet protocol was safe and effective. The nutritional supplements and healthy diet improved nutritional status, and hence presumably increased the brains ability to function and learn. This is supported by the increase in non-verbal IQ, and the substantial 18-month increase in developmental ability in communication, daily living skills, and social skills. Modest improvements in CARS-2 and SAS-Pro suggest some reduction in autism symptoms, consistent with parent reports of improvements on the PDD-BI, ATEC, and SRS. Parent reports also suggest improvements in aberrant behaviors (ABC—Irritability, Lethargy/Social Withdrawal, Stereotypy, and Hyperactivity), sensory processing (SSP), and GI symptoms (6-GSI, PGI-2, ATEC), and Overall (PGI-2). There was not a significant effect on handgrip strength. The treatment efficacy seemed to be similar for both genders and all ages, probably because nutritional requirements are similar for both genders and all ages (after normalizing for caloric intake).

The three unusual case reports, in which three very different long-term problems were greatly improved, shows the power of comprehensive nutritional interventions in addressing complex, puzzling medical conditions which may involve one or more nutritional deficiencies.
There were many significant increases in vitamins, essential fatty acids, and carnitine, and an improvement in homocysteine. The vitamin/mineral supplement and essential fatty acids appeared to have the most clinical benefit, although other treatments appeared to have some benefit for some individuals. So, this comprehensive treatment approach is recommended as a promising therapy for children and adults with ASD, with an emphasis on the vitamin/mineral supplement and essential fatty acids as probably being the most helpful.
The data also suggests some possible improvements could be made to the treatment combination. Specifically, it appears that l-carnitine may be better absorbed than acetyl-l-carnitine. Also, although many vitamins were well-absorbed, larger doses and/or more bioavailable forms of the other vitamins are needed to have a significant effect on blood levels, and larger doses/absorption may in some cases result in greater therapeutic benefit. So, it seems likely that the current treatment protocol could be further improved by making these changes.



Maybe 5 to 6 years ago a medical professional post an Alzheimer's protocol to Age of Autism. It involved many mainly biologics taken orally. I don't remember the name of the person. Does anyone happen to have this information or think you do have what I am talking about?


Don't forget to drink Silica water as recommended by Dr. Exley. Pills won't do. It has to be the water.


Wheat gluten apparently for us is not the only gluten that is causing problems.
Se have been low carbing it for a long while. I was real excited about adding back in some oat bran.

My shoulders have been killing me the last couple of months, the calves of my legs, My tongue has been burning. Which is a sign of B 12 being low.

These food allergies, my guess are cascading homocysteine, immune cells on down through the metabolic pathways, and messing with all of the B vitamins.

I have cut out the oat bran for a week, and now am waiting to see if I feel better. After I get better, if I do and really I am starting to feel better; I will add it back in and wait to see what happens which takes three or four or five days later. This food allergy crap is difficult to figure out.


Conclusion: science finally studies something parents have been saying (and have been mocked for) for 20+ years and finds positive results...

Jeannette Bishop

Thank you for posting this research.


"I read the local Mom lists on Facebook and am shocked at how many women suffer from migraines. "

They should stop microwaving their heads with their cell phones and wi-fi (worked for me and many others).

The above research is too short term - 12 months isn't long enough to know the long term effects of taking these supplements. Some may build up in the body to toxic levels and cause damage that only years of follow-up would catch.

Very interesting comment. I have been concerned to see the trend of young parents dosing their kids with all kinds of supplements in an attempt to keep them well, mostly in reaction to a lack of faith in allopathy. Particularly interested in your statement about vit D. I have wondered if the body can tolerate so much through the GI tract when it is primarily supposed to be absorbed/manufactured via the skin. It is frightening to hear the large doses of D given to babies by well meaning mothers.

Tim Lundeen

The improvement in non-verbal IQ is quite good: 7 points based on nutritional changes. The error band is very large, so this would need a much larger group to confirm.


This protocol is FAR from optimal.

First, there is compelling evidence that Vitamin A toxicity is a major driver of autism and other chronic illness. So supplementing Vitamin A is not something that should be done, no way, no how, never. Instead, Instead put these kids on a zero-Vitamin-A diet for an extended period. As to why Vitamin A toxicity is perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle, start with Grant Genereux's books at
and There is a lot more I can say about Vit A toxicity: the more research I do, the more evidence there is that we are poisoning our kids and ourselves with it. It reminds me of iron: necessary for life, but too much is really, really bad.

Second, Vitamin A toxicity causes increased sensitivity to free glutamate. Protocols that specifically target free glutamate have been extremely successful. See or Dr Reid's recent SVHI talk at

Third, some of the supplements used are potentially high glutamate (e.g. citrate, gluconate).

Fourth, the Vit E dose is much too high. The main benefit of Vit E is to oppose Vit A toxicity; without Vit A you don't need to supplement Vit E at all; if you do, then a few IU/day at most. Vit E often causes gastrointestinal distress, which is the last thing these kids need. But I, as an adult, get stomach pain from just 30IU/day.

Fifth, Vit D disolved in MCT oil should be applied to the skin, not taken orally. And 1000IU is too much, because one of the benefits from Vit D is to oppose Vit A toxicity. I don't know what the optimal dose is, perhaps 200-400IU/day depending on weight.

It is just incredibly frustrating to see researchers ignoring all that we have learned...

Hans Litten

Its in the bread (baking soda) as well as Gardasil ......Aluminium

Aluminum Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease?
7 Pieces of Evidence

Exposure to aluminum linked to Alzheimer's disease and dementia according to the latest research. With the growing evidence linking aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease, we all need to personally take steps now to reduce our exposure to this ubiquitous metal.

go Trump

A bit off topic but today seems to be Downs Syndrome Awareness Day.
I would hope proper steps are being taken for Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd.

I would hope this would involve the President, and perhaps a few supportive radio shows out of Texas.

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