Ketogenic diet for children with autism spectrum disorders

The scientific proofs about the beneficial effects of ketogenic nutritional patterns with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in animal models is extensive, however, research on humans is considerably smaller. It is therefore so much more exciting to see new papers coming out, preliminary confirming what has been “suspected” for some time now.

This week a paper from a group of Egyptian researchers was published: they wanted to know how a ketogenic type of diet would affect the manifestations of autism spectrum disorders with children.

They conducted a 6-months trial with 45 children. All children were evaluated with two different autism assessment methods prior and after the intervention. The children were randomized to three groups: a control group, a ketogenic / modified Atkins group and a “gluten free casein free” (GFCF) group.

The findings are not surprising: children from both interventions groups showed considerable relief from the manifestation of ASD, with the ketogenic group scoring better results in cognition and sociability compared to the GFCF group.

It is the time that the scientific community engages in large scale trials on the effects of ketogenic diet – not only as an epilepsy nutritional therapy, but also as a nutritional strategy for other neurodevelopmental disorders (El-Rashidy et al., 2017).

EL-RASHIDY, O. et al. 2017. Ketogenic diet versus gluten free casein free diet in autistic children: a case-control study. Metabolic Brain Disease.