Got Autism? Learn About the Link Between Dairy Products and the Disorder
Autism and autism spectrum disorder are complex disorders of brain development that may be associated with a wide range of symptoms, such as limited verbal communication and difficulties with social interactions. PETA has created a billboard to alert the public to the connection between this condition and dairy-product consumption.
More research is needed, but scientific studies have shown that many autistic kids improve dramatically when put on a diet free of dairy foods. One study of 20 children found a major reduction in autistic behavior in kids who were put on a casein-free diet (casein is a component of cow’s milk). And another study done by researchers at the University of Rome showed a “marked improvement” in the behavior of autistic children who were taken off dairy products.
The reason why dairy foods may worsen autism is being debated. Some suggest that the gastrointestinal problems so often caused by dairy products cause distress and thus worsen behavior in children with autism.
Regardless of the cause, testimonials show that many people with this condition may be able to find relief with a simple dietary change—removing milk from their diet. The Internet contains numerous heart-wrenching stories from parents of kids who had suffered the worst effects of autism for years before dairy foods were eliminated from their children’s diets. Here is one mother’s story:
Then I realized that Miles’ ear infections had begun when he was 11 months old, just after we had switched him from soy formula to cow’s milk. He’d been on soy formula because my family was prone to allergies, and I’d read that soy might be better for him. I had breast-fed until he was 3 months old, but he didn’t tolerate breast milk very well—possibly because I was drinking lots of milk. There was nothing to lose, so I decided to eliminate all the dairy products from his diet. What happened next was nothing short of miraculous. Miles stopped screaming, he didn’t spend as much time repeating actions, and by the end of the first week, he pulled on my hand when he wanted to go downstairs. For the first time in months, he let his sister hold his hands to sing “Ring Around a Rosy.”
It isn’t surprising that dairy products may worsen this condition, considering that milk has already been strongly linked to cancer, Crohn’s disease, and other serious health problems. Anyone who wants to alleviate the effects of autism should try giving cow’s milk the boot and switch to healthy vegan alternatives instead. To learn more about a diet free of dairy products, order our free “Vegetarian Starter Kit” today.