Ly, V., Bottelier, M., Hoekstra, P.J. et al. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry (2017). doi:10.1007/s00787-017-0959-1

Abstract

Nutrition plays an important role in neurodevelopment. This insight has led to increasing research into the efficacy of nutrition-related interventions for treating neurodevelopmental disorders. This review discusses an elimination diet as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder, with a focus on the efficacy of the food additives exclusion diet, gluten-free/casein-free diet and oligoantigenic diet. Furthermore, we discuss the potential mechanisms of elimination diets’ effects in these neurodevelopmental disorders. The main candidate mechanism is the microbiome–gut–brain axis possibly involving complex interactions between multiple systems, including the metabolic, immune, endocrine, and neural system. We conclude with practical implications and future directions into the investigation of an elimination diet’s efficacy in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder.

 

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© The Author(s) 2017

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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