(12/19/12) - A special diet that stops Autism? It is the subject of heated
debate, but the woman you are about to meet says it has changed her daughter's
Kati Hornung's daughter, Zizi was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Not wanting to give Zizi drugs, Katie turned to the guts and psychology syndrome, or "GAPS" diet. The belief is that toxins from bad bacteria in the gut, created by undigested foods, can severely affect brain function. So, healing the gut heals diseases.
"All of a sudden, our kid was talking in three and a half weeks," Kati says.
"It's still new. People are still learning what it is," says GAPS certified practitioner Mary Lynn Lipscomb.
She says the secret to healing is adding homemade fermented foods like sauerkraut, yogurt and broths to your child's daily diet, that contain probiotics. Those on the plan remove sugars, all grains and all fibers that, she says, are harder on the body.
"If you look at how traditional people ate, they ate this way," Lipscomb says.
But, Dr. Autism Mulloy says there is not enough data to definitively assess whether GAPS really works. "There needs to be scientific data that either confirms that claim or effuses them."
Dr. Mulloy is conducting a first of its kind study, testing the GAPS diet as a treatment for kids with autism spectrum disorder. He will analyze behavior, such as language use, and measure any physiological changes in the body, like inflammation in the gut.
"One of the possible outcomes of this study is that we do produce some evidence that has the potential to change people's minds on the effect of diet on people's behavior," Mulloy says.
Whatever Mulloy's research shows, Kati believes the diet cured her daughter. "Our specialist told us by second grade, she will be undistinguishable from any other kid."
Unlike diets that help you lose weight, Lipscomb tells us butter and animal fat are important components of the GAPS diet because she says they promote healing. The only processed foods allowed in the diet are sea salt, olive oil and coconut oil.
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