Nutritionist Kelly Barnhill describes new evidence that nutrient intake and dietary status are not contributing factors to the observed decrease in Bone Mineral Density in boys with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Kelly Barnhill was a principal investigator in recent research published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (November 2017) identified reduced bone mineral density in 4-8 year old boys with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) compared with healthy age-matched controls.
This provides evidence that dietary intervention in ASD, such as a gluten-free and/or dairy-free diet, which is frequently implemented to address feeding issues, food allergies, or GI concerns, does not result in deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D, or reduced BMD when implemented under the supervision of a qualified clinician.
The study results also indicate that boys with ASD reported significantly greater GI symptoms than boys without ASD, though this was not correlated with BMD status. And contrary to the interpretation of results in prior published studies, this work finds no evidence of reduced BMD in the managed use of a gluten and casein elimination diet, indicating that other factors are involved.
This webinar is made possible in part by a generous grant from Local 25, Boston Teamsters.
Kelly Barnhill, MBA, CN, CCN serves as the Nutrition Coordinator for ARI. She is also Director of the Nutrition Clinic and the Clinical Care Coordinator at the Johnson Center for Child Health and Development. In her private practice, Kelly focuses on building appropriate dietary and supplementation protocols for children with developmental delays and disorders, siblings of affected children, and children with significant gastrointestinal disease. Kelly also has expertise in prenatal and infant nutrition. She practices in Austin, Texas.