Proven 4.5x more effective for helping autism


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Did you see the news that our study was published!
This is the first time I’ve been part of a study where my name is listed as an author. I’m officially a nutrition researcher! We studied a comprehensive diet and nutrition intervention for autism – which consisted of 6 nutrient and diet interventions. My role was to help participants understand and follow a healthy gluten-free, casein-free, soy-free diet. I worked alongside my colleague, Dana Laake. Together we created and delivered an educational presentation and conducted one-on-one nutrition consultations. I’d like to tell you more about what we learned and how it can help children with autism right now, and over the coming weeks. Today, I want to share some details about the effective diet and nutrition intervention used in the study. And a few VERY powerful cases from the study. The study measured the effects of six interventions over the course of a year. Here’s when each were introduced: Day 0: Vitamin/Mineral supplementation 
Day 30: Essential Fatty Acid supplementation 
Day 60: Epsom salt baths 
Day 90: Carnitine supplementation 
Day 180: Digestive Enzyme supplementation 
Day 210: Healthy, gluten-free, casein-free diet 
Day 365 – Final assessment These interventions were chosen because each of them had already been studied individually, and found to be effective. And “the goal of this study is to investigate a comprehensive nutritional and dietary intervention to treat children and adults with ASD”… and “to investigate the effect of the combination of those treatments in a long-term study.” Researchers expected their effects to be synergistic. And it appears they were, given the outstanding results of the study! Some of which I shared yesterday around increases in developmental age, IQ, autism and digestive symptoms. Here are three very interesting cases from the study that deserved additional mention because the results were incredible!
  • 7-year-old boy with pica was cured entirely within one week of starting the HGCSF (healthy gluten-free casein-free soy-free) diet.
  • 27-year-old male with severe ASD and a history of severe urinary retention requiring daily catheterization was able to urinate on his own about 4 days after eliminating dairy products. By the end of the study, the young man no longer needed catheterization and had zero episodes of kidney stones, urinary tract or bladder infections.
  • One 9-year-old girl with severe ASD had poor strength, endurance, and energy levels at the beginning of the study. Four months after the treatment, she no longer needed her wheelchair. We found out that her pre-treatment diet was deficient in carnitine due to total avoidance of beef products.
According to parents, the interventions that were most effective were:
  • Multivitamin/mineral formula
  • Essential fatty acid supplement
  • Healthy GFCFSF diet
And 85% or more planned to continue with the vitamin/mineral formula and the essential fatty acid supplement. And a majority planned to continue with the gluten-free, casein-free and soy-free diet and the epsom salt baths, as they found these nutritional interventions to be helpful and worthwhile.

This study validates using a comprehensive diet and nutrition strategy to support improvements in health, learning, and behavior in those with autism, I call this approach “nourishing hope.”

The most frustrating thing I hear from parents at conferences is “no one told me.” They were never informed that diet and nutrition matter, that their daily choices could make such a difference. In fact, they may have been erroneously told that “diet doesn’t help” or “there’s no science to it.”

Truth is, there IS science behind it. Hundreds of studies support an overall scientific rationale for using food and nutrition to be help improve symptoms. This has been my message to families for years…
Autism can be improved, and food matters.
I love my autism families. I know nutrition makes a positive difference. And I want to help. That’s why I’ve committed my career to knowing as much as I can about the underlying biochemistry of autism and how to make strategic diet and nutrition choices that help – and teaching what I know to you – parents and practitioners alike – so that you can make the most from this approach.
Thanks for being on this journey with me. Sincerely, Julie

Julie Matthews is a Certified Nutrition Consultant who received her master’s degree in medical nutrition with distinction from Arizona State University. She is also a published nutrition researcher and has specialized in complex neurological conditions, particularly autism spectrum disorders and ADHD for over 20 years. Julie is the award winning author of Nourishing Hope for Autism, co-author of a study proving the efficacy of nutrition and dietary intervention for autism published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nutrients, and also the founder of Download her free guide, 12 Nutrition Steps to Better Health, Learning, and Behavior.


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