Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton
pne

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Gluten-free, casein-free diet

Hm. I was following random interesting links in Wikipedia and came across a couple of links that make me wonder whether a change in my diet would be helpful.

It started with this bit in the article on "gluten":

People with autism and autistic spectrum disorders, like Asperger's syndrome, may be sensitive to gluten and casein (a protein in milk); both seem to have an opiate-like effect on these people. The opioid effect of gluten is caused by gluten exorphines and gliadorphin. These are peptides formed in the digestion of gluten. See more at gluten-free, casein-free diet.

That made me think because I sometimes wonder whether I have Asperger's syndrome or something similar.

The Interwiki link to the German Wikipedia article on "gluten" also had some interesting text:

Weiterhin scheint es, dass manche Menschen Gluten (ebenso wie auch Kasein, d.h. Milcheiweiß) nicht vollständig verdauen können, und dass die in diesem Fall zurückbleibenden unverdauten Peptide auf das Gehirn und Nervensystem dieser Menschen eine Opioid-artige Wirkung entfalten. Die Folgen sind offenbar Antriebslosigkeit, Müdigkeit, Depression, krankhafte Abneigung gegen soziale Kontakte, verminderte Schmerzempfindung, allgemein verarmtes Gefühlsleben, chronische Verstopfung, etc. (eben die typischen Opioid-Wirkungen), wobei die Schwere der Wirkungen variiert. Auch für Autismus ist dieser Effekt als eine von mehreren möglichen Ursachen im Verdacht. Diese ganze Theorie wird jedoch zwar durch einige Experimente nahegelegt, aber noch keineswegs bewiesen. (siehe z.B. diesen Artikel aus "Die Welt").

Bei vollständigem Verzicht auf glutenhaltige Lebensmittel (glutenfreie Diät) bilden sich offenbar in beiden Fällen die Wirkungen nach einiger Zeit wieder zurück.

Rough translation,

In addition, it seems that some people cannot completely digest gluten (as well as casein, i.e. milk protein), and that the undigested peptides which remain in such cases have an opioid-like effect on the brain and nervous system of such people. The results are apparently motivation deficit, tiredness, depression, abnormal dislike of social contacts, reduced sensitivity to pain, generally impoverished breadth of feelings and emotions, chronic constipation, etc. (that is, the typical effects of opioids), though the severity of effects varies. This effect is also one of several suspected as possible causes for autism. This entire theory is suggested by several experiments, but has not been proven in any way. (See also this article from the newspaper "Die Welt".)

After giving up gluten-containing foods completely (gluten-free diet), apparently the effects decline after a while, in both cases.

And that description sounded uncannily like some of the problems I have… at least the "motivation deficit, tiredness, depression, generally impoverished breadth of feeligns and emotions" bits. Maybe something to talk about with a medical professional.

On the other hand, giving up dairy products isn't very appealing, since that includes much chocolate. And generally, having a dairy-free, gluten-free diet sounds like a royal pain in the behind since so many products contain those things. Meh. (I'm reminded of recent entries by simont.)

Other related entries in Wikipedia are gluten-free, casein-free diet (which focusses more on the effect on children) and biomedical intervention for autism.

Hmm. Meh. Bleh.

Tags: gluten-free casein-free diet
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