A Scoping Literature Review of the Relation between Nutrition and ASD Symptoms in Children

I.S.M. van der Wurff, Anke Oenema, Dennis de Ruijter, Claudia Vingerhoets, Therese van Amelsfoort, Bart Rutten, Sandra Mulkens, Sebastian Köhler, Annemie Schols, R.H.M. de Groot

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by impairments in social interaction, communication skills, and repetitive and restrictive behaviors and interests. Even though there is a biological basis for an effect of specific nutrition factors on ASD symptoms and there is scientific literature available on this relationship, whether nutrition factors could play a role in ASD treatment is unclear. The goal of the current literature review was to summarize the available scientific literature on the relation between nutrition and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms in childhood, and to formulate practical dietary guidelines. A comprehensive search strategy including terms for ASD, nutrition factors (therapeutic diets, dietary patterns, specific food products, fatty acids and micronutrients) and childhood was developed and executed in six literature databases (Cinahl, Cochrane, Ovid Embase, PsycInfo, PubMed and Web of Science). Data from meta-analyses, systematic reviews and original studies were qualitatively summarized. A total of 5 meta-analyses, 29 systematic reviews and 27 original studies were retrieved that focused on therapeutic diets, specific food products, fatty acids and micronutrients and ASD symptoms during childhood. Results of the available studies were sparse and inconclusive, and hence, no firm conclusions could be drawn. There is currently insufficient evidence for a relation between nutrition and ASD symptoms in childhood, making it impossible to provide practical nutrition guidelines; more methodological sound research is needed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1389
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
JournalNutrients
Volume14
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • ACID
  • AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS
  • CASEIN-FREE DIET
  • COSTS
  • GLUTEN-FREE
  • INTERVENTION
  • OMEGA-3-FATTY-ACIDS
  • SUPPLEMENTATION
  • VITAMIN-B6
  • autism spectrum disorder
  • children
  • diet
  • dietary pattern
  • nutrients

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