There are a number of faddy and unscientific diets out there that claim to be able to improve mental dexterity and acuity of a child.
Science has shown that what we put in our bodies is important, eating a nutritionally viable, healthy diet is proven to improve mood, and even concentration.
The GAPS diet, (GAPS standing for Gut and Psychology Syndrome) is designed with the aim of pleasing microbes or flora that live in the gut. It claims to appease an imbalance of gut flora, and having been followed in a regimented style for a minimum of 12 months, it claims to help with symptoms of autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia and depression.
Thousands of people worldwide follow the diet invented by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride . She said:
“Science confirmed that wisdom when it discovered that 90% of all cells and all genetic material in the human body belongs to the gut flora. Gut flora is highly organized and is dominated by beneficial species. When the balance is out of whack, children don’t digest and absorb food properly, and they develop all kinds of symptoms in the digestive tract and elsewhere.
“The microbes convert the undigested food into hundreds of toxic substances, which clog the body with toxicity. The brain becomes so clogged with toxins that it can’t process sensory information, so children are unable to learn and develop skills.”
Worryingly, Dr Campbell-McBride has claimed that children with autism are born perfectly normal, and that it is due to a build up of toxins in the brain caused by poor diet (not GAPS) lack of breastfeeding, using oral contraceptives whilst breastfeeding and then feeding processed food high in corn syrup all contribute towards a diagnosis.
A family from London who tried that GAPS diet were featured in the Telegraph this week, and say that the diet has helped 11 year old Olivia Lee kurb some of the traits of her autism. Her mother Helen started preparing the meals she gave her daughter. The family saw an improvement in Olivia after a few months of using the diet.
A science correspondent who tried the diet, Harriet Hall writing for Science based medicine writes:
“The GAPS diet reflects serious gaps in Dr. Campbell-McBride’s reasoning and in her understanding of science. There is no published evidence to support it. The early introductory stages may not provide adequate nutrition; the full diet is probably healthy but is onerous. It seems very unlikely that it could accomplish all that is claimed. Without testing, there is no way to know whether it benefits or harms patients.”
GAPS is more than a diet, it’s a business. There are DVD’s supplements, and courses to attend.
If you have tried GAPS or any diet claiming to aid with the symptoms of autism we would like to hear from you. Please comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.