Introduction by Yuval Levental: I am a person on the autism spectrum who critically analyzes autism advocacy. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from ESIEE Paris. Other hobbies of mine include recreationally solving complex math puzzles, traveling, eating new foods, and learning about different cultures.
Last time, in my review of Defining Autism by Emily and Manuel Casanova, I learned that low levels of Vitamin D could be either a direct or indirect cause of autism due to inflammation (https://corticalchauvinism.com/2018/11/05/book-review-defining-autism/). Reading this part caused me to remember learning about how gluten causes inflammation in some individuals, and that I once tried going gluten-free for a few days in 2016. I felt less overwhelmed, but I wasn’t sure if it was worth it, so I quickly stopped.
However, based on this understanding, I wondered what would happen if I stopped taking Vitamin D supplements and instead tried to eliminate gluten from my diet. I started on November 10 and had my Vitamin D levels tested on December 10. Along the way, I felt the exact same effects that I did from taking Vitamin D supplements, only that I also felt less overwhelmed, which proved to be better for my situation. People noticed that I was far more energetic, looked less puffy, and could work far more efficiently. The only problem was that eliminating gluten means eliminating fiber, so I had to compensate by eating lots of fiber-rich foods.
Originally, my Vitamin D level was only 12.9 ng/mL, which was very low (https://corticalchauvinism.com/2018/06/11/yuval-levental-vitamin-d-and-autism/). However, after I got retested, my Vitamin D level is now 21.2 ng/mL, which is still low, but much better.
As mentioned, this result is only after one month of experimentation. Perhaps, if I continue, I can get to an average or even above-average level!
It seems that according to most research studies, most autistic individuals will not benefit from a gluten-free diet. However, it is likely that a certain percentage will greatly benefit from this finding. The problem is that it is difficult to reliably test for gluten sensitivities. Significant connections between autism and food antibodies in the gut have already been discovered, so maybe this is still a good area to explore (https://www.spectrumnews.org/opinion/reviews/going-gluten-free-unlikely-to-help-most-people-with-autism/ and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23688532 and https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10803-015-2564-9).