Connection between food allergies and autism detected

Connection between food allergies and autism detected / Health News

What connection do autism and food allergies have??

American researchers found that there seems to be a connection between food allergies and autism. Apparently, immunological disorders in early life affect the development of an autism spectrum disorder.

The scientists from the University of Iowa found in their current study a connection between food allergies and autism. The physicians published the results of their study in the English language journal "JAMA Network Open".

There seems to be a connection between food allergies and autism. (Image: dubova /

Impact immunological disorders on the development of?

The US experts also found out in their research that about 11.25 percent of American children were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. It is quite possible that the immunological disorders that occur in the early years of life affect the development of the social functions of humans, the researchers say. Although a possible link between food allergies and autism spectrum disorders has been found, many questions remain unanswered, the researchers add.

Data from nearly 200,000 subjects were evaluated

The researchers analyzed the health information of about 200,000 children for their current study. The participants were at the age of three to 17 years. The data was collected between 1997 and 2016 as part of the so-called National Health Interview Survey compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Skin allergies and autism

The results of the study showed that children with autism spectrum disorder were significantly more likely to suffer from skin allergies compared to children without such disease. The study adds to the growing body of research that investigated and uncovered links between immunological problems and autism spectrum disorder. This statement may also apply to other types of allergic diseases in autism spectrum disorder, says study author Professor Wei Bao of the University of Iowa.

What comes first?

However, it remains unclear how these symptoms interact with each other or if and how other causes are involved. So it's not known what comes first, the food allergy or maybe the autism spectrum disorder, explain the researchers.

Further research is needed

A prospective study that prospectively gathers data on the timing of the onset of food allergy and autism is now needed to determine the timing relationship between these two conditions, study author Professor Bao explains. Earlier studies had already shown that both diseases are often associated with type 1 diabetes or maternal rheumatoid arthritis. Even if a mother has to deal with immunological problems during pregnancy, this seems to favor a food allergy and autism, the researchers continue.

Self-reported data falsified the results?

The results of the study are based on self-reported data that does not provide a sufficiently long timeline to allow for more in-depth conclusions. In some cases, the self-reported data on children with food allergies and autism may not be reliable, as it may be difficult to distinguish between an allergic reaction and aberrant behavior that may be explained by another factor, physicians explain. (As)