User:Glida7/autism and scd

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The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) is a nutritional regimen, created by Dr. Sidney V. Haas and popularized by Elaine Gottschall, which restricts the use of complex carbohydrates (disaccharides and polysaccharides) and eliminates refined sugar, all grains and starch from the diet.[1] It is promoted as a way of reducing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, Ulcerative Colitis, coeliac disease and autism.

Gottschall believed the body lacks the ability to digest complex sugars, resulting in dysbiosis, the overgrowth of harmful bacterial flora. In 1924 Haas reported that "in cases which the diet can be controlled for a sufficient long time, recovery ensues in every instance and without nutritional relapse." These positive findings were published in a scientific journal.[2].

Other researchers validate the outcomes from the diet developed by Dr Haas and published the results in scientific journals.

In 1928 Von den Steinen reported on a study which validated the efficacy of Dr Haas' diet and verified its favorable results, [3] Kleinschmidt also wrote a scientific paper about the efficacy of Dr Haas' diet, stating that "the prognosis in celiac disease has undergone a complete change during the last few years. The discouraging results of the previous methods of treatment have entirely disappeared since we have followed the diet of the American, Haas."[4]

Following the death of Dr Haas in 1964, there have been no controlled studies of the SCD, and the previous research was forgotten.[5]

Several new books written by doctors and dietitians recommend this diet. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]


The rationale of the diet, as described in Breaking the Vicious Cycle, is as follows:

  1. When the body receives complex carbohydrates (disaccharides or polysaccharides) these substances must be broken down before they can be absorbed.
  2. In the body of a person who is not able to break these substances down efficiently, an influx of undigested material causes harmful bacteria to flourish.
  3. Bacterial overgrowth is accordingly followed by a significant increase in the waste and other irritants they produce.
  4. Irritation in the lining of the digestive tract results in the overproduction of mucus and injury to the digestive tract, which in turn causes malabsorption and makes it even more difficult to maintain proper digestion.

The purpose of the diet is to break the ongoing cycle caused by an overpopulation of harmful bacteria in the gut. When the body is able to absorb the proper nutrients from simple sugars and other carbohydrates that are easy to digest, the inflammation and other complications caused by many auto-immune diseases can be lessened. The goal is to rid the body of complex saccharides so that the gut will be able to heal itself and enable further healing to occur.

The method of the diet is to keep the bacterial flora well balanced and to allow the gut to digest all of the food it is given, thereby starving out the harmful bacteria.

Certain foods, such as commercial syrups and sugars, starchy vegetables, and dairy products are not allowed while on the diet. Other foods, such as fruits, greens, animal protein, and nuts are allowed.


  1. ^ Gottschall, E (1994). Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet (Revised edition ed.). Kirkton Press. ISBN 0-9692768-1-8. 
  2. ^ Haas, S. V.: Value of banana in treatment of celiac disease, Am. J. Dis. Child. 28:421, 1924.
  3. ^ Treatment of Heubner-Herter's disease with bananas, sour milk and junket, Arch. f. Kinederh. 84:144, 1928.
  4. ^ Kleinschmidt, H.: Chronic Diarrhea in children, Jahresk. f. Aerztl. Fortbild. 13:16, 1922.
  5. ^ Shah, S. "Dietary Factors in the Modulation of IBD: The Specific Carbohydrate Diet". Medscape. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  6. ^ Hoffman, Ronald L. (1997). A Guide to Optimizing Health and Preventing Illness for the Baby-Boomer Generation. Fireside. p. 194. ISBN 0-684-81082-4.
  7. ^ Lipman, Frank (2004). Total Renewal. Tarcher. p. 98. ISBN 1-58542-384-X.
  8. ^ Ditchek, Stuart H. (2009). Healthy Child, Whole Child: Integrating the Best of Conventional and Alternative Medicine to Keep Your Kids Healthy. Harper Paperbacks. p. 249. ISBN 0-06-168598-4.
  9. ^ Galland, Leo (1998). Power Healing: Use the New Integrated Medicine to Cure Yourself. Random House. p.278. ISBN 0-375-75139-4.
  10. ^ Dean, Carolyn (2001). Dr. Carolyn Dean's Natural Prescriptions for Common Ailments. McGraw-Hill; 2 edition. p. 53. ISBN 0-658-01216-9.

External links[edit]

  • "Breaking the Vicious Cycle", Elaine Gottschall's informational website on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet
  • "Pecanbread", A site dedicated to treating autistic children with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Category:Diets Category:Autism