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Gut Enzyme Deficiency in Autism

Researchers at Harvard Medical School have found reduced lactase enzyme activity in autistic individuals, more so in boys than girls and in older children compared with under 5yrs.

Lactase is the enzyme found in the lining of the gut wall which breaks down lactose, the carbohydrate found in all mammalian milks.  Interestingly, only 6% had intestinal inflammation which has lead the researchers to conclude that " lactase deficiency, not associated with intestinal inflammation or injury, is common in autistic children and may contribute to abdominal discomfort, pain and observed aberrant behaviour ".


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Source: 'Intestinal disaccharidase activity in patients with autism: effect of age, gender and intestinal inflammation' Kushak et al, 2011  e-pub http:/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21415091

Posted: May 2011


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