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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 221-241

Dietary Approaches and Nutritional Complexities of Autism Spectrum Disorder


1 Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, National University of Medical Sciences, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
2 Faculty of Management Sciences, Riphah International University, Islamabad, Pakistan
3 College of Pharmacy, Al-Ain University, Abu Dhabi Campus, United Arab Emirates

Correspondence Address:
Sehar Iqbal
College of Pharmacy, Al-Ain University, Abu Dhabi Campus
United Arab Emirates
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijnpnd.ijnpnd_65_22

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Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by poor social interaction, repetitive behavior, learning difficulties, cognitive issues, and unusual eating patterns. Different factors including genetic and environmental variables have been identified to increase the risk of developing ASD. Objective: The main objective of the present review is to investigate the dietary approaches and modifications to reduce the intricacies related to ASD. Results: Studies included in this review suggested that abnormalities in the gut microbiota are involved in the pathogenesis and severity of the disease. Medical nutrition therapy for ASD consists of excluding harmful food components such as gluten, casein, processed foods, and excessive sugars and increasing the consumption of omega-3 fats, vitamins and minerals, probiotics, and antioxidants. Furthermore, awareness regarding food labels might help to avoid food allergens in diet. Conclusion: Active dietary treatments including the use of dietary supplements and elimination of processed foods appear to reduce the complexities of ASD. Furthermore, support of health care professionals and adopting public health approaches might help to prevent adverse outcomes related to ASD. Future research is required to determine the prevalence of ASD and related outcomes in low/middle income countries as this area is highly neglected.


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