Current Health News You Can Use: Single Injection Of Secretin Does Not Treat Autism


This column will highlight the significant health related articles that were recently published in the major peer-reviewed medical journals. Articles selected for this column will support natural medical therapies or positions. If you have access to e-mail you can receive the most recent and expanded weekly version of this column. All you need to do is go to my web site at and hit the subscribe button. This newsletter is FREE. It is published every Monday. Back issues of the newsletter are also available on my web site.

Children who received secretin in a carefully designed study fared no better than children who received a placebo, that is, a shot of an inactive substance. None of the children experienced serious side effects from either treatment.

The New England Journal of Medicine 1999;341:1801-1806, 1842-1843.

COMMENT: Autistic disorder is a serious neuropsychiatric disorder with onset in the first years of life that is characterized by delayed and deviant social and communication skills, associated with various forms of unusual behavior (e.g., repetitive behavior and unusual responses to the environment). The term pervasive developmental disorder refers to a condition with symptoms suggestive of autism but that does not meet the full criteria for autism. In slightly less than half the cases, these children never develop communicative speech. This is the first of at least one dozen secretin trials that are currently in progress. I suspect that most of them will come up with the same result; secretin does not work. I believe that this is true if secretin is not provided in a comprehensive natural program, the most important factor being integration of gluten, casein, sugar and grain-free diet. I doubt that we will see a study that reports on this combination for a number of reasons. The main reason is that conventional medicine does not believe that nutrition has anything to do with autism, or for that matter, most chronic illness. The other important issue is that most researchers are highly reluctant to conduct a trial in which a number of variables are being studied. The truth however, is that secretin does work. I have used it successfully for dozens of autistic children with favorable results. However, it clearly does not work for everyone, and the likelihood of it working seems directly proportional to the child's compliance with the diet program. My office has produced two videos that detail my approach to autism. The first is a two-hour lecture that I gave to about 100 parents of autistic children. I review my results with secretin and the details of my recommendations for the program. We also produced a two-hour video on how to implement the diet strategies that has five parents of autistic children providing insights on how they implemented the program. Both vi deos are available by calling my office.

- Dr. Mercola is board certified in family medicine and is the medical director of the Optimal Wellness Center in Schaumburg, Illinois. He is a member of AAEM, ACAM and CMDS (Christian Medical & Dental Society). His passion is treating complex chronic illness by integrating lifestyle changes with innovative tools in nutrition and energy medicine. He uses sophisticated biochemical assessments to help him individualize treatment programs for patients. Additionally, he incorporates autonomic nervous system corrections developed by Dr. Klinghardt to resolve the emotional traumas and conflicts that are always associated with chronic illness.


By Joseph M. Mercola

Share this with your friends