Secretin is a gastrointestinal hormone that helps promote digestion of food.
It stimulates the stomach to produce the enzyme pepsin, the liver to produce bile, and the pancreas to produce digestive juices that help neutralize acidity in the intestines.
Secretin injections or infusions are used to treat a variety of conditions including pancreatic dysfunction and gastrinoma.
Some people believe that secretin can also be used to treat some of the problems facing people with autism (such as gastro-intestinal problems) and lead to improvements in other areas (such as sociability, speech, and sleep).
The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) made the following recommendation.
'Do not use secretin for the management of core symptoms of autism in adults.' (NICE, 2012)
We believe that the theory behind the use of secretin as a treatment for autism is weak and unproven.
There is overwhelmingly strong research evidence to show that secretin is not effective in treating autism. On the contrary there are some reports of negative effects in some studies.
Because of this, we cannot recommend the use of secretin for people with autism.
Please read our Disclaimer on Autism Interventions