ADHD and ADD Caused by Food Allergies With almost two million children estimated at having attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD/ADD), many questions arise as to possible
reasons for this disorder and how it can be managed. Studies have been
conducted to see if having a food allergy or food sensitivity may
possibly contribute to ADHD/ADD symptoms.
Does Food Allergy or Food Sensitivities Cause ADHD/ADD Symptoms
September 2007, a study was released indicating food additives do
increase the level of hyperactivity among children at least until middle
childhood. Jim Stevenson, professor of psychology at the University of
Southampton, led the research team and found that these food additives
increased behaviors of inattention, impulsivity and overactivity.
2007, numerous other studies have been completed, though they are still
controversial in their findings. Another study done at the Cornell
Medical Center in New York found that 73% of children in the study
responded favorably to a multiple item elimination diet. Many of the
children reacted to specific foods, dyes and preservatives. The final
conclusion was that dietary factors may be a factor for children
suffering from ADHD/ADD.
What Types of Food Allergy or Food Sensitivities Can Cause ADHD/ADD Symptoms
studies are still inconclusive, it's suggested that parents eliminate
some common food additives in their child's diet to see if any
noticeable improvement occurs.
Common food additives that may increase hyperactivity include:
a processed food is brightly colored, it is a good indicator that an
FD&C is present. Many products are now confirming they "contain no
artificial colorings or flavorings."
- sodium benzoate
# 6 (sunset yellow); found in many beverages, candy and other sweets.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), requires all labeling to
indicate if FD&C # 5 is used.
- FD&C # 10 (quinoline yellow)
- FD&C # 5(tartrazine)
- FD&D # 40 (allura red)
Controlling ADHD/ADD Symptoms with Healthier Foods and Diet
with a doctor or dietary specialist can aid in creating a balanced and
healthy diet for a child who suffers from ADHD/ADD. Eliminating some
types of foods and adding others is a strategy offered by the Mayo
Clinic when creating a diet for children ADHD/ADD.
Dietary considerations for kids with ADHD/ADD include the following:
results are not yet available to link whether or not ADHD/ADD symptoms
are caused or increased due to food allergies or food sensitivities.
Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can modify their
diets to exclude common food dyes and preservatives to see if there are
any noticeable behavior improvements occur. Increasing good foods like
omega-3 fatty acids and fresh fruits are also recommended to help
improve ADHD/ADD symptoms.
- Limit sugary foods as much as possible.
- Avoid processed foods.
- Increase omega-3 fatty acids.
- Increase fresh fruits, vegetables and grains.
information contained in this article is for educational purposes only
and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the
opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his
or her health should contact a doctor for advice.
ADHD Child. "ADHD Statistics" (accessed September 15, 2010)
The New York Times. " Some Food Additives Raise Hyperactivity, Study Finds" (accessed September 15, 2010)
U.S National Library of Medicine. "Foods and additives are common causes of the attention deficity hyperactive disorder in children" (accessed September 15, 2010)
Mayo Clinic. "Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children" (accessed September 15, 2010)
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