Preventing and Treating ADHD in Children

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most common neurobehavioral disorder diagnosed in children, and its prevalence is growing.  Between 2003 and 2007, there was a 22% increase in ADHD prevalence in the United States - today, about 9.5% of school-age children have ADHD.1

ADHD is characterized by restlessness, difficulty focusing, poor impulse control, distractibility, and in some cases overactivity; plus these symptoms have significant negative consequences on the child’s academic performance, social skills, and relationships with family members, teachers, and peers.  In addition, ADHD is often accompanied by learning disorders, discipline problems, anxiety, and/or depression.2

Child yelling. Flickr: sizumaru
ADHD is a complex disorder of the brain, believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.3,4 Smoking and alcohol use during pregnancy, micronutrient deficiencies, excessive television watching early in life, and inadequate omega-3 fatty acid intake are a few of the environmental factors that increase risk.3,5

Nutrition and ADHD

Poor nutrition is a significant concern for attentional problems and ADHD – here are some of the dietary factors that have been linked to ADHD risk in scientific studies:

  • High sugar intake is also associated with hyperactive behavior and ADHD.6,7
  • Inadequate micronutrient intake. Supplementation to correct micronutrient deficiencies has been shown to improve ADHD symptoms.2,8
  • A low-nutrient diet high in processed foods and soft drinks at age 4 ½ has been associated with hyperactivity in children at age 7.9 Similarly, a “Western” dietary pattern has also been associated with ADHD in 14-year-olds.10
  • Food additives and dyes: many colored foods are marketed to children, and hyperactivity in children following ingestion of food dyes is well documented in placebo-controlled studies.6,11 Furthermore, a 2004 meta-analysis of 16 studies in children who were already hyperactive showed that their hyperactive behavior increased after ingesting food colorings.12 Read more.
  • There is preliminary evidence that certain pesticides (called organophosphates) commonly found on some fruits are associated with ADHD.13 Read more.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (especially DHA) are the building blocks a child needs to build a healthy brain. Insufficient omega-3 levels are common in children with ADHD, and there is evidence that omega-3 supplementation, especially in combination with the omega-6 fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA; found in borage oil and evening primrose oil) improves behavior and ADHD symptoms. 14,15   

Treatment for most children with ADHD: stimulant drugs

The primary mode of treatment for ADHD is a combination of stimulant drugs and behavioral treatment. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 2.7 million children in the U.S. are currently taking medication for ADHD.1 There is concern about these drugs because of side effects (the two most common are insomnia and loss of appetite) and the potential for abuse, since stimulants such as Ritalin (methylphenidate) and amphetamines have actions on the brain similar to cocaine.6 Also evidence has recently emerged that these stimulants may adversely affect the cardiovascular system – long-term stimulant use increases heart rate, and elevated heart rate increases the risk of cardiac death.9,16,17 

Natural Prevention and Treatment of ADHD

As a parent, these are effective strategies that will help to prevent your children from developing ADHD:

  • Limit television time and do not expose children under the age of 2 to any television. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of two should not watch television.5
  • Feed the whole family a health-promoting, high-nutrient diet of colorful fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds.
  • Avoid processed foods, artificially colored foods, and added sugars. The simplest and most effective way to avoid the potential harmful effects of synthetic dyes is to avoid processed foods.   When buying the occasional packaged food, check the ingredient list to avoid synthetic dyes and additives.
  • To assure adequate omega-3 fatty acids for brain development, give children supplemental DHA and EPA and feed them omega-3-rich foods (ground flaxseed, hemp and chia seeds, walnuts) regularly.
  • Buy organic produce when possible to limit pesticide exposure, especially when buying highly pesticide-laden crops.


If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, a family commitment to dietary changes is crucial. My nutritional approach to ADHD used in conjunction with appropriate behavioral treatment has helped numerous families.  Although it may take up to 6 months, significant improvements are almost always observed, and stimulant medications are rarely necessary.

  • Feed the whole family a health-promoting, high-nutrient diet of colorful fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds.
  • For adequate omega-3 fatty acids:
  • Supplemental GLA (an omega-6 fatty acid found in borage oil and evening primrose oil)
  • Gluten (from wheat) and/or casein (from dairy products) avoidance for children who are sensitive to these proteins.

 

References:
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Rate of Parent-Reported ADHD Increasing [http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/features/adhd-parent-reporting.html]
2. Kidd PM: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children: rationale for its integrative management. Altern Med Rev 2000;5:402-428.
3. Curatolo P, D'Agati E, Moavero R: The neurobiological basis of ADHD. Ital J Pediatr 2010;36:79.
4. Antshel KM, Hargrave TM, Simonescu M, et al: Advances in understanding and treating ADHD. BMC medicine 2011;9:72.
5. Christakis DA, Zimmerman FJ, DiGiuseppe DL, et al: Early television exposure and subsequent attentional problems in children. Pediatrics 2004;113:708-713.
6. Artificial food colouring and hyperactivity symptoms in children. Prescrire Int 2009;18:215.
7. Schnoll R, Burshteyn D, Cea-Aravena J: Nutrition in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a neglected but important aspect. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback 2003;28:63-75.
8. Curtis LT, Patel K: Nutritional and environmental approaches to preventing and treating autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): a review. J Altern Complement Med 2008;14:79-85.
9. Wiles NJ, Northstone K, Emmett P, et al: 'Junk food' diet and childhood behavioural problems: results from the ALSPAC cohort. Eur J Clin Nutr 2009;63:491-498.
10. Howard AL, Robinson M, Smith GJ, et al: ADHD is associated with a "Western" dietary pattern in adolescents. J Atten Disord 2011;15:403-411.
11. Schab DW, Trinh NH: Do artificial food colors promote hyperactivity in children with hyperactive syndromes? A meta-analysis of double-blind placebo-controlled trials. J Dev Behav Pediatr 2004;25:423-434.
12. McCann D, Barrett A, Cooper A, et al: Food additives and hyperactive behaviour in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the community: a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Lancet 2007;370:1560-1567.
13. Bouchard MF, Bellinger DC, Wright RO, et al: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and urinary metabolites of organophosphate pesticides. Pediatrics 2010;125:e1270-1277.
14. Antalis CJ, Stevens LJ, Campbell M, et al: Omega-3 fatty acid status in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2006;75:299-308.
15. Transler C, Eilander A, Mitchell S, et al: The impact of polyunsaturated fatty acids in reducing child attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders. J Atten Disord 2010;14:232-246.
16. Vitiello B, Elliott GR, Swanson JM, et al: Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Over 10 Years in the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children With ADHD. Am J Psychiatry 2011.
17. Verrier RL, Tan A: Heart rate, autonomic markers, and cardiac mortality. Heart Rhythm 2009;6:S68-75.

Tags:

Dangers associated with food dyes

Synthetic food dyes are used in many processed foods, such as colored breakfast cereals, candy, and “fruit-flavored” beverages and snacks. A total of 15 million pounds of dyes are added to the U.S. food supply each year. Our consumption of food dyes has increased 5-fold since 1955 as our nation has consumed more and more packaged foods.1

These synthetic dyes have been linked to a wide variety of health concerns including behavioral problems, hyperactivity, allergic reactions, and even cancers. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), an organization that advocates for nutrition and food safety, is calling for a ban on these synthetic dyes. Food-based dyes such as beet juice and turmeric are readily available, but are more expensive and often less bright, making synthetic dyes more attractive to food manufacturers.

Food dyes and allergic reactions:

Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 have been reported to cause allergic reactions in some people.

Food dyes and hyperactivity:

Food dyes are of particular concern for children, since many colored foods are marketed to children, and their smaller body size makes them more susceptible to potential toxins. Hyperactivity in children following ingestion of food dyes is well-documented in placebo-controlled studies. Furthermore, a 2004 meta-analysis of 16 studies in children who were already hyperactive showed that their hyperactive behavior increased in response to food colorings.2 In a study published in Lancet in 2007, researchers tested two different mixtures of food dyes vs. placebo in children of two age groups – one mixture increased hyperactivity in 3 year old children, and both mixtures increased hyperactivity in the 8-9 year-olds.3 This study sparked a reaction by the British government. They instructed food manufacturers to eliminate all of these synthetic dyes by the end of 2009. In fact, starting later this month, a warning notice will be required on dyed foods in Europe stating that these foods “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”4  As a result, several international food companies now produce products with food-based dyes or no dyes in the U.K., but continue to include synthetic dyes in their U.S. products.

Food dyes and cancer:

There are eight commonly used synthetic dyes in the U.S., and all have undergone toxicity and tumorigenicity testing in animals. CSPI summarized the results of cancer-related studies in a recent report1:

  • Red 3 was acknowledged by the FDA to be a carcinogen in 1985 and was banned in cosmetics and externally applied drugs. However Red 3 is still used in ingested drugs and foods.
  • The three most widely used dyes (Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6) which account for 90% of dyes in the U.S. are contaminated with low levels of chemical carcinogens, as byproducts of the manufacturing process. Although the FDA places limits on the concentrations of these contaminants in the final dye products, they still may pose risks.
  • Citrus Red 2 added to the diet resulted in bladder tumors.
  • Red 3 resulted in thyroid tumors and caused DNA damage.

In their report, CSPI noted flaws in many of the animal cancer studies on Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40, Green 3, and Blue 2, including bias – most studies were either commissioned or conducted by dye manufacturers, short duration, and lack of exposure to dyes during fetal development. Additional studies are likely needed to determine whether these dyes are safe.

The simplest and most effective way to avoid the potential harmful effects of synthetic dyes is to avoid processed foods.   Unrefined plant foods contain health promoting phytochemicals, not empty calories and synthetic additives of questionable safety. When buying the occasional packaged food, check the ingredient list to avoid synthetic dyes.


References:

1. Center for Science in the Public Interest. Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks. http://cspinet.org/new/pdf/food-dyes-rainbow-of-risks.pdf

2. Artificial food colouring and hyperactivity symptoms in children. Prescrire Int. 2009 Oct;18(103):215.

Schab DW, Trinh NH. Do artificial food colors promote hyperactivity in children with hyperactive syndromes? A meta-analysis of double-blind placebo-controlled trials. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2004 Dec;25(6):423-34.

3. McCann D, Barrett A, Cooper A, et al. Food additives and hyperactive behaviour in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the community: a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Lancet. 2007 Nov 3;370(9598):1560-7.

4. CSPI Says Food Dyes Pose Rainbow of Risks. http://cspinet.org/new/201006291.html

Pesticides commonly found on berries and other fruits may contribute to ADHD

A study in Pediatrics made a connection between exposure to organophosphates – pesticides used on berries and other fruit and vegetable crops – and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children.1

Organophosphates kill agricultural pests by acting as neurotoxins in insects.  Excessive exposure to organophosphates in humans are now  known to have toxic effects. Children are thought to be most vulnerable because the developing brain is especially susceptible to neurotoxic substances. Organophosphate exposure during fetal development and the first 2-3 years of life has previously been linked to detrimental effects on neurodevelopment in young children, including behavioral problems and deficits in memory and motor skills.1,2 High levels of organophosphate metabolites have also been found in children with leukemia.3

Since dysfunctional acetylcholine signaling is thought to be involved in ADHD, and organophosphates act by disrupting acetylcholine signaling, scientists decided to investigate a possible link between organophosphate exposure and ADHD. The researchers pulled data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2000-2004) on urinary metabolites of organophosphates in children 8-15 years of age. 

Their findings showed that children with higher than median excretion of dimethyl thiophosphate, the most common of the organophosphate metabolites, had double the risk of ADHD compared to children with limits below detection. This result is alarming, because it suggests that levels of organophosphate exposure common among U.S. children are capable of promoting ADHD – not just the highest levels of exposure.1

How are children exposed to organophosphates?

Since organophosphates are commonly sprayed on many agricultural products (including corn, apples, pears, grapes, berries, and peaches), diet is the major source of organophosphate exposure in children.  Insecticides used in and around the home are also potential sources, but diet is thought to be predominant. Forty different organophosphate pesticides are currently in use in the U.S., and based on 2001 estimates 73 million pounds of organophosphates are used per year.1

In 2008, the USDA conducted tests that found malathion (one of the 40 organophosphate pesticides) residues in 28% of frozen blueberries, 25% of strawberries, and 19% of celery.1 The Environmental Working Group has found that commercial baby food is the predominant source of organophosphate exposure in infants 6-12 months of age. For young children, the most common culprits are apples, peaches, applesauce, popcorn, grapes, corn chips, and apple juice.4

What can you do to limit exposure?

A study that switched children from conventional to organic foods found a dramatic decrease in urinary metabolites of organophosphates.5  You can reduce your (and your children’s) exposure to organophosphates and other potentially harmful pesticides by buying organic produce whenever possible, especially when buying foods that are most heavily laden with pesticides – celery, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, apples, and grapes  rank among these high-pesticide crops. 

Read more about choosing produce wisely to minimize your family’s exposure to pesticides.

 

References:

1. Bouchard MF, Bellinger DC, Wright RO, et al. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticides. Pediatrics 2010;125:e1270–e1277

2. Harari R, Julvez J, Murata K, et al. Neurobehavioral Deficits and Increased Blood Pressure in School-Age Children Prenatally Exposed to Pesticides. Environ Health Perspect. 2010 Feb 25. [Epub ahead of print]

Jurewicz J, Hanke W. Prenatal and childhood exposure to pesticides and neurobehavioral development: review of epidemiological studies. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2008;21(2):121-32.

3. Fallon Nevada: FAQs: Organophosphates. http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/clusters/Fallon/organophosfaq.htm

4. Environmental Working Group. Overexposed: Organophosphate Insecticides in Children’s Food. http://www.ewg.org/book/export/html/7877

5. Lu C, Toepel K, Irish R, et al. Organic diets significantly lower children's dietary exposure to organophosphorus pesticides. Environ Health Perspect. 2006 Feb;114(2):260-3.

 

 

Omega-3s: Healthy Fats You May Not Be Getting Enough Of...

Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats that reduce inflammation, inhibit cancer development and protect our blood vessels. There are long-chain and short chain fatty acids. Short-chain omega-3 fats are found in some green vegetables, walnuts, and flax, chia, and hemp seeds. The basic building block of short-chain omega-3 fat is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Our bodies are only capable of converting a small amount of these short chain fats to long-chain omega-3 fats, called docoshexanoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

Studies show that people have varying ability to convert ALA into DHA and EPA. Apparently, some people eating sufficient ALA from greens, seeds and walnuts can achieve adequate levels while others cannot. Men generally convert less than women. Conversion of ALA by the body to these longer-chain fatty acids is inefficient: < 5-10% for EPA and only 2-5% for DHA.1

DHA is one of the crucial building blocks of human brain tissue. It has been shown to protect against dementia, depression, inflammatory diseases, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), allergies, and to offer significant benefits for overall cardiovascular health.

Early in life, DHA is supplied via the placenta and from breast milk. While adequate DHA is particularly important for pregnant and nursing women and young children, it is beneficial for all ages!

  • Improves your child's intelligence
  • Aids depression and Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Improves memory
  • Important for brain and eye development
  • Promotes smoother skin; prevents wrinkles
  • Helps prevent heart disease and arthritis
  • Lowers risk of Alzheimer's and senior dementia
  • Lowers "bad" cholesterol

These long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are also produced by marine algae which serve as the source of DHA and EPA in fish. Although, fish is a good source of EPA and DHA, unfortunately, it's one of the most polluted foods which we eat. Therefore, it can not be considered a safe source of these healthy fats.

Fish have been shown to contain fat soluble petrochemicals, such as PCB's and dioxins as a result of the dumping of toxic waste and raw sewage into our oceans. Fish also contains mercury. According to the Center for Disease Control, 1 in 12 women of childbearing age in the United States have unsafe mercury levels (and the CDC's threshold for safety is high). Multiple studies have illustrated most of the body's mercury load comes from the consumption of fish.

For these reasons, I recommend consuming little or no fish. If you choose to consume fish, try to stay away from those high in fat and known to be high in mercury such as shark, swordfish, mackerel, pike, tuna, snapper, lobster, grouper, sea bass and bluefish. Instead, use the lower fat (less polluted) fish such as flounder, sole, haddock, scallops, squid, trout, hake, ocean perch, shrimp and tilapia.

Some nutritional advisors encourage consuming high amounts of flax seed oil to promote the conversion of enough DHA. I do not agree. First of all, flax seed oil is an empty calorie food with little or no vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and flavonoids that were present in the original seeds. Furthermore, we have a significant collection of data that indicates that the consumption of high doses of ALA from flax oil may increase, not decrease the risk of prostate cancer.1 In contrast, flax seed consumption has been shown in multiple studies to lower the risk of both breast cancer and prostate cancer.3

I prefer people not consume much fish to assure sufficient consumption or conversion of omega-3s. Since the ability to self-convert short chain ALA into long-chain DHA is so variable from person to person, I recommend a mixture of natural omega-3 containing plants plus some extra plant-derived DHA. I advise people obtain their omega-3 fats by consuming the cleaner, plant sources such as walnuts, flax, chia, and hemp seeds and by also taking a daily DHA supplement like my DHA Purity. My DHA Purity is a laboratory cultivated DHA product made from microalgae. It is a pure form of DHA without environmental contamination or unnecessary disruption of our ocean life. 

Continue Reading...

Good Foods, Bad Foods. Making Kids Mental!

When I was just a little blogger, my mom put the kibosh on a lot of foods. No chips. No bacon. No white bread. No fast food. No snack cakes. And I’m sure there were others, but I’m too emotionally scarred to remember. Now, did all this make be neurotic? No, never!

Sorry. Sarcasm doesn’t translate well in written form. But seriously, some doctors and nutritionists believe uber vigilant parents who classify certain foods as bad, such as salt and sugar, and other foods as good, like veggies, might be driving their kids crazy.

Some say parents can be too obsessive about their children’s diet and despite their good intentions cause food anxieties. Experts worry this can lead to clinical eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia, which have been diagnosed in increasing numbers among young people over the past two decades. In the past, weight-gain was the criteria for bad foods, like fat and sugar, but that has evolved into a broader concept of health concerns, such as diabetes, heart disease and hyperactivity; The New York Times investigates.

Personally, I wouldn’t say my mom’s food tyranny made me anxious. For the most part, it kept me in check. To this day I’ve never had Whiz. Even when I was fat and bloated I avoided the horrible foods. Sure, I ate poorly, but never Big Macs, nachos or Little Debbie.

Now, if I have kids—wow, I just got the chills—I’ll lead by example, like Dr. Fuhrman says. I’ll eat my veggies and encourage my kid to do the same. I won’t keep crap in the house. And if little Gerry asks, I’ll tell him other daddies let their kids eat junk because they’re mean. Kidding!

Via Slash Food.

Continue Reading...

ADHD Drugs Give Kids Hallucinations!

According to a new study in Pediatrics many drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can cause hallucinations in children, even when taken as directed. Researchers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reviewed 49 clinical studies, conducted by pharmaceutical companies, and determined ADHD drugs can cause psychosis in some children, specifically worms, bugs and snakes crawling all over them. The list of medications included Ritalin, Focalin XR, Adderall XR, Daytrana, Concerta, Strattera, Celltech and Metadate CD; Reuters investigates.

My goodness, how many Scrabble points is all that worth! Now, Dr. Fuhrman is no fan of bombarding kids with drugs for ADHD, calling these medications unnecessary. Instead, he recommends a nutrient-dense diet, devoid of processed foods and packed with healthy foods, like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and brain-building omega-3 fatty acids. And avoid food dyes too! They’ve been linked to ADHD.

Oh, and it was recently discovered drinking a lot of instant coffee causes hallucinations too.

Continue Reading...

ADHD Ups Kids' Obesity-Risk


According to a new study in Pediatrics, by researchers at Brown Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island, children with ADHD are more likely to become overweight. Reuters reports:
The results of prior research has suggested that the impulsivity and poor behavioral regulation that is common in children with ADHD may promote certain eating patterns that increase the risk of obesity, co-authors Molly E. Waring and Dr. Kate L. Lapane, from Brown Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island, note.

To investigate further, the researchers analyzed data from 62,887 children and adolescents included in the 2003-2004 National Survey of Children's Health.

Children with ADHD were identified based the response of the parent to the question: "Has a doctor or health professional ever told you that your child has attention-deficit disorder or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, that is, ADD or ADHD?"

The prevalence of ADD or ADHD was 8.8 percent, the authors report in the journal Pediatrics, and approximately half the affected children were taking medication for the condition.
I think most mental disorders could lead to weight-gain. When I was depressed and self-loathing I was over 60 pounds heavier than I am now—food is a great crutch.

ADHD: Ban Artificial Food Dyes


Activists are calling on the Food and Drug Administration to ban artificial food dyes after more research confirms the link to ADHD. David Kohn of The Baltimore Sun explains:
"At this point, there's no evidence of a connection between dyes and children's behavior," says FDA consumer safety officer Judith Kidwell. She points out that in 1982, a National Institutes of Health panel examined the safety of artificial dyes and found no evidence of risk.

That attitude frustrates activists. "They're at least 20 years behind the science," says Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Last month, the group petitioned the FDA to ban use of the dyes, as well as sodium benzoate, a common preservative that critics also suspect of contributing to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

"At the very least, they ought to give some consideration to what the British government is doing," Jacobson said.

The FDA is reviewing the CSPI's petition; a spokesman said he didn't know when the agency would respond.

Scientists aren't sure how these chemicals might affect the brain. There are only eight artificial food dyes used in the U.S. To get specific colors, manufacturers mix them.
Not the first time we’ve heard things like this. Check out these posts:
I’ve never felt the need to consume neon green food.

To Ban Food Dyes...


Yesterday we learned that food additives may contribute to ADHD and now The Center for Science in the Public Interest is calling for an outright ban on food colorings. More from Anna Boyd of eFluxMedia:
Therefore, the group is asking the FDA to ban the following eight food dyes: Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Orange B, Red 3, and Yellow 6. These ingredients, primarily derived from petroleum and coal tars, are used in everything from candies to cereals, soft drinks, and snack foods. Jacobson told the Associated Press that these chemicals are used to mask the absence of real food and to increase the appeal of a low-nutrition product to children.

However, the FDA dismissed the request saying on its web site “although the hypothesis was popularized in the 1970s, well-controlled studies conducted since then have produced no evidence that food additives cause hyperactivity or learning disabilities in children.”

The FDA’s position was also embraced by a prominent industry group, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, whose chief science officer Robert Brackett said parents and children “can safely enjoy food products containing these food colors.”
You’d think the potential health risks would outweigh any need to consume colored eggs and purple candies—right?

Hyperactivity: The Food Additives Argument

A new studying suggests eliminating colorings and preservatives from foods in order curb hyperactivity disorders. From The BMJ Publishing Group:
Whether preservatives and colourings cause or exacerbate hyperactive behaviours is an important question for many paediatricians and parents. A recent randomised placebo controlled trial in 297 children aged 3-9 years provides evidence of increased hyperactive behaviour after they ate a mixture of food colourings and a preservative (sodium benzoate).1 In contrast to many previous studies, the children were from the general population and did not have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The trial found an adverse effect of the mixture on behaviour as measured by a global hyperactivity aggregate score. The daily dose approximated that found in two 56 g bags of sweets.
Dr. Fuhrman is no stranger to this argument. He’s seen it first hand. Take a look:
What has been shown to be highly effective in some recent studies is high-nutrient eating, removal of processed foods, and supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids.1 The difference between my approach and others is that it changes a poor diet into an excellent one, supplying an adequate amount of thousands of important nutrients that work synergistically as well as removing those noxious substances such as chemical additives, trans fat, saturated fats, and empty-calorie food that place a nutritional stress on our brain cells. I believe this comprehensive approach is more effective; the scientific literature suggests this, and I have observed this in my practice with hundreds of ADHD children who have see me as patients.
Certainly lends credence to getting off preservatives and other additives.
Continue Reading...