Dietary Sensitivities and ADHD Symptoms: Thirty-five Years of Research

Department of Foods & Nutrition, Purdue University, 700 State Street (G-46), West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
Clinical Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 1.15). 12/2010; 50(4):279-93. DOI: 10.1177/0009922810384728
Source: PubMed


Artificial food colors (AFCs) have not been established as the main cause of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but accumulated evidence suggests that a subgroup shows significant symptom improvement when consuming an AFC-free diet and reacts with ADHD-type symptoms on challenge with AFCs. Of children with suspected sensitivities, 65% to 89% reacted when challenged with at least 100 mg of AFC. Oligoantigenic diet studies suggested that some children in addition to being sensitive to AFCs are also sensitive to common nonsalicylate foods (milk, chocolate, soy, eggs, wheat, corn, legumes) as well as salicylate-containing grapes, tomatoes, and orange. Some studies found "cosensitivity" to be more the rule than the exception. Recently, 2 large studies demonstrated behavioral sensitivity to AFCs and benzoate in children both with and without ADHD. A trial elimination diet is appropriate for children who have not responded satisfactorily to conventional treatment or whose parents wish to pursue a dietary investigation.

    • "Interest was again rekindled when a later study found a significant association between synthetic food colorings and parent-rated ADHD symptoms (Schab & Trinh, 2004). A 2011 qualitative review found that a subgroup of children diagnosed with ADHD may be sensitive to these additives and could benefit from a restricted diet (Stevens, Kuczek, Burgess, Hurt & Arnold, 2011). A meta-analysis including only double-blind, placebocontrolled randomized trials approximated that 33% of children with ADHD may respond clinically to dietary interventions, though only 8% have symptoms related to synthetic food colors (Nigg, Lewis, Edinger & Falk, 2012). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in psychiatry or integrative psychiatry covers a wide range of biological, psychological and mind-body treatments that enhance standard medical practices and patient outcomes. While CAM approaches are popular among patients, health professionals have received limited education in these interventions and they are often unaware of their patients’ use of CAM treatments. Method: This overview highlights evidence-based CAM treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) including dietary interventions, phytomedicines, mind-body practices and neurofeedback. Results: While conventional treatments are the mainstays for ADHD, there are a large number of available treatments that can be used to enhance treatment response. Conclusion: With improved education and further scientific and clinical research, validated integrative treatments will provide more effective, lower risk and lower cost care for patients with ADHD.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015
  • Source
    • "Although the contribution to behavioural disturbances is still controversial [9], evidence suggests that AFD consumption increases the risk of behavioural change in children [10]–[13]. Earlier reports indicated that children with ADHD may show above-average sensitivity to AFDs [14], while other findings suggested that AFDs may affect healthy populations as well [15]. In particular, previous studies showed that AFD consumption results in increased motor activity [15]–[16]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The consumption of artificial food dye (AFD) during childhood and adolescence has been linked to behavioural changes, such as hyperactivity. It is possible that the vulnerability to AFDs is modified by prenatal stress. Common consequences of prenatal stress include hyperactivity, thus potentially leading to synergistic actions with AFDs. Here, we investigated the compounding effect of multigenerational prenatal stress (MPS) and AFD consumption on the development of hyperactivity and anxiety-related behaviours across the lifespan in male rats. MPS treatment involved a family history of four consecutive generations of prenatal stress (F4 generation). AFD treatment included a 4%-concentration of FD&C Red 40, FD&C Yellow 5, FD&C Yellow 6, and FD&C Blue 1 in the drinking water from postnatal days 22 to 50 to resemble juvenile and adolescent dietary exposure. Using several exploration tasks, animals were tested in motor activity and anxiety-like behaviours from adolescence to 13 months of age. MPS resulted in hyperactivity both early (50 days) and later in life (13 months), with normalized activity patterns at reproductive age. AFD consumption resulted in hyperactivity during consumption, which subsided following termination of treatment. Notably, both MPS and AFD promoted risk-taking behaviour in young adults (3 months). There were few synergistic effects between MPS and AFD in this study. The findings suggest that AFDs exert the most noticeable effects at the time of exposure. MPS, however, results in a characteristic lifespan profile of behavioural changes, indicating that development and aging represent particularly vulnerable periods in life during which a family history of prenatal stress may precipitate.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · PLoS ONE
  • Source
    • "Corn is found in a wide variety of packaged foods, such as cereals, candies, jams, syrups, sauces, snack foods, canned fruits, prepared meats and beverages. Though not considered a common food allergen corn allergy is increasingly being discussed between doctors across the world [1] [2]. Treatment for corn allergy includes strict avoidance of corn ingredients. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A rapid and accurate detection of corn (Zea mays L.) ingredients in processed foods is important for food safety and quality assurance. This study aimed to develop PCR-based approach for fast screening of the corn in foodstuffs. To this purpose a new PCR-based DNA marker specific to the corn zein gene was developed, three uniplex PCR methods and one triplex PCR system targeting invertase and zein genes were compared. Different corn-derived foodstuffs such as: flour, chips, flakes and snacks were investigated. Analysis of PCR products by agarose gel electrophoresis demonstrated that multiplex PCR method represents the most reliable and rapid tool for identification of corn ingredients in highly processed foods.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
Show more