Category Archives: ADHD

Ly 2017: Elimination diets’ efficacy and mechanisms in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder.

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European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.  2017.  Feb 11.    doi: 10.1007/s00787-017-0959-1 In her review of the research, Dr. Ly discusses the use of elimination diets for ADHD and autism from the point of view of the interaction of the metabolic, immune, … Continue reading

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Ríos-Hernández 2017: The Mediterranean Diet and ADHD in Children and Adolescents

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Pediatrics,  2017 Jan 30. pii: e20162027 This study took place in Spain, where families have a long tradition of eating the Mediterranean diet.  As diets today veer away from traditional healthful foods towards junk food, candies and convenience foods, behavior … Continue reading

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Malin 2015: Exposure to fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States: an ecological association

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Environmental Health, Feb 27;14:17. doi: 10.1186/s12940-015-0003-1. The authors comment that while environmental factors known to increase the risk of ADHD include exposure to manganese, poly-chlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), nicotine, mercury, arsenic, food additives, food coloring, pesticides and lead, almost no attention … Continue reading

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Hormann 2014: Holding Thermal Receipt Paper and Eating Food after Using Hand Sanitizer Results in High Serum Bioactive and Urine Total Levels of Bisphenol A (BPA)

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PLoS One. 2014 Oct 22;9(10): e110509. If you must handle thermal receipts, don’t use sanitizers or hand lotion – both often contain chemicals that will encourage the BPA to slide right through your skin. In the experiment described in this … Continue reading

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Ghanizadeh 2015: The effect of dietary education on ADHD, a randomized controlled clinical trial

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Annals of General Psychiatry (2015) March 1; 14:12 This was a study on children with ADHD who were already receiving Ritalin therapy, to see if improving their diet in general might make a difference.  The children were divided into two … Continue reading

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Arnold 1999: Treatment alternatives for Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

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Journal of Attention Disorders, Vol. 3(1): 30-48 (1999) This review of “alternative” treatments was undertaken for the National Institute of Health (NIH) 1998 Consensus Development Conference on ADHD.  23 such treatments were identified.  Some were considered effective or possibly effective … Continue reading

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Nigg 2012: Meta-Analysis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms, Restriction Diet, and Synthetic Food Color Additives

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Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2012 Jan; 51(1): 86–97.e8. This meta-analysis of 24 published studies on food colors, plus 10 more on dietary restriction, concluded that a restriction diet (e.g., the Feingold diet or an … Continue reading

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Cormier 2007: Diet and child behavior problems: Fact or fiction?

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Pediatric Nursing. 2007 Mar-Apr; 33(2): 138-43. This review is intended to help nurses support parents who want to try various therapeutic diets such as the Feingold diet, oligoantigenic (few foods) diet, or gluten-free, casein-free diet for their children.  The nurses … Continue reading

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Breakey 1997: The role of diet and behaviour in childhood

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Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. 1997 June; 33(3): 190-4. The author summarizes and discusses the research from the 1970s up until the 1990s.  She emphasizes that studies often only can deal with a single item but in actuality there … Continue reading

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Schnoll 2003: Nutrition in the treatment of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A neglected but important aspect

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Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 2003 March; 28(1): 63-75. In this paper, Schnoll reviews the research on food additives, refined sugars, food allergies, and fatty acid metabolism as it relates to ADHD. QUOTE:  “Although clinicians and researchers alike acknowledge the complex … Continue reading

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Konikowska 2012: The influence of components of diet on the symptoms of ADHD in children

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Roczniki Panstwowego Zakladu Higieny. 2012;63(2): 127-34 In this review of ADHD treatments, Konikowska describes hyperactivity as a genetic trait connected to abnormal brain maturation, likely related to less activity by neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine.  While stimulant medications effectively increase the … Continue reading

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Mossin 2016: Inverse associations between cord vitamin D and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms: A child cohort study

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The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2016 Sep 30.   doi: 10.1177/0004867416670013 The researchers analyzed the records of 1,233 infants, whose parents filled out an ADHD questionnaire when the child was a little less than 3 years old. They … Continue reading

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Edlow 2016: Maternal Obesity and Neurodevelopmental and Psychiatric Disorders in Offspring

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Prenatal Diagnosis. 2016, Sep 29. doi: 10.1002/pd.4932 Edlow reviews the current animal and human research showing a connection between maternal (and sometimes paternal) obesity and high fat diets on  neuro-developmental and psychiatric disorders in the offspring. These disorders include cognitive … Continue reading

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Goldenring 1980: Effects of continuous gastric infusion of food dyes on developing rat pups.

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Life Sciences. 1980 Nov 17;27(20):1897-904. In this study, some rats were treated with 6-OHDA and some were treated with placebo.  In each of these groups, some were given food dyes and some were given placebo, resulting in 4 groups of … Continue reading

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Fasmer 2010: Comorbidity of Asthma With ADHD

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Journal of Attention Disorders.  2010 Jun 23. In Norway, the Prescription Database contains information on all prescription drugs dispensed since 2001, which creates a unique opportunity to address the issue of whether the diagnoses of ADHD and asthma are associated … Continue reading

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Yu 2016: Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption Is Adversely Associated with Childhood Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2016 July 4;13(7). pii: E678. In this study of Taiwanese children, a strong correlation was found between amount of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) consumed per day and ADHD.  A dose-response effect was observed, … Continue reading

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Lanphear 2015: The impact of toxins on the developing brain.

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Annual Review of Public Health,  2015 Mar 18;36:211-30. The objective of this review is to provide an overview on the population impact of toxins on the developing brain and describe implications for public health. QUOTE:  “The blood–brain barrier of the … Continue reading

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Eagle 2014: ADHD impacted by sulfotransferase (SULT1A) inhibition from artificial food colors and plant-based foods

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Physiology & Behavior, 135 (2014), 174-179. SULT1A inhibitors in foods, including natural substances and artificial food colors, have a role in ADHD that can both worsen or improve symptoms. … SULT1A inhibition can influence brain catecholamines through the intermediary of … Continue reading

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Horrocks 1999: Health benefits of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

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Pharmacological Research, 1999.  Sep;40 (3):211-25 DHA  and EPA are long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.  This review lists the many benefits of these as well as the effects of a deficiency in both infants and adults. QUOTE:  “… deficiencies of DHA are … Continue reading

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Dykman 1998: Effect of nutritional supplements on attentional-deficit hyperactivity disorder

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Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science, 1998,  Jan-Mar;33(1):49-60 This was a small study of 17 children, some on medications and some not.  During the study, some of those on medication had their meds reduced by half and some did not.  For … Continue reading

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Vojdani 2015: Immune reactivity to food coloring

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Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 2015. 21 Suppl 1:52-62. During the past 50 years, the amount of synthetic dye used in foods has increased by 500%.  At the same time, there has been an alarming rise in behavioral problems … Continue reading

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Malakar 2014: Minding the greens – Role of dietary salicylates in common behavioural health conditions

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Acta Alimentaria, 43(2), 344-359. QUOTE:  “Given that it is now well-known that autistic patients tend to be PST-deficient, causal link between a low-salicylate diet and the mitigation of symptom-severity seems a rather plausible hypothesis.” QUOTE:  “It is quite apparent from … Continue reading

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Stevens 2014: Amounts of artificial food colors in commonly consumed beverages and potential behavioral implications for consumption in children

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Clinical Pediatrics, 2014. Feb; 53(2): 133-40. The amount of food dyes certified over the years has increased more than 5-fold since 1950 (12 mg/capita/day) to 2012 (68 mg/capita/day).  Studies that used 50 mg or more of food dyes showed a … Continue reading

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Stevenson 2014: Research review: the role of diet in the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder–an appraisal of the evidence on efficacy and recommendations on the design of future studies.

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Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 2014 May;55(5):416-27. The author compares 3 kinds of studies for treatment of ADHD – restricted elimination diets (RED), artificial food colour elimination (AFCE), and essential fatty acid (e.g. fish oil) supplements (SFFA).  He concludes … Continue reading

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Verlaet 2014: Nutrition, immunological mechanisms and dietary immunomodulation in ADHD.

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European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 2014 Jul;23(7):519-29. Verlaet discusses the common causes of GI problems, asthma, eczema, ear infections, and ADHD – involving both genes, immunity, and inflammation.  An immune imbalance can be related to food provoking ADHD-like behavior.  Food … Continue reading

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Gray 2013: Salicylate elimination diets in children: Is food restriction supported by the evidence?

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The Medical Journal of Australia, 2013. Jun 17; 198(11): 600-2. Gray was treating patients who had tried the low-salicylate diet (called the FAILSAFE diet) used in Australia, which is more restrictive than the Feingold diet, eliminating both more of the … Continue reading

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Sonuga-Barke 2013: Nonpharmacological Interventions for ADHD: Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses of Randomized Controlled Trials of Dietary and Psychological Treatments

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American Journal of Psychiatry, 2013.  March. 170(3): 275-89. This paper is a review of dietary and psychological treatments for ADHD. QUOTE (Conclusion):  “Free fatty acid supplementation and artificial food color exclusions appear to have beneficial effects on ADHD symptoms, although … Continue reading

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Stevens 2013: Mechanisms of behavioral, atopic, and other reactions to artificial food colors in children

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Nutrition Review, 2013 May;71(5):268-81. Stevens reviews the research on mechanisms by which food dyes and common foods may cause behavioral changes in children with and without ADHD.  The three potential mechanisms are toxicological, antinutritional, and hypersensitivity. Suggestions for future studies … Continue reading

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Arnold 2012: Artificial food colors and attention-deficit/hyperactivity symptoms: Conclusions to dye for

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Neurotherapeutics. 2012 Jul;9(3):599-609. Arnold reviews the history of the effects of artificial food colors (AFC) on ADHD and the testimony to the 2011 FDA Food Advisory Committee. Arnold discusses possible biological mechanisms such as the effects of food dyes on … Continue reading

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Millichap 2012: The diet factor in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

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Pediatrics, 2012 Feb;129(2): 330-7. Millichap says his article is a comprehensive overview of the role of diet for treatment of children with ADHD “when pharmacotherapy has proven unsatisfactory or unacceptable.”  Unfortunately, he falls short of his promise.  He quotes almost … Continue reading

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Saab 2012: The effect of diet supplementation on children with ADHD

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Lebanese American University, Masters Thesis 2012 In a project for her Masters Degree in Education, Linda Saab performed a case study on a 9 year old boy in Beirut who was diagnosed with ADHD.   Although he was observed for 5 … Continue reading

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Weiss 2012: Synthetic Food Colors and Neurobehavioral Hazards: The View from Environmental Health Research

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Environmental Health Perspectives, 2012 Jan;120(1):1-5. Dr. Weiss examines the basis of the FDA’s position on food dyes, the decision of the Food Advisory Committee, and the reasons that this is an environmental health issue He points out that they limited … Continue reading

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Hoekstra 2011: Is there potential for the treatment of children with ADHD beyond psychostimulants?

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European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 2011. 20 (9), 431-2. Concerned about the enormous increase in use of psychostimulant drugs such as Ritalin, the authors of this editorial discuss the research supporting the use of other options.  In particular, they find … Continue reading

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Kamel 2011: The Potential Health Hazard of Tartrazine and Levels of Hyperactivity, Anxiety-Like Symptoms, Depression and Anti-social behaviour in Rats

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Journal of American Science, 2011; 7 (6) This paper from Egypt describes a double-blind controlled study on rats to determine the behavioral effects of long-term exposure to various doses of tartrazine (E102, Yellow 5) provided in the drinking water of … Continue reading

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Pelsser 2011: Effects of a restricted elimination diet on the behaviour of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (INCA study): a randomised controlled trial

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The Lancet, 2011. Feb 5;377 (9764): 494-503 This is a study of 100 children diagnosed with ADHD but not selected on any basis of expectation of a dietary effect.   The children were randomly assigned to an experimental diet group and … Continue reading

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Stevens 2011: Dietary sensitivities and ADHD symptoms: thirty-five years of research

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Clinical Pediatrics (Phila), 2011. Apr; 50(4): 279-93. In their review of the literature, Stevens et al conclude that the evidence indicates that a diet free of food dyes is appropriate for “children who have not responded satisfactorily to conventional treatment, … Continue reading

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Pelsser 2010: Effects of food on physical and sleep complaints in children with ADHD: a randomised controlled pilot study

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European Journal of Pediatrics, 2010 Sep;169(9): 1129-38. The 27 children in the Pelsser 2009 study were also evaluated for the effect of their diet condition on their sleep problems and other physical complaints.  Such complaints included headaches, bellyaches, unusual thirst, … Continue reading

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Stevenson 2010: The Role of Histamine Degradation Gene Polymorphisms in Moderating the Effects of Food Additives on Children’s ADHD Symptoms

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American Journal of Psychiatry. 2010 Sep;167(9): 1108-15 Stevenson analyzed the reactions of children in the McCann (2007) study to see why not all children react to additives in the same way.  He found that variation in several genes that control … Continue reading

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Pelsser 2009: A randomised controlled trial into the effects of food on ADHD

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European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 2009 Jan;18(1):12-9. In a randomized controlled trial in the Netherlands, 27 children were assigned either to an elimination diet or to a “waiting list” control group for 5 weeks, beginning after a 2-week “baseline” diet … Continue reading

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Curtis 2008 Nutritional and environmental approaches to preventing and treating autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): a review

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Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2008.  Jan-Feb; 14(1): 79-85. This is a review of literature available in 2008. The authors say many of the studies link exposure to toxins such as mercury, lead, and pesticides, as well as prenatal … Continue reading

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