Bateman 2004: The effects of a double blind, placebo controlled, artificial food colourings and benzoate preservative challenge on hyperactivity in a general population sample of preschool children

Lily-1000Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2004 Jun;89(6):506-11.

The authors put 277  3-year-old children from the general population on a diet without artificial food dyes or benzoate preservatives for a week, and then challenged them at various times with a drink containing either a placebo or 20 mg of coloring and 45 mg sodium benzoate.

During the first week (when artificial colorings were first removed), hyperactive behavior decreased, and over the following weeks the parents reported increased hyperactivity after the “active” rather than the “placebo” drinks.

CONCLUSION:  “There is a general adverse effect of artificial food colouring and benzoate preservatives on the behaviour of 3 year old children …”

QUOTE:  We believe that this suggests that benefit would accrue for all children if artificial food colours and benzoate preservatives were removed from their diet.” (p. 511)

NOTE:  All this with only 20 mg food dyes!!  Imagine if they had used the 58 mg of coloring present in one (1) cupcake with red frosting!!

NOTE:  At the FDA hearings on food dyes in 2011, it was pointed out that because sodium benzoate was included in the study, it was not known whether food dyes themselves are the problem, or only when combined with sodium benzoate – or whether maybe the benzoates alone caused the problem.

NOTE:  Benzoate preservatives are not routinely eliminated on the Feingold Diet, but their presence in a product is noted in the Foodlist to aid those who want to, or must, avoid them.  Beginners are encouraged to avoid all those “marked” items until they have responded to the diet and can determine whether or not they tolerate them.

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