Lancet, September 6, 2007
As a followup to the earlier Bateman (2004) study, the authors retested 153 toddlers as well as 144 elementary school (8/9 years old) children from the general population. They were briefly put on a dye-free diet and then tested with a modest amount (20 mg and 30 mg) of food dyes mixed with the sodium benzoate preservative.
AUTHORS’ CONCLUSION: “Artificial colours or a sodium benzoate preservative (or both) in the diet result in increased hyperactivity in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the general population.”
NOTE: These children were not hyperactive, nor were they screened for sensitivity to the dyes or any other additives. Nevertheless, they showed more hyperactive-type behaviors when consuming the combination of food dyes and the preservative.
NOTE: I have always wondered why this study uses sodium benzoate rather than the BHT, BHA, and TBHQ that saturates so much of American food. The Feingold diet doesn’t eliminate sodium benzoate and most (but not all) members tolerate it. For those that don’t, all products in the Foodlist that contain sodium benzoate are marked with a code. The Feingold Association recommends avoiding it at the beginning of Stage One, until tolerance can be determined.