If you are a parent and worry that your child has ADHD or if you are looking for an alternative to medications to treat ADHD, a new study may be able to help. A new study in The Lancet says that restricted diet may reduce ADHD symptoms in kids. We all know that some kids have bad reactions to certain foods that show up with affects on different organ systems in things eczema, asthma and gastrointestinal problems. Is it such a huge leap to think that foods may also affect the brain in a way that results in adverse behavior like ADHD?
"A strictly supervised restricted elimination diet is a valuable instrument to assess whether ADHD is induced by food," wrote the authors of the new study. "We think that dietary intervention should be considered in all children with ADHD, provided parents are willing to follow a diagnostic restricted elimination diet for a five-week period, and provided expert supervision is available," they concluded.
At the end of the study, 64% of the kids on the limited diet showed significant improvement on a variety of standard rating scales. Though the initial scores for all of the kids in this group put their ADHD symptoms in the moderate-to-severe range, after the diet intervention their symptoms were classified as either mild or nonclinical.
"It's shocking to most people," says psychologist Lidy Pelsser of the ADHD Research Center in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. "The parents were shocked. The children said they felt so different, as if some mad thing in their head wasn't there anymore."
This is not the first study to point to diet as an aggravate of ADHD. Research conducted in 2007 by a team from the University of Southampton's Schools of Psychology and Medicine shows “that a variety of common food dyes and the preservative sodium benzoate — an ingredient in many soft drinks, fruit juices, salad dressings and other foods — causes some children to become more hyperactive and distractible than usual.” (TIME)
A great resource for parents looking for help with hyperactivity and diet, please check out The Feingold Institute's diet to treat ADHD.
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Sources: LA Times, Bloomberg Business Week, The Lancet, Nurse Together
Photo Sources: Babble.com