Dietary Sensitivities and ADHD: 35 Years of Research

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2010 Dec 2. [Epub ahead of print]

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

Stevens LJ, Kuczek T, Burgess JR, Hurt E, Arnold LE.


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.

Note: The Mediator Release Test (MRT) tests for all of the potential dietary triggers mentioned in this abstract.

Further Rationale for Gluten-Free Diet In Potential Celiac Disease Patients

“…People currently diagnosed as “potential” celiac disease patients and not advised to follow a gluten-free diet may not be “potential” patients at all…”

“Our results demonstrate that metabolic alterations may precede the development of small intestinal villous atrophy and provide a further rationale for early institution of gluten-free diet in patients with potential celiac disease, as recently suggested by prospective clinical studies,” the scientists conclude.

Anaphylaxis Canada Launches New Video Series to Help Teens Manage Food Allergies

I thought the video was very well done…

“…Educating in forums that teens are comfortable with and will respond to is important. Consider that a 2009 U.S. study of college and university aged students with food allergies revealed a high number of them are taking unnecessary risks when it comes to managing their allergies. For example, more than 75% of those surveyed do not maintain an epinephrine auto-injector (e.g. EpiPen® or Twinject®) while 60% do not avoid the food to which they are allergic…”

Also, an additional plug for the Go Dairy Free site in general, excellent resource.