ADHD or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a behavioral disorder that affects children and adolescents. It is associated with inattentiveness, difficulty in controlling behavior and hyperactivity and commonly classified as a neurological disorder (something that has to do with the brain). Recent evidence tend to demonstrate that ADHD related behaviours, like hyperactivity, are the effect of eating […]
ADHD or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a behavioral disorder that affects children and adolescents. It is associated with inattentiveness, difficulty in controlling behavior and hyperactivity and commonly classified as a neurological disorder (something that has to do with the brain).
Recent evidence tend to demonstrate that ADHD related behaviours, like hyperactivity, are the effect of eating certain food. Eliminating these “trigger-foods” would then improve a child’s behavior or, even probably reverse the symptoms. In particular, some chemical substances should be avoided as they tend to promote hyperactivity. Eliminating these ingredients from our kid’s diet can start a remarkable change in the improvement of children’s behavior.
Bisphenol A is a very common plastics chemical found in canned products like Campbell Soups. One research showed that in 12 supermarket canned products, all samples had amounts of bisphenol A in them, probably because the chemical seeped from the can’s lining into the food inside.
Inspite of this, the UK’s Food Standards Agency expressed that the BPA levels found in canned food is harmless. But research and evidence suggested otherwise.
Research also shows that Bisphenol A exposure during pregnancy may lead to hyperactivity and aggressive behavior in children.
High concentrations of BPA were found in the urine samples of a study conducted on 5 year old children in the UK. It further stated that by age 7, these children will be more likely to have behavioral problems.
In 2007, a newspaper publication confirmed the link between synthetic additives and behavioral disorders in children. According to the research, a group of children ages 3-9 years old were given drinks with artificial colours, the preservative sodium benzoate or a placebo and were monitored for a few weeks. It was found out through interviews with teachers and parents and computer tests that there was a rise in hyperactivity during the weeks when the children were given the additive-containing drinks.
A separate report on 34 different studies related to ADHD also showed that 8% of children with ADHD were affected by synthetic food colourings.
According to previous research, there is a connection between pesticide exposure and ADHD.
Our food and drinking water may be contaminated with organophosphate pesticides. This has been proven to be harmful as it causes damaging health issues especially for developing children.
In her study, Maryse Bouchard, PhD of Harvard’s Department of Environmental Health, says that “Each 10-fold increase in urinary concentration of organophosphates metabolites was associated with a 55 percent to 72 percent increase in the odds of ADHD”
In 2012, Boston University school of Public Health published a study stating that children born to women with high levels of mercury during pregnancy would probably have ADHD by the time they turn 8. On the other hand, the study also reported that the children of women who consumed a lot of fish while they were pregnant (fish being the main sources of Omega 3 fatty acids) were the least likely to manifest behavioral disorders.
People should be very careful of the fish they eat as fish can sometimes hold mercury is very dangerous and among other things may cause ADHD. On the other hand, fish also has Omega 3 fatty acids, which is very important for brain development and cognitive function. An aware fish choice can help us minimize the chances of ingesting mercury. Wild salmon, Mussels, Herring, anchovies, sardines and trouts have the lowest mercury levels according to the environmental Working Group.
HFCS or High Fructose Corn Syrup may also contain mercury. HFCS is an artificial sweetener found in a lot of processed food and drinks. As an artificial ingredient, it may be highly likely that HFCS is one of the causes of ADHD and other developmental and behavioral disorders.
Note: I once had an experience with “natural fruitshake” and was horrified to see the server add artificial Corn Syrup to my shake!
Dr Lidy Pelsser of the ADHD Research Centre in the Netherlands conducted a study on her theory that sometimes even Natural Food have effects on ADHD children and she thinks that 60-65% of these are from food hypersensitivity.
She conducted her study for five weeks on 100 children between the ages 4-8 years old. The control group was given a general healthy diet and the focus group had an elimination diet. After five weeks, the control group reported no change in behavioural improvement while the focus group showed an evident improvement. 64% of the children from this group had either a reversal of ADHD symptoms or simply had an improvement in their behavior.
** If there is no change when you took out these items, try taking out salicylates ( berries, peppers, apples among other food).
Also, try to consult a nutritional therapist to have the best diet options for your child.
J American Academic Child Adolescent Psychiatry, 2012
Environmental Health Perspective, 2009
Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 2012
International Review Psychiatry, 2006
Behavioral Function, 2009
Clin Epigenetics, 2012
Australian Pediatric Journal, 1988
Writes about nutrition, health and wellness. Currently on an Action Plan to place in a triathlon by 2016.
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