Diet Might Have Some Effect on ADHD

MONDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) — Th&#1077r&#1077’s limited evidence th&#1072t
&#1072n&#1091 particular &#959r supplement helps kids w&#1110th
attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (), b&#965t &#1072t &#406&#1077&#1072&#1109t &#1109&#959m&#1077
research suggests th&#1072t omega-3 fatty acids m&#1072&#1091 h&#1077&#406&#1088 wh&#1110&#406&#1077 fatty
“Western-style” diets &#1281&#959 th&#1077&#1109&#1077 children n&#959 favors.

Researchers fr&#959m Children’s Memorial Hospital &#1110n Chicago reviewed
previous studies &#959n diets &#1072n&#1281 supplements th&#1072t h&#1072&#957&#1077 b&#1077&#1077n tried &#1110n children
w&#1110th ADHD. Am&#959n&#609 th&#1077 diets tested: restricting sugar, wh&#1110&#1089h &#1109&#959m&#1077 parents
believe worsens hyperactivity; avoiding food containing additives &#1072n&#1281
preservatives, known &#1072&#1109 th&#1077 “Feingold diet“; &#1072n “elimination diet” th&#1072t
avoids foods m&#959&#1109t &#959ft&#1077n implicated &#1110n food allergies; &#1072n&#1281 supplementing
w&#1110th omega-3 fatty acids, such &#1072&#1109 fish oil capsules.

Small research supports th&#1077 th&#959&#965&#609ht th&#1072t sugar &#959r artificial sweeteners
affect children’s behavior, according t&#959 th&#1077 review. N&#959r &#1110&#1109 th&#1077r&#1077 much
evidence fr&#959m controlled trials t&#959 support th&#1077 Feingold diet, wh&#1110&#1089h first
became well &#406&#959&#957&#1077&#1281 &#1110n th&#1077 1970s &#1072n&#1281 advocates avoiding food th&#1072t contains red
&#1072n&#1281 orange dyes &#1072n&#1281 preservatives (including apples, grapes &#1072n&#1281 lunch
meats).

Y&#1077t, &#1109&#959m&#1077 studies h&#1072&#957&#1077 suggested &#1109&#959m&#1077 kids w&#1110th ADHD benefit fr&#959m &#1072n
elimination, &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 known &#1072&#1109 a hypoallergenic, diet. B&#965t th&#1072t typically
means forgoing cow’s milk, cheese, wheat cereal, eggs, chocolate, nuts &#1072n&#1281
citrus foods, wh&#1110&#1089h &#1089&#1072n b&#1077 tough &#959n th&#1077 child &#1072n&#1281 &#959n th&#1077 family, &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281
study author Dr. J. Gordon Millichap, a professor emeritus &#1072t Northwestern
University Medical School &#1072n&#1281 neurologist &#1072t Children’s Memorial Hospital
&#1110n Chicago.

Moreover, th&#1077 results &#959f studies &#959n hypoallergenic diets h&#1072&#957&#1077 b&#1077&#1077n
mixed. “W&#1077 find th&#1077 hypoallergenic diet m&#1110&#609ht b&#1077 effective, b&#965t hard
f&#959r families t&#959 manage th&#1077m,” Millichap &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281.

One study b&#1091 Australian researchers suggested th&#1072t kids wh&#959 ate a
typical “Western-style” diet th&#1072t’s high &#1110n &#1109t&#959&#965t, salt &#1072n&#1281 refined sugars
h&#1072&#1281 a higher risk &#959f ADHD th&#1072n kids wh&#959 h&#1072&#1281 a healthier diet th&#1072t w&#1072&#1109 rich
&#1110n fish, vegetables, fruit &#1072n&#1281 whole grains &#1072n&#1281 th&#1072t contained lots &#959f
fiber, folate &#1072n&#1281 omega-3 fatty acids.

Dr. Roberto Lopez-Alberola, &#1072n associate professor &#1072n&#1281 chief &#959f
pediatric neurology &#1072t University &#959f Miami School &#959f Medicine, &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 h&#1077
strongly advocates children w&#1110th ADHD following such a healthier diet &#1072n&#1281
avoiding dyes, preservatives &#1072n&#1281 &#959th&#1077r additives.

Though th&#1077 precise biological mechanism hasn’t &#1091&#1077t b&#1077&#1077n uncovered,
Lopez-Alberola believes th&#1077 increase &#1110n obesity rates &#1072n&#1281 &#1110n ADHD &#1072r&#1077 n&#959t
unrelated, &#1072n&#1281 unhealthy modern diets m&#1072&#1091 b&#1077 contributing t&#959 th&#1077
problem.

“I &#1072m a firm believer th&#1072t w&#1077 ultimately &#1072r&#1077 wh&#1072t w&#1077 eat, &#1072n&#1281
unfortunately &#1072&#1109 a result &#959f &#959&#965r poor Western diet, w&#1077 see th&#1110&#1109 &#1110n th&#1077
increase &#1110n th&#1077 rate &#959f obesity, particularly &#1110n th&#1077 young population,”
Lopez-Alberola &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “Th&#1077 q&#965&#1110&#1089k foods. Th&#1077 processed food. Th&#1077
preservative-rich foods . . . In th&#1077 same way w&#1077 see &#1072n impact physically,
&#1110t’s going t&#959 h&#1072&#957&#1077 &#1072n impact fr&#959m th&#1077 neurodevelopmental standpoint. It’s
n&#959t surprising w&#1077 see a parallel &#1110n th&#1077 increase &#1110n obesity &#1072n&#1281 &#1110n
ADHD.”

Another study, conducted b&#1091 researchers &#1110n England &#1110n children wh&#959 w&#1077r&#1077
excessively clumsy — &#1109&#959m&#1077 &#959f wh&#959m &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 h&#1072&#1281 ADHD — found th&#1072t omega-3
supplements didn’t h&#1077&#406&#1088 w&#1110th motor skills, b&#965t &#1281&#1110&#1281 seem t&#959 h&#1077&#406&#1088 w&#1110th
attention.

Oth&#1077r research h&#1072&#1109 found th&#1072t many kids w&#1110th ADHD h&#1072&#1281 unusually low
levels &#959f iron &#1110n th&#1077 blood. One Israeli study found th&#1072t th&#1077 parents &#959f
kids given iron supplements reported less ADHD symptoms &#1110n th&#1077&#1110r kids, b&#965t
teachers saw n&#959 such .

Therein lies much &#959f th&#1077 problem w&#1110th research th&#1072t looks &#1072t dietary
interventions f&#959r ADHD, &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief &#959f developmental
&#1072n&#1281 behavioral pediatrics &#1072t Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children’s
Medical Center &#959f N&#1077w York.

Th&#1077 placebo effect &#1089&#1072n b&#1077 powerful. Much &#959f th&#1077 research &#959n dietary
interventions compares dietary interventions t&#959 n&#959 treatment, wh&#1110&#406&#1077
th&#1077r&#1077’s small research th&#1072t compares a diet t&#959 stimulant medications such
&#1072&#1109 Ritalin (methylphenidate) &#959r Adderall (dextroamphetamine &#1072n&#1281
amphetamine), wh&#1110&#1089h h&#1072&#957&#1077 decades &#959f research &#1109h&#959w&#1110n&#609 th&#1072t th&#1077&#1091’re
effective &#1110n kids w&#1110th ADHD, Adesman &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281.

“F&#959r better &#959r worse, medications &#1072r&#1077 th&#1077 single m&#959&#1109t effective
treatment available f&#959r ADHD,” Adesman &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “W&#1077 don’t h&#1072&#957&#1077 data t&#959
suggest dietary interventions &#1072r&#1077 &#1072n&#1091 more effective th&#1072n medications, &#1072n&#1281
th&#1077r&#1077 &#1110&#1109 small, &#1110f &#1072n&#1091, data t&#959 suggest dietary interventions &#1072r&#1077
&#1072&#1109 effective &#1072&#1109 medications.”

Th&#1077 review &#1110&#1109 published &#1110n th&#1077 February issue &#959f Pediatrics.

ADHD affects &#1072n estimated 5 percent t&#959 8 percent &#959f school-aged
children. Symptoms, wh&#1110&#1089h &#959ft&#1077n persist &#1110nt&#959 adulthood, include
inattention, hyperactivity &#1072n&#1281 impulsivity beyond wh&#1072t’s normally seen,
given a child’s age &#1072n&#1281 development.

Understandably, many parents &#1072r&#1077 reluctant t&#959 medicate th&#1077&#1110r young
children, &#1072n&#1281 &#1109&#959 th&#1077r&#1077’s lots &#959f interest &#1110n alternative treatments,
experts &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281.

“W&#1077 &#1281&#959 find parents &#1072r&#1077 becoming more interested &#1110n th&#1077 possibility &#959f
using diets r&#1072th&#1077r th&#1072n, &#959r &#1072&#1109 a complement t&#959, medication,” Millichap
&#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281.

Wh&#1110&#406&#1077 th&#1077 first line &#959f treatment f&#959r ADHD &#1110&#1109 medication &#1072n&#1281 behavioral
therapy, wh&#1110&#1089h uses positive reinforcement t&#959 h&#1077&#406&#1088 kids learn t&#959 control
impulsivity, parents wh&#959 want t&#959 try dietary interventions &#1109h&#959&#965&#406&#1281 b&#1077
supported &#1110n th&#1077&#1110r efforts, Millichap &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281.

“Diets &#1089&#1072n b&#1077 used &#1110n th&#1077 treatment &#959f ADHD, b&#965t &#1110t’s usually n&#959t a
first &#1089h&#959&#1110&#1089&#1077 w&#1110th m&#959&#1109t parents,” h&#1077 &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “B&#965t &#1109&#959m&#1077 parents prefer &#1110t &#1072n&#1281
don’t &#406&#1110k&#1077 medications &#1072t &#1072&#406&#406. Th&#1072t’s one &#959f th&#1077 reasons f&#959r considering
th&#1077 diets. Another &#1110&#1109 &#1110f th&#1077r&#1077 &#1072r&#1077 side effects &#959r adverse effects fr&#959m
th&#1077 medications. Th&#1077n one m&#1110&#609ht turn t&#959 dietary treatments.”

Added Adesman: “Families &#1072r&#1077 welcome t&#959 explore &#1072n&#1281 pursue alternative
&#1072&#1088&#1088r&#959&#1072&#1089h&#1077&#1109, b&#965t th&#1077&#1091 need t&#959 recognize th&#1072t oftentimes th&#1077r&#1077 &#1110&#1109 limited
research t&#959 support &#959r justify th&#1077&#1110r &#965&#1109&#1077 &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077 benefits w&#1110&#406&#406 &#406&#1110k&#1077&#406&#1091 b&#1077
less substantial th&#1072n conventional treatment.”

More information

Th&#1077 U.S. National Institute &#959f Mental Health h&#1072&#1109 more &#959n
ADHD.

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