ADHD and Food Coloring Research Note
By Reader's Digest Editors
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A 2007 study by the UK's Food Standards Agency revealed that foods containing certain dyes increase ADHD symptoms in children. In 2010, the FDA reviewed the scientific evidence linking food colorings to ADHD. Their conclusion? They said that some children with ADHD and other problem behaviors may be especially sensitive to colorings and other food additives, and that exposure to these chemicals may worsen their symptoms. The consumer watchdog group, Center for Science in the Public Interest, asked the FDA to require warning notices and encourage companies to voluntarily switch to safer natural colorings. In 2010, UK researchers learned that a genetic glitch may explain why some food additives worsen ADHD symptoms more in some children than in others.Fast Facts:
- In Europe, a law requires most dyed foods to bear a warning notice.
- Food colorings tested in the UK study included sunset yellow (E110), carmoisine (E122), tartrazine (E102), ponceau 4R (E124), quinoline yellow (E104), allura red (E104).
- Some food colorings are synthetically produced; others come from natural sources, including grape skin extract, saffron, and beta-carotene.
- The test beverages used in the 2007 UK study also contained sodium benzoate, a food preservative found in many processed foods, some cough syrups and mouthwashes.
FDA panel finds no link between artificial food colorings and hyperactivity in most children - Harvard Health Publications
health.harvard.edu — “Artificial food coloring has been blamed for causing hyperactivity in children. For most kids, there is no connection between food coloring and hyperactivity, an FDA panel has concluded. But it also noted that certain children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be uniquely vulnerable, not just to food colorings, but to any number of food additives. The panel said that food additives themselves are not inherently toxic to the nervous system, but that some children have a uni” View full resource at health.harvard.edu
children.webmd.com — “Food dyes used in everything from candy to lunch meat may contribute to worsening hyperactivity in some kids, researchers have told an FDA advisory panel.” View full resource at children.webmd.com
webmd.com — “WebMD explores the relationship between food dye and ADHD symptoms. Find out about food coloring and hyperactivity, how diet influences ADHD symptoms, and what steps to take if you suspect an association between food dye and ADHD.” View full resource at webmd.com
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