Artificial Food Coloring & Dyes Trigger ADHD? What Can Parents Do About It

Reports on studies about the possible causes of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD have been circulating the World Wide Web for quite awhile. But a recent study was published suggesting that enough evidence was gathered pointing to artificial food coloring as the trigger.

Based on the study, the conclusion of the recent meta-analysis suggests that artificial coloring can be a trigger of ADHD to a couple of patients. However, the said conclusion has a fairly wide confidence interval due to the small size of the studies that have been reported, according to Psychiatric Times.

The report further suggests that artificial colorings and preservatives can be obtained from processed foods, most especially in children's food and drinks wherein bright colors are used to add attraction to the food. It is, however, difficult to single out the culprit among the blends of additives, the news site Health learns.

Since this occurrence is still under the impression of being a "case to case basis," precautions were provided. Now this boils down to the question on how will the parents know if food additives are affecting the child's focus.

A quick test at home can be done by the parents to check this, ADDitude reports. For a week, they can avoid giving foods and drinks that list on their labels U.S. certified color Yellow #5 or Tartrazine, Yellow #6 or Sunset Yellow, Red #40, Blue #2 and sodium benzoate.

Following the seven-day trial, they can reintroduce these food additives into the child's diet by incorporating a few drops into a glass of water. Parents can then observe the behavior of their child within the 2-3-hour window period.

If there are no changes in the behavior, have the child drink another glass. If the child becomes hyperactive, it has been suggested to have him wean from artificially dyed or flavored foods and drinks.

A diet free of processed foods may be recommended to some youths to improve the symptoms of ADHD. Parents can have the sodas, fruit drinks and fruit punches substituted with 100 percent fruit juice.

Instead of ready to bake muffins, cakes and cookies, parents can alot time and bake them from scratch. In addition, parents have to picky in choosing cereals for their children, bearing in mind that the more colorful the cereal is, the more food dyes it contains.

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