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  • Diet and ADHD

    I found this article on a child's diet and ADHD.

    There was some discussion on the benefits of restricting sugar in children and I just thought this was useful information.


    Food Additives and Sugar.

    It has been suggested that attention disorders are caused by refined sugar or food additives, or that symptoms of ADHD are exacerbated by sugar or food additives.

    In 1982, the National Institutes of Health held a scientific consensus conference to discuss this issue.

    It was found that diet restrictions helped about 5 percent of children with ADHD, mostly young children who had food allergies.

    A more recent study on the effect of sugar on children, using sugar one day and a sugar substitute on alternate days, without parents, staff, or children knowing which substance was being used, showed no significant effects of the sugar on behaviour or learning.

    In another study, children whose mothers felt they were sugar-sensitive were given aspartame as a substitute for sugar.

    Half the mothers were told their children were given sugar, half that their children were given aspartame.

    The mothers who thought their children had received sugar rated them as more hyperactive than the other children and were more critical of their behaviour.

    Steph

  • #2
    Diet and ADHD

    In another study, children whose mothers felt they were sugar-sensitive were given aspartame as a substitute for sugar.

    Half the mothers were told their children were given sugar, half that their children were given aspartame.

    The mothers who thought their children had received sugar rated them as more hyperactive than the other children and were more critical of their behaviour.
    Well, it is quite possible that the Aspartame DID cause behaviour problems, because it is a very toxic substance, and tends to cause bad reactions, both physical and behavioural.
    German citizen, married to a Canadian for 28 years, four daughters, one son, eight grandchildren (and one on the way).

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    • #3
      Diet and ADHD

      Hi Uschi,

      You are right!

      In nursing school during a course on nutrition, we talked about aspartame being a cause of behavioural problems.

      I did not post it because there is no evidence that I can find to support it but my family all stay far away from aspartame.

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      • #4
        Diet and ADHD

        Yeah, my family, too. My kids have been forbidden to eat anything with Aspartame for many years, and nothing containing it is allowed in this house.

        Did you know that a lot of kids with ADHD have Celiac disease, and that the ADHD will completely go away on the gluten free diet? Often casein is a problem, too (meaning all dairy products).

        I find that my tics have diminished greatly since being on the gluten free/casein free diet as well, and I don't have rage attacks any more, either!
        German citizen, married to a Canadian for 28 years, four daughters, one son, eight grandchildren (and one on the way).

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        • #5
          Diet and ADHD

          Hi Uschi,

          ADHD will completely go away on the gluten free diet? Often casein is a problem, too (meaning all dairy products).
          I did not know this!

          My son has ADHD and would you please give common food that gluten is in. I would love to get rid of his ADHD or at least diminish it.

          Thank You

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          • #6
            Diet and ADHD

            Hi all,

            I just wanted to note that Aspartame affects me very strongly. Probably worse than sugar. I don't trust that stuff. I had a severe panic attack after ingesting a sizeable amount of Aspartame. It was much stronger and intense than most other attacks I have had. Very intense. I don't touch the stuff. I heard a customer at a restaurant that I worked at complain about how she feels after she eats Aspartame and that it does something to her. I don't think that refined sugar is good either and I try to stay away from it, but I think that Aspartame is worse.

            Just my humble opinion.

            Grammy

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            • #7
              Diet and ADHD

              Aspartame can cause irritability in those that are already have a short tolerance level. My son is a good example as well as others in our family.

              We have found avoiding it helps.

              Steph, I supplement calcium in my son now that he rarely drinks milk. If he does I give him whole milk instead of 2%.

              There seemed to be an obvious connection to milk and rage with his ADHD in the past when he drank it by the gallon each day.

              We do not see this problem anymore since he has decreased it.

              When things were bad I tried at the time to split soy with 2% or give him a high grade soy that did not taste bad but once he realized he was drinking something different he refused and go mad at me. I did however see a noticeable difference in his temperament and tolerance level.

              I am sure every child with ADHD is different and they all have their own tolerance levels but it was interesting in mine to see the difference in behavior and sleep patterns at the time.
              PJK

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              • #8
                Diet and ADHD

                Of course, I don't mean to say that all people with ADHD are gluten intolerant. But many kids with celiac disease get misdiagnosed with ADHD, and when they finally get tested for CD and go gluten free (and usually dairy free as well, since most people with CD can't tolerate dairy), their ADHD goes away.

                Anyway, it can't hurt to try the diet, since it's a healthy diet. The things that contain gluten are wheat, rye, barley and triticale (a hybrid between wheat and rye). Oats are iffy, because in America they're milled in facilities that process wheat as well, and are usually contaminated with traces of wheat (which would make people with CD very ill).

                But beware, it can get tricky, as especially wheat and barley are hidden in many things. Most soy sauces have wheat, malt is from barley, hydrolyzed protein usually contains wheat and many other things. You would have to read all labels when shopping. Also, you can't use the family toaster when gluten free to toast the gluten free breads, because just one crumb is too much, and will make you sick.
                German citizen, married to a Canadian for 28 years, four daughters, one son, eight grandchildren (and one on the way).

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                • #9
                  Diet and ADHD

                  I read up on celiac disease and the itchiness of the hands really hit home for me.

                  I have battled allergies all of my life. I have been on steroids for years and I have to take an epi pen with me everywhere (but I always forget it home).

                  One of my hands are swollen now and I am wondering if it is this disease.

                  I am going to go grocery shopping tomorrow and I am going to buy a new toaster just to be safe.

                  Thanks, I will let you know how it goes.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Diet and ADHD

                    Originally posted by Uschi
                    The things that contain gluten are wheat, rye, barley and triticale (a hybrid between wheat and rye).
                    ...so it looks like one of those designer low-carb diets is the answer.

                    Our bodies weren't meant to assimilate most of what we feed outselves these days. I think too many people overlook what their diet does to them. (Myself included.)
                    Colin

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                    • #11
                      Diet and ADHD

                      this is so interesting

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                      • #12
                        Re: Diet and ADHD

                        Hello. ;D
                        I agree that Aspartame can have some negative effects on some people. It gives my husband terrible headaches. I also try to limit my children's consumption, but on ocassion they do get some, and I have not noticed a big difference in them, but I am diabetic myself so sometimes I can not avoid it when I am out. My preference if you do want a sugar subsitute is to use Splenda. I believe that it has less nasty side effects..but saying that who knows in 20 years what they will say. : I took this infomation from their website and thought you might find it interesting. I think in the end if you can go a more natural route, and try to stay free or use as little of additives,food colourings, and processed foods we would all be much healthier. This can be very difficult to do in today's hectic lifestyle. :o

                        Sucralose - SPLENDA

                        Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, and Elimination of Sucralose

                        Absorption: Most ingested sucralose passes through the digestive system unchanged and without causing gastrointestinal side effects. Studies have shown that about 15% of ingested sucralose is passively absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.

                        Distribution: The small amount of sucralose that is absorbed is distributed to essentially all tissues. Studies show that there is no active transport of sucralose across the blood-brain barrier, across the placental barrier, or from the mammary gland into milk.

                        Metabolism: Although derived from sucrose, sucralose is not perceived by the body as a carbohydrate. Unlike carbohydrates, sucralose is not broken down during its passage through the body. In humans, approximately 2% of the amount consumed is biotransformed into toxicologically insignificant components that are rapidly excreted in urine.

                        Elimination: Most ingested sucralose is excreted unchanged in feces, without gastrointestinal effects. Of the small amount that is absorbed, most is eliminated unchanged in urine within about 24 hours.

                        An Outstanding Safety Profile
                        Safety studies show that sucralose is a safe and essentially inert ingredient. Conclusions from the studies include the following:


                        No known side effects
                        Not toxic: No adverse effects seen in test animals, even in amounts equivalent in sweetness to 40+ pounds of sugar per day for life
                        No bioaccumulation
                        Not carcinogenic
                        Not genotoxic: Does not cause genetic mutations
                        No effects on fetal or neonatal development
                        Not neurotoxic: No evidence of effects on the central nervous system
                        Not cariogenic: Although sucralose is derived from sugar, it is not used by oral bacteria that cause tooth decay. The maltodextrin and dextrose that are added to the granular and packet forms of SPLENDA* No Calorie Sweetener have some cariogenic potential, but studies have shown that these SPLENDA* products may be preferable to sugar when comparing potential for causing dental caries
                        No effect on carbohydrate metabolism
                        No calories or carbohydrate: Sucralose is not hydrolyzed or otherwise broken down for energy
                        No effect on short- or long-term blood glucose control or on serum insulin levels**: Sucralose is suitable for people with diabetes and may be used as part of an overall healthy diet designed to meet their unique dietary needs

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                        • #13
                          Re: Diet and ADHD

                          whoa heavy stuff mom ;D

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                          • #14
                            Re: Diet and ADHD

                            Unfortunately, I have found out that I have another allergy - tomatoes.

                            That means no more pizza, pasta, lasagna, ketchup, etc.

                            My son (the main reason I was doing all these diet changes) seems to have no allergies at all.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Diet and ADHD

                              Stephanie:

                              If you can eat the crust you can still make a pizza without sauce. They call it a white pie and it is wonderful.

                              Bubbles I agree about the concerns of sugar substitutes. In our family we have had nothing but bad luck with headaches and stomach problems.

                              I like the natural kind but in moderation. We also stay away from Red, Blue, Purple food colours with my son's ADHD concerns. They seem to send him right off the deep end. So I am selective with gum, drinks, etc...

                              Natural sugar found in honey or even real maple syrup does not effect him but refined sugars do.
                              PJK

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