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Letter: Ask the Experts ADHD

Allen, Carolyn

doi: 10.1097/01.NNN.0000421645.41016.a3

Benbrook, TX

In “Ask the Experts” (August/September 2012), Dr. Denckla could have suggested a third non-pharmaceutical approach for help with ADHD: the elimination of certain food additives, such as petroleum-based dyes.

The Sept. 6, 2007, issue of the British medical journal The Lancet published results from Southampton University's double-blind study of nearly 300 children from the general population looking at whether certain food additives affected behavior. It concluded that some of these additives, such as sodium benzoate, did in fact increase hyperactive behavior—even in so-called “normal” children.

In February 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics reviewed the Southampton study and commented, “For the child without a medical, emotional, or environmental etiology [origin] of ADHD behaviors, a trial of a preservative-free, food coloring–free diet is a reasonable intervention.”

Carolyn Allen

Benbrook, TX

©2012 American Academy of Neurology