Medical Minute 3-31: Food Coloring and ADHD?

By: Manuel Gallegus Email
By: Manuel Gallegus Email

Caroline Ganim is convinced her son David would get hyper and ill after eating artificially dyed food. She remembers a bad reaction after he ate maraschino cherries when he was a kid.

"David started to eat them and within moments his behavior turned for the worse completely," said Caroline Ganim.

He was later diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Now the FDA is considering whether there is a real link between food coloring and the disorder and whether new warning labels should be placed on the foods kids love - like popular cereals - even mac and cheese.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest says food warnings should be just the beginning. It wants a ban on artificial dyes.

"We believe the evidence is strong enough to warrant getting these worthless substances out of the food supply," said Michael Jacobson with the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

"The synthetic food dyes in question such as yellow 5 and red 40 are
petroleum based. The food industry defends its products saying the science just isn't there to back up the negative claims," he said.

Public health experts agree the dyes do not appear to cause hyperactivity, but for kids with behavior problems, the FDA has said artificial colors may make
their symptoms worse .

"They get inflammation and auto immune reactions that are manifested as behavioral, attention focusing , disruptions in the individual," said Dr. Marvin Boris, an Allergist, Immunologist and Pediatrician.

Caroline Ganim's son is now grown up and still avoids many foods ..

"because it impacts the total quality of his life,"

It's now up to the FDA to decide what the next step should be.

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  • by What is ADD Location: Australia on Apr 1, 2011 at 09:10 PM
    An effective add therapy is a working Diet for ADD Children. One with out colouring and preservatives. All natural foods hormone free.
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