Food Dyes do not Cause ADHD in Children



ADHD News includes reports that food dyes do not cause ADHD in children

As most experts in behavioral-ADHD medicine expected, last week, a FDA panel ruled there is no proof that artificial food colorings-dyes cause hyperactivity or ADHD in “most children.

Despite the fact that some parents see significant improvement in hyperactivity and impulsiveness when certain food dyes are eliminated from their ADHD child’s diet, there doesn’t appear to be a direct cause and effect. Essentially, that means that extracted-purified food colorings and dyes have not been shown to cause signs of ADHD or hyperactivity-impulsive behaviors in a significant number of kids. And

More likely, as panel members noted, “that artificial food coloring may be a problem for some children who are prone to hyperactivity, much alike a food allergy.” Most of us believe some children react to food coloring and food dyes because they are sensitive to or intolerant to these chemicals, not because they cause the behaviors.

I’ll still continue to tell parents of kids with ADHD to limit certain foods, dyes and other chemicals to see if doing so decreases their signs of ADHD. And if an elimination diet helps, they should continue restricting the offending substance as long as the child’s symptoms of ADHD improve.

Call it what you wish…an allergy, a food hyper-sensitivity… food dyes probably don’t cause ADHD-they just affect kids with ADHD more than kids without ADHD.

Dr. Frank


FDA Rules Artificial Food Coloring Is Safe for Most

Examining food dyes

FDA panel cites lack of evidence linking colorings to hyperactivity in vote against warning labels

Do food dyes contribute to ADHD in kids? 

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