Hyperactivity and Food Additives

What causes hyperactivity? When people hear hyperactivity, they often think of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). It's true that hyperactivity is a component. It causes a child to be active even at times when they don’t necessarily need to be active. It can lead to outbursts in class, uncontrollable movements and irritability. Wanting to keep still and not being able to do it can lead to problems within your child, as they struggle against a body that seems to betray them.

The Link between Food Additives and Hyperactivity

Dr. Feingold is known to those who have children with ADHD. He has developed a diet that has been known to help these children. His diet eliminates about 300 food additives in an attempt to reduce behavior issues. His diet does show that some children were able to be helped by eliminating certain foods. It bears noting that these patients were also exhibiting sensitivities to different substances.

Because food additives are mostly synthetic, it is hard to predict how they will affect someone. Some studies have shown that parents noticed changes in disruptive behavior in children who were drinking a fruit juice that contained food additives as opposed to those who drank 100% juice or a placebo. When the food additive was removed, the child’s hyperactivity was reduced. What the study didn’t show was a marked increase in hyperactivity from previous levels when the food additive was reintroduced.

In normal life, a child will be exposed to more than one food additive at a time. There are additives in drinks, meats, and side dishes. Exposure to more than one additive can increase hyperactivity. But, does it increase it enough to be significant?

What Dr. Feingold recommends is removing certain food additives and seeing if there is an improvement in behavior. If so, then these eliminated foods are reintroduced until a single food culprit is found.

Food additives do affect children but maybe not to the extent that eliminating them will reduce hyperactivity. In conjunction with diet and medication, ADHD children received the most benefit and reduced hyperactivity.

While research is still being done, parents of children with ADHD may want to try modifying their diet in an effort to help reduce symptoms. This doesn’t mean taking away all of their favorite foods that their friends eat, but scaling back the food additives - particularly ones that have been deemed most harmful to not just children but everyone.