Symptoms of ADHD Linked to Poor Nutrition

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What Children Eat Can Affect Their Behavior

Do you have trouble concentrating or maybe you have a kid that you’re worried they might have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) because they’ve having trouble in school or they can’t concentrate at home when they’re trying to do homework? Well, this study is for you.

This report is from U.S. News World Report and it says that some common food coloring and preservatives appear to increase the risk of hyperactive behavior among children; this is a British report. We know this, ADHD is on the rise, the diagnoses [of it anyway]. I think it’s important to point out some links associated with ADHD that aren’t discussed with other links.

Is Your Child's Brain Starving? This is a survival handbook for: • Parents and teachers working with children with ADD/ADHD, behavioural or learning difficulties • Anyone who suffers from hidden food intolerances or allergies • Those struggling with digestive disorders It presents practical information for: • Adults and children who want to improve their concentration, attention and mental alertness • Targeted nutrition to support optimal brain function • Identifying and resolving adverse food reactions.

This study talks about how the crap [unhealthy foods] that kids are eating is going to impact how they’re concentrating and how they’re doing in school. This study involved 297 kids given drinks containing additives, preservatives and food colorings, and the amount of all these ingredients equals two servings of candy. It was a six week trial and the children that were in the various age groups who drank the drinks containing the additives and preservatives displayed significantly more hyperactive behavior. They also had shorter attention spans, and they [the researchers] related them to specific behavioral problems. One of the additives that are found in these drinks, sodium benzoate, actually has been linked to cell damage.

The research and evidence from this study, all the results were conclusive enough for the British Government to release a warning to parents about giving their kids foods and products with all these food additives in them. You know the foods we’re talking about: Coco-Cola, Pepsi, even the diet drinks, food drinks, little diet (?) snacks, even some of the chips specifically have the sodium benzoate in them. Even the fruit roll up and things like that you might think are not that bad. Well, they have all those artificial food colorings. Even the breakfast cereal the kids are eating, Fruit Loops and Captain Crunch—all the foods that the kids like and see because they’re watching TV all the time, they’re inundated with all these commercials.

Now, for years, nutritionists have seen the link between nutrition and the link with ADHD, but at the same time the psychiatric community has downplayed evidence like this study we’re talking about. But here it is, here are the results. The thing I’m worried about is if your kid does have trouble concentrating or they’re having trouble with focusing in school or displaying any of the symptoms you think are associated with ADHD, taking a pill (taking an Amphetamine) is not going to correct the problem of eating unhealthy food that has the food additives in them.

Insight

Preservative: Something used to preserve, especially a chemical added to foods to inhibit spoilage.

Food Additive: (food engineering) A substance added to foods during processing to improve color, texture, flavor, or keeping qualities; examples are antioxidants, emulsifiers, thickeners, preservatives, and colorants.

Sodium Benzoate: The sodium salt of benzoic acid, NaC7H5O2, used as a food preservative, an antiseptic, and an intermediate in dye manufacture and in the production of pharmaceuticals. Also called benzoate of soda.

Amphetamine: A stimulating drug that affects the brain and the body in a variety of ways, also known by the trade name Benzedrine. Chemically, amphetamine is a racemic mixture of the L and D isomers of ?-methyl-?-phenethylamine. The L isomer has more pronounced effects on the body, while the D isomer (commonly referred to as Dexedrine) has a greater effect on the brain. On the whole, the pharmacological effects of amphetamine are to produce an increase in blood pressure, a relaxation of bronchial smooth muscle, a constriction of the blood vessels supplying the skin and mucous membranes, and a variety of alterations in behavior. The mechanisms by which amphetamine produces its effects are not precisely defined. The effects on the body seem to be mediated predominantly through an increase in the activity of the neurons in the sympathetic nervous system via the transmitter norepinephrine. Amphetamine has the ability to release norepinephrine from nerve terminals. The consequence of release is that amphetamine has a spectrum of activity similar to the normal physiological effects of norepinephrine on the peripheral nervous system. Similarly, the major effects of amphetamine on the brain have been related to its ability to release norepinephrine in the hypothalamus, the reticular activating system, and the cerebral cortex.

ADHD: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a developmental disorder characterized by distractibility, hyperactivity, impulsive behaviors, and the inability to remain focused on tasks or activities.

ADHD, also known as hyperkinetic disorder (HKD) outside of the United States, is estimated to affect 3-9% of children, and afflicts boys more often than girls. Although difficult to assess in infancy and toddlerhood, signs of ADHD may begin to appear as early as age two or three, but the symptom picture changes as adolescence approaches. Many symptoms, particularly hyperactivity, diminish in early adulthood, but impulsivity and inattention problems remain with up to 50% of ADHD individuals throughout their adult life.

Children with ADHD have short attention spans, becoming easily bored and/or frustrated with tasks. Although they may be quite intelligent, their lack of focus frequently results in poor grades and difficulties in school. ADHD children act impulsively, taking action first and thinking later. They are constantly moving, running, climbing, squirming, and fidgeting, but often have trouble with gross and fine motor skills and, as a result, may be physically clumsy and awkward. Their clumsiness may extend to the social arena, where they are sometimes shunned due to their impulsive and intrusive behavior.

— Paula Anne Ford-Martin

Food Coloring: Humans have always used the color of a food to form judgments about its desirability. The act of eating (and deciding what to eat) is a multi-sensory experience, synthesizing perceptions of sight, taste, smell, and touch. Color provides visual information about a food's quality and condition, and influences the perception of its flavor.

In nature, color is determined by a food's inherent qualities, indicating types of flavor, and degrees of sweetness, ripeness, or decay. However, humans have contrived to add or change the natural color in foods from very early times and for a variety of reasons—for aesthetic purposes, to increase appetite appeal, for symbolic effect, to make a less desirable food seem more desirable, and to mask defects.

From ancient times, wide varieties of food colorants were derived from natural sources—plant, animal, or mineral. This changed in the middle of the nineteenth century with the discovery of synthetic dyes that soon found their way into food. These synthetics were, in general, less expensive as well as more stable, controllable, and intense in hue than natural color sources. Since that time, the safety and acceptable use of food colorants, both natural and synthetic, remain controversial topics, eliciting debate, continual scientific study, and periodic legislative action.

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