Neuro-Behavioral Impact of Foods

February 20, 2019 at 8:40 AM / by Dr. Chris Meletis, ND

Food intolerance has been known to cause ADHD symptoms since at least the 1970s when Feingold observed hyperactivity and learning disabilities in children who ate artificial food flavors and colors. In 1992, Egger and colleagues published a study where 116 children with ADHD were found to develop hyperactivity after eating certain foods. The researchers demonstrated that desensitizing 20 ADHD children to foods that triggered their hyperactivity allowed 16 of them to eat the offending foods without the emergence of ADHD symptoms. In the control group of ADHD children who were not desensitized, only 4 of 20 became tolerant to the offending foods. More recent studies have indicated that an elimination diet featuring the avoidance of foods that produce reactions may yield benefits in children with ADHD.

The connection between ADHD and celiac disease adds to the evidence that food sensitivities may play a role in ADHD symptoms or may contribute to the etiology of the disorder. Niederhofer and Pittschieler observed a higher prevalence of ADHD symptoms in untreated celiac disease patients compared to the general population. Consuming a gluten-free diet for 6 months reduced ADHD symptoms. The majority of patients (74%) preferred to remain on the gluten-free diet due to a pronounced reduction of symptoms.

US Biotek Laboratories has been my go to for food sensitivity and allergy testing since 1992; I will routinely test my patients have them change their diet accordingly and then retest in 3 to 6 months while also addressing GI health and the microbiome.

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