Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Restricted Diets for ADHD

I think the abstract and conclusion for this new study says it all.  There might be something to the idea that some children with ADHD are sensitive to synthetic food colors and could benefit from a restricted diet.

What's old is new again...

Meta-Analysis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms, Restriction Diet, and Synthetic Food Color Additives

The role of diet and of food colors in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or its symptoms warrants updated quantitative meta-analysis, in light of recent divergent policy in Europe and the United States.

Studies were identified through a literature search using the PubMed, Cochrane Library, and PsycNET databases through February 2011. Twenty-four publications met inclusion criteria for synthetic food colors; 10 additional studies informed analysis of dietary restriction. A random-effects meta-analytic model generated summary effect sizes.

Restriction diets reduced ADHD symptoms at an effect of g = 0.29 (95% CI, 0.07–0.53). For food colors, parent reports yielded an effect size of g = 0.18 (95% CI, 0.08–0.24; p = .0007), which decreased to 0.12 (95% CI, 0.01–0.23; p < .05) after adjustment for possible publication bias. The effect was reliable in studies restricted to food color additives (g = 0.21, 95% CI = 0.06–0.36) but did not survive correction for possible publication bias and was not reliable in studies confined to Food and Drug Administration–approved food colors. Teacher/observer reports yielded a nonsignificant effect of 0.07 (95% CI = −0.03 to 0.18; p = .14). However, high-quality studies confined to color additives yielded a reliable effect (g = 0.22, 95% CI = 0.10–0.41, p = .030) that survived correction. In psychometric tests of attention, the summary effect size was 0.27 (95% CI = 0.07–0.47; p = .007) and survived correction. An estimated 8% of children with ADHD may have symptoms related to synthetic food colors.

A restriction diet benefits some children with ADHD. Effects of food colors were notable were but susceptible to publication bias or were derived from small, nongeneralizable samples. Renewed investigation of diet and ADHD is warranted.

Nigg JT, Lewis K, Edinger T, Falk M. Meta-analysis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms, restriction diet, and synthetic food color additives. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2012 Jan;51(1):86-97.e8. PubMed PMID: 22176942 DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2011.10.015

1 comment:

  1. This is a very good study. As they: you are what you eat. I really believe that if we have a healthy diet and we keep ourselves healthy based on the needs of our body then nothing would possibly go wrong, this applies to ADHD as well. I believe in this that is why I try to maintain a natural diet. But those who are impatient then they should try treating themselves from ADHD.