Allergenic foods favor ADHD

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Allergy-promoting foods promote ADHD. A special diet can help alleviate typical symptoms.

A special diet can relieve symptoms of ADHD syndrome if children do not use allergy-promoting substances in food. Dutch researchers were able to use a study to prove that a special diet without allergy substances can alleviate symptoms.

Industrially manufactured foods have long been suspected of at least favoring the Attention Deficit Syndrome - ADHD for short. A scientific team from the Netherlands has now investigated whether a special diet with very few allergenic substances is suitable for reducing typical symptoms of ADHD syndrome.

A total of 100 children between the ages of four and eight years made themselves available for the study. At the beginning of the study, the children were divided into two equally large groups of 50 participants each. One group received a so-called “eliminatory diet” based on vegetables, rice, water and meat. The children could individually add other foods such as potatoes, fruit and wheat products to the diet. The other group was given a “normal” diet, and a supplementary guide was given that contained general tips for healthy eating. The latter group served as a control group.

After completing the study, the researchers found that the low-allergen diet had a positive effect on children's concentration levels. Significant improvements were achieved in a total of 32 children. To be able to prove this result, the researchers undertook individual concentration exercises before, during and after the study.

After the first experimental setup, the researchers undertook a second study to compare the results with the first. The focus was on whether certain foods exacerbate the symptoms of ADHD. In addition, those who showed a positive change were given additional foods that cause a measurable increase in the IgG level in the blood. The result: the previous symptoms increased again in 63 percent of the participants. Food allergies include the antibody IgGs increasingly produced.

The research team led by Jan Buitelaar of the Dutch Radboud University said that the results of the study provide evidence that allergens in food at least increase ADHD syndromes. Diets therefore play a greater role during therapies. The researcher is certain: "The participants in our study are representative of all children with ADHD". A changed diet should be included in the treatment plan in the future. However, the children's diet should be monitored by therapists and parents so as not to provoke deficiency symptoms. The study results were published in the science magazine "The Lancet". (sb)

Also read:
ADHD: concentration through noise
ADHD genetic?
Environmental factors in ADHD hardly examined
ADHD: Prescription of Ritalin is restricted

Image: Dieter Schütz /

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Video: Why people have more allergies now


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