Restrictive diet reduces ADHD symptoms
Following a restricted diet and avoiding certain foods may significantly reduce the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.
ADHD is one of the most common childhood disorders, affecting about 3 to 5 percent of children globally. The symptoms of the disease, which may continue through adolescence and adulthood, include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity.
Previous studies have suggested that hypersensitivity and allergic reaction to certain foods including many ingredients of junk and fast foods may trigger ADHD symptoms in the affected children.
A new study of 100 ADHD children aged between 4 and 8 years showed that 79 percent of kids following a five-week diet free of processed foods and products which may trigger ADHD symptoms experienced a significant improvement.
The applied diet, known as the restricted elimination diet (RED) was restricted to rice, water, white meat such as turkey, and some fruits and vegetables that are generally considered as unlikely to cause allergies.
The studied children were also banned from consuming foods often linked with allergies or food intolerances such as wheat, tomatoes, oranges, eggs and dairy products.
According to the findings, the reintroduction of the suspected foods into the ADHD children’s diet is also associated with relapse in two-thirds of them.
"Dietary intervention should be considered in all children with ADHD, provided parents are willing to follow a diagnostic restricted elimination diet for a five-week period, and provided expert supervision is available," wrote Jan Buitelaar and colleagues in The Lancet.
Radboud University researchers believe the prescription of a "strictly supervised restricted elimination diet is a valuable instrument to assess whether ADHD is induced by food."
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