ADHD Study Finds 'Few Foods' Diet Improves Symptoms

24/03/2011 13:15 | Updated 22 May 2015

ADHDResearch conducted in the Netherlands has found that children with ADHD show an overall improvement in symptoms if put on a restricted diet.

The trial was carried out on 100 children, the first part of which was the restriction of their diet. Of the 41 children following the diet, 32 'responded well' (meaning symptoms were rated at least 40 percent lower than they were at the start of the study).

The youngsters then had blood tests to see if their immune systems reacted strongly to certain foods, which could indicate an allergy. The foods were then re-introduced based on the results of the blood tests. Interestingly, the children's behaviour was shown to get worse when certain foods were eaten, regardless of whether their blood tests showed an allergic reaction or not.

The restricted diet (known as the 'few foods' diet) is limited to foods unlikely to cause allergic reactions including rice, turkey, lamb, vegetables (lettuce, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage and beetroot), pears and water.

Other foods were added in a controlled environment, including potatoes, corn, wheat and other fruits, with a dietitian advising individually to tailor the diet for each child.

The findings were published in the Lancet medical journal, and concluded the diet worked for around 78 in 100 children.

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