Is There a Link Between ADHD and Food Dye or Pesticides?
I have a three-year-old child who is the apple of my eye. I want to do everything that I can to ensure he grows up healthy. I've heard a lot in the news lately about ADHD being caused by food dye, additives, and/or pesticides. Is there a link between any of these things and ADHD?
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel recently examined the research regarding food dyes and ADHD. They concluded that food dyes and other additives may make ADHD symptoms worse for certain children who are susceptible to this effect. In addition, some research has found that eliminating food dyes from the diet may help decrease symptoms in some children.
However, for most children, there is no proven effect of food dyes on ADHD symptoms. It is not known which children may be more susceptible. Based on current research, the FDA determined that food dyes do not appear to cause ADHD.
Some studies have found that children who had a higher level of pesticide exposure (often measured by pesticide breakdown products in the urine) were more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. It is unknown, however, if pesticides actually cause this condition or if some other factor may explain both the higher pesticide level and increased diagnoses of ADHD.
Experts recommend that fruit and vegetables be washed thoroughly before peeling or eating to decrease possible exposure and to limit exposure to household pesticides.