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Old 05-03-2003, 05:00 PM
Caronamy's Avatar
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Tantrums & food dyes

My mom sent me this article, thought it was interesting... maybe if your children are misbehaving try cutting out food/drink with dyes.

I know the boy next door is always drinking red kool-aid and he throws a lot of tantrums....

Toddler Tantrums by Jane Hersey

When 3-year-olds in Great Britain were given food dyes and a
preservative something unexpected happened.

The researchers found that a modest amount of food additives had
a profound effect on the children's behavior. 277 preschool age
children on the Isle of Wight who participated in the study were
youngsters who behaved normally; none of them were considered to
be hyperactive, ADD, ADHD, PDD, etc. Yet during the test period
when they consumed drinks with food dyes and the preservative
sodium benzoate, nearly one child in four clearly showed
disturbed behavior.

For two weeks the children drank fruit juice that did not
contain additives, and then during the other two weeks their
juice looked the same, but contained a blend of four food dyes
and the preservative sodium benzoate. The parents were not aware
of when the children received the plain juice and when their
juice was laced with additives. During the "challenge period"
(when the children consumed the chemicals) parents reported
these reactions: disturbing others, difficulty settling down to
sleep, poor concentration and temper tantrums.

The amount of dye used, 20 milligrams, is very small,
considering the number of brightly colored foods children
typically consume today, particularly in the United States.

To give you an idea of what twenty mg. of dye equals, it's about
the amount you would find in two teaspoons of colored frosting,
not even enough to cover a cupcake. If such a small dose could
trigger problems for one fourth of the children, what would be
the effect of using a more typical dose? Ten times the amount
used in the British study would be more representative of what
an American child ingests in a day. And the child attending a
birthday party, consuming dyes in the cake, ice cream, drink and
candy can easily reach 600 milligrams. Even when a family
limits the sweets, children are exposed to growing amounts of
petroleum-based dyes in their toothpaste, vitamins, cereals,
"fruit" juices, and medicines.

This study demonstrates what parents have been reporting for
decades: their children behave badly after they eat certain
foods. Now it has been documented that food additives affect the
behavior of children who have no history of behavior problems.
The study suggests that the more a child consumes, the greater
his chance of being affected.

As a result of this study, the British Food Commission, an
independent watchdog, is demanding that those additives be
removed from food and drinks designed for children. They
estimate that the elimination of the troublesome additives would
significantly reduce the number of children who are diagnosed as

There's an ugly side to those pretty colors

Most of the food dyes found in products marketed to children are
made from petroleum (crude oil), just like gasoline.

Food additives, including dyes, are not required to be tested to
determine if they can affect behavior. But studies have shown
that they are responsible both for behavior problems and for an
assortment of serious health problems.

Red dyes were found to cause DNA damage, physical toxicity,
possible breast cancer and damage to the reproductive systems of
test animals.

Yellow dyes led to migraine headaches, suppression of the immune
system, abdominal pain, asthma, eczema and cancer.

When the American Academy of Pediatrics studied the damaging
effects of "inactive" ingredients - the dyes used in drugs and
thought to have no effect - they found that the additives are
far from inactive. Most of them triggered various respiratory
problems. Considering the epidemic of childhood asthma, that
health professionals are at a loss to explain, a good place to
look for clues would be right under our nosesÖor more
specificallly, under the noses of the children who routinely
ingest phony fruit drinks, green ketchup, blue applesauce,
purple vitamins, pink antibiotics and fluorescent cereals.

For more information on dyes and their effects, see:

Jane Hersey is the National Director of the Feingold Association
and the author of the book, "Why Can't My Child Behave?"
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Old 05-03-2003, 07:05 PM
Songberries's Avatar
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Location: Brigham City, Utah
Posts: 1,216
Caronamy, this is so true about the food coloring! I have a son who was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 5 yrs old. I did a lot of reading and looked into food additives and I found by raising my own vege's and not giving him red food dye in foods and also no foods with nitrates, hot dogs, lunch meat, etc. he was fine. He's 14 now, and he's just a normal kid!
I've also read that the mercury that they use to set the imunizations can also lead to ADHD. The ones that are really bad are the triple imunizations like MMR because it's 3 times the mercury. Also they are thinking about puting a warning on any of the fish that are high in mercury so pregnant women won't eat it. Being a parent can be so much more work than we ever thought!


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Old 01-30-2010, 06:15 AM
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Back when my DS's were small we had a neighbor that ended up going to another country in the backwoods somewhere with her family to become missionaries. She had no idea until they moved there how hard it was going to be to get medicines for her children. Then.... she found out her son all of a sudden couldn't tolerate any food dyes, even in medicine! I never did hear why that did not show up till then, but she had several people lookng for medicines with no dyes in them. They didn't have some of the ones they do now that are dye free so she had a really hard time for a long time. I know at some point she turned to using some natural remedies that she learned from the natives were they were living. I often wondered if he had any problems from the "natural" coloring? Has anyone else ever gone "natural" and have any problems with the "natural coloring"?
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:29 AM
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My oldest son is ADHD. I did find by limiting 'junk food' he acted a little better.
Don't stay were you are tolerated, go where you are celebrated!
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Old 05-31-2015, 06:29 AM
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