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Dizfriz
09-05-13, 03:57 AM
Interesting WebMD article on alternative treatments for ADHD

http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/adhd-alternative-treatments?ecd=wnl_add_090213&ctr=wnl-add-090213_ld-stry&mb=5Wk8UHxwYhGoSxQ5ffpkUeHnVev1imbCK030FC1RQEA%3d


Dizfriz

sarahsweets
09-05-13, 04:24 AM
Thanks for this Diz! Its the first time I have ever had these treatments explained to me in such laymans turns so that I could understand them! It also makes me feel good about the treatments i have chosen for my kids and my self.

Amtram
09-05-13, 10:10 AM
I've found much more woo-y stuff on WebMD and Medscape lately than I'd like, but this was not too bad. I liked that it pointed out the behavioral aspect of the Feingold Diet. IOW, pay more attention to your kids, and their behavior improves. Who'd'a thunk it?

MarciaD
09-13-13, 07:23 PM
The WebMD article about the Feingold diet isn't too bad but there are incorrect aspects to it. There is plenty of science behind it and it is nutritionally safe. Eliminating synthetic food dyes & flavorings, those preservatives and Aspartame can only help the person, not deprive them of nutrition. The best place to get info about it is the support group's website feingold.org. There is also a Facebook group and a Yahoo group for Feingolders.

ccom5100
09-13-13, 09:21 PM
I've found much more woo-y stuff on WebMD and Medscape lately than I'd like, but this was not too bad. I liked that it pointed out the behavioral aspect of the Feingold Diet. IOW, pay more attention to your kids, and their behavior improves. Who'd'a thunk it?

Remember, WebMD is MD based. Doctors are taught to prescribe medicine.

Actually, there have been studies that show elimination diets such as the Feingold diet does have an affect on hyperactivity. Because of the findings in the University of Southampton Study, the UK has urged companies to stop using artificial colors and flavors and most of them are complying. As a matter of fact, even American companies are complying; you can even get Kraft macaroni and cheese in the UK without the yellow food coloring and you can get snickerss bars, KitKats, etc.with real vanilla, instead of artificial vanillan.

This article is much more informative than the one in WebMD:

Should Removing Additives be a Standard Treatment for ADHD?

A diet eliminating artificial colorings and preservatives should be part of the standard treatment for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to an editorial by Andrew Kemp, M.D., in the May issue of the prestigious British Medical Journal.


Dr. Kemp, a professor at the University of Sydney, said that dietary modification is regarded by some as an "alternative" treatment rather than a "standard" treatment for ADHD, even though research shows that "dietary elimination of colorings and preservatives provides a statistically significant benefit."


"Three main treatments are available for hyperactivity in children -- drugs, behavioral therapy, and dietary modification," wrote Dr. Kemp. "Interestingly, the use of drugs and dietary modification is supported by several trials, whereas behavioral therapy -- which is presumably thought necessary for 'adequate treatment' -- has little or no scientifically based support."


"In view of the relatively harmless intervention of eliminating colorings and preservatives, and the large number of children taking drugs for hyperactivity, it might be proposed that an appropriately supervised and evaluated trial of eliminating colorings and preservatives should be part of standard treatment for individual children," he concluded.


Jane Hersey, author of Why Can't My Child Behave? and director of the nonprofit Feingold Association (ADHDdiet.org), agrees wholeheartedly.
"The Feingold Association has helped thousands of parents remove these additives from their children's food, and the results have often been startling, with many of the kids going from being extremely hyperactive and unfocused to achieving success both at school and in their lives," said Hersey, a former teacher and Head Start consultant whose own daughter was helped by the low-additive Feingold Program.


Dr. Kemp’s editorial follows an article in the February issue of AAP Grand Rounds, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which concluded that for doctors and parents who seek "safe and effective interventions that require no prescription" for hyperactive children, "a trial of a preservative-free, food coloring-free diet is a reasonable intervention."



The British Medical Journal editorial and the AAP Grand Rounds article were prompted by a British study from the University of Southampton and a meta-analysis by Harvard and Columbia University.


University of Southampton Study
When University of Southampton researchers tested six artificial food colorings and one preservative on 297 children, they found that these additives increased the children's hyperactivity and inattention.


This study, which was published in the Lancet, concluded: "These findings show that adverse effects are not just seen in children with extreme hyperactivity (i.e., ADHD), but can also be seen in the general population and across the range of severities of hyperactivity." This study cited the work of the late Dr. Ben Feingold, who discovered the link between artificial food additives and hyperactivity in the 1960s.
Although a European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) panel reached "broadly similar conclusions" when it reanalyzed the data from this study and determined that 16 of the 22 earlier studies that the panel reviewed showed a link between additives and hyperactivity, its report said that ADHD has a wide range of causes and that focusing exclusively on food additives may “detract from the provision of adequate treatment.” In his editorial in the British Medical Journal,Dr. Kemp countered, "It could be said that neglecting the substantial body of evidence on dietary factors may also do this."


Britain's Food Standard Agency (FSA) reacted to the University of Southampton study by issuing an immediate advisory to parents to limit their children's intake of these additives if their child shows signs of ADHD and is calling on manufacturers to voluntarily remove the dyes.
But many in the U.K. have criticized the FSA for not banning these additives outright.


The University of Southampton researchers estimate that the number of children suffering from ADHD could be reduced by 30% if the additives were banned and have pointed out that hyperactivity is a risk factor for reading and other learning problems, as well as behavioral difficulties, such as conduct disorder. "I feel that the effects we are seeing here are sufficiently great to represent a threat to health," said Dr. Jim Stevenson, the lead researcher.
The researchers sent a report to the FSA, arguing that the artificial food colorings that they tested appear to affect children's IQ a much as lead in gasoline and that there is "justification for action now."


Here in the United States, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has called on the Food and Drug Administration to ban synthetic food dyes.
Harvard/Columbia University Meta-analysis
Harvard and Columbia University researchers found that hyperactive children’s behavior improved significantly when artificial food colors were eliminated from their diet in a meta-analysis of twenty-three studies, fifteen of which dealt exclusively with ADHD children. “Our meta-analysis supports the hypothesis that AFCs [artificial food colorings] promote hyperactivity in hyperactive children, as measured on behavioral rating scales,” noted the authors, whose meta-analysis was published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics.


After a discussion of the Feingold Program, the scientists recommended that "assessment of behavioral toxicity should be a part of food additives evaluation" and called for “ambitious vigil against avoidable harmful exposures." They added, "At the very least, regulators should track consumption of AFCs [artificial food colorings]; we know only that domestic production of food dyes quadrupled between 1955 and 1998.”


“The Feingold Association has long recommended more testing of synthetic food colorings," said Hersey. "We also believe that the huge increase in these additives since the 1950s may be one reason for the surge in children’s hyperactivity and attention problems.”



The researchers also noted that because "several investigators evaluated dosages well below children's true likely daily exposure, one must consider whether the real-world effects of AFCs [artificial food colorings] are greater than the effects captured in our trials."
A 1977 National Academy of Sciences study of 12,000 people found that 99% of them ate up to an average of 327 milligrams of artificial food colors every day, yet many of the food dye studies have tested the effects of only twenty to thirty milligrams.


"When you consider that studies testing small amounts of food dyes show significant behavioral changes, it's easy to understand why kids having brightly colored treats with pink lemonade or blue sports drinks might have very serious reactions," said Hersey. "They're also exposed to dyes in toothpaste,mouthwash, and other products."


How do certain artificial food additives and foods affect the brain and central nervous system?
A University of Liverpool study testing the toxicological effects of several artificial food additives,including two synthetic dyes, found that they stop nerve cells from growing and interfere with proper signaling systems. This groundbreaking study, which was published in Toxicological Sciences, concluded that these additives are particularly toxic when used in combination, as they often are in children’s snacks and drinks.


And researchers who conducted topographic mapping of the electrical activity of 15 children’s brains noted in the European Journal of Pediatrics: “During consumption of provoking foods there was a significant increase in betal activity in the frontotemporal areas of the brain. This investigation is the first one to show an association between brain electrical activity and intake of provoking foods in children with food-induced attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.”


How it all began
In 1973, after eight years of clinical research, Dr. Ben Feingold, a pediatrician and allergist, presented his findings about the link between diet and behavior to a meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA), where he described his success in helping children and adults who had learning/behavior problems with a low-additive diet. The AMA sent him to press conferences around the country to share this information, and the media dubbed this regimen the "Feingold Diet."


As more and more parents began experiencing success with the Feingold Diet, volunteer support groups formed across the country, and in 1976 the nonprofit Feingold Association of the United States (ADHDdiet.org)was created to help families implement the diet. Dr. Feingold worked with the association and continued to help thousands of children until his death in 1982.


“Dr. Feingold’s challenge to the parents and professionals in the Feingold Association was to be a resource for families of children with learning and behavioral problems, especially as they began and tested out the diet," said Hersey. "The association has carried out that mission to this day."
The charity's advisory board and board of directors include medical professionals from Johns Hopkins University, the University of Rochester, Stony Brook University, Baltimore's Sinai Hospital, and other institutions.

sarahsweets
09-15-13, 09:50 AM
eating crap food filled with additives,dye and chemicals is bad for you no matter who you are. Whether or not this is placebo or whatever, I have discovered that I am EXTREMELY sensitive to MSG. And its hidden! It has so many ways to hide, something can say msg free but then have another additive that is actually MSG. I cant post a link but if you google something like msg-truth or something like that there is a really good website that tells you what other ingrediants that actually contain msg are called and the symptoms of msg sensitivity. (headaches,fatigue malaise) It could be psychosematic for me but I dont care, I avoid it as much as I can.

Amtram
09-15-13, 11:37 AM
Yes, avoiding artificial stuff as much as possible is usually a good idea (although darn near impossible - even fresh fruits and vegetables have been exposed to one thing or another. . .) but there is no evidence for the Feingold Diet affecting ADHD. I went through PubMed, and everything that wasn't written by Feingold, all the double-blind, controlled studies, no matter how they measured changes, found that it made no difference in ADHD symptoms.

daveddd
09-15-13, 11:41 AM
i just cant see food making a difference in something with so many psychological aspects to it

ccom5100
09-15-13, 03:44 PM
I went through PubMed, and everything that wasn't written by Feingold, all the double-blind, controlled studies, no matter how they measured changes, found that it made no difference in ADHD symptoms. just cant see food making a difference in something with so many psychological aspects to itAgain, doctors are taught to prescribe medicine. Alternatives are usually not on their radar. However, there are some medical journals that are willing to address them - see the article I quoted earlier. Also, all I could find on PubMed was Abstracts. How do you access the actual studies?

As for not seeing the correlation, it's probably because you haven't taken the time to explore it. There are thousands of people who have seen it and therefore, believe it.

Food additives do affect hyperactive activity and eliminating them will lesson adhd symptoms in may cases and even eliminate them in some. More people are sensitive to these additives than we think. After all, they are made from petro-chemicals, which, when ingested, WILL affect the brain's ability to function properly.

Yes, we are all exposed to harmful chemicals in the environment; all the more reason to keep from ingesting them in our food. It is not as hard as it used to be to find foods that do not contain the petro-chemicals additives. Our family eats like normal human beings, but we are more brand conscious. Yes it costs a little more, but it is way less expensive than the meds.

I'm not saying that everyone who eliminates these chemicals will be able to function without meds, but there are some that will and others may be able to lessen their dosage considerably.

Unfortunately, this approach is not an instant relief like stimulant meds are. You need to do it for a good 8 weeks to really see the difference. Once your body has detoxed from the chemicals that you have ingested in the past, you will see improvement, and the longer you stay on the program, the more improvement you will see. You will also be healthier and improve your immune system.

ccom5100
09-15-13, 03:54 PM
Yes, avoiding artificial stuff as much as possible is usually a good idea (although darn near impossible - even fresh fruits and vegetables have been exposed to one thing or another. . .) but there is no evidence for the Feingold Diet affecting ADHD. I went through PubMed, and everything that wasn't written by Feingold, all the double-blind, controlled studies, no matter how they measured changes, found that it made no difference in ADHD symptoms.

Just looked at the PubMD website again. It seems that all the references in PubMD, except for one Abstract dated 2011, are to studies that were done 10-30 years ago. Newer research has emerged with clearer results.

ana futura
09-15-13, 04:41 PM
What i find troublng about this article (and all articles of this nature) is the usage of the term "alternative" treatment. It sets up a false dichotomy- meds OR lifestyle measures. For the most effective treatment, it needs to be as many different approaches as possible. Sure, not everyone can or wants to take meds. But how about instead of thinking of it as "alternative" treatment, we think of it as "all the things you can do in addition to meds". Perhaps if all those things together manage ADHD well enough, you can leave meds behind. If they don't, there's no reason to chuck them if you decide to take meds.

It also frustrates me that it has left out CBT, meditation, exercise, and supplements (specifically L-theanine and fish oil) all of which have solid research to back their effectiveness. All of these things help to treat my ADHD, and I most often do them in addition to meds. The "either or mindset" only holds us back. We are comfortable talking anout therapy as an "in addition to" treatment, but nothing else. Why is that?

Everything i utilize in my fight against ADHD is simply another tool in the arsenal, whether or not I'm on meds.

Amtram
09-15-13, 05:51 PM
If there were newer research with results, it would be showing up in PubMed. Research shows up in PubMed before it's presented to the general public. And usually scientists don't follow up on research that produces nothing worthy of further study.

ana futura, if something is proven to work, it becomes "medicine." That's why there's a division. I don't know if you've ever listened to Tim Minchin's beat poem "Storm," but he explains it in a very entertaining way. Can't link because of the language, though.

ana futura
09-15-13, 07:17 PM
And everything i have mentioned has been been "proven" to "work", through recent research. Yet as far as i can see, nothing is listed on the site under "multi- modal treatments"

I'm all for calling mindfulness meditation and exercise "medicine", and dropping the "alternative", but the majority of the time I see them referred to as "alternative"- despite heaps of research backing them both.


I think the word we should be using, at least for proven methods not of a pharmaceutical nature is "complementary" medicine.
Yet i think very few people take the time to distinguish between the various non-pharmaceutical treatments available.

ccom5100
09-15-13, 07:53 PM
if there were newer research with results, it would be showing up in pubmed. Research shows up in pubmed before it's presented to the general public. And usually scientists don't follow up on research that produces nothing worthy of further study.


from pubmed:


dietary sensitivities and adhd symptoms: Thirty-five years of research.stevens lj (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=stevens%20lj%5bauthor%5d&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=21127082), kuczek t (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=kuczek%20t%5bauthor%5d&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=21127082), burgess jr (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=burgess%20jr%5bauthor%5d&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=21127082), hurt e (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=hurt%20e%5bauthor%5d&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=21127082), arnold le (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=arnold%20le%5bauthor%5d&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=21127082).
source

department of foods & nutrition, purdue university, 700 state street (g-46), west lafayette, in 47907, usa. stevens5@purdue.edu

abstract

artificial food colors (afcs) have not been established as the main cause of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd), but accumulated evidence suggests that a subgroup shows significant symptom improvement when consuming an afc-free diet and reacts with adhd-type symptoms on challenge with afcs. Of children with suspected sensitivities, 65% to 89% reacted when challenged with at least 100 mg of afc. Oligoantigenic diet studies suggested that some children in addition to being sensitive to afcs are also sensitive to common nonsalicylate foods (milk, chocolate, soy, eggs, wheat, corn, legumes) as well as salicylate-containing grapes, tomatoes, and orange. Some studies found "cosensitivity" to be more the rule than the exception. Recently, 2 large studies demonstrated behavioral sensitivity to afcs and benzoate in children both with and without adhd. A trial elimination diet is appropriate for children who have not responded satisfactorily to conventional treatment or whose parents wish to pursue a dietary investigation.

ccom5100
09-15-13, 08:02 PM
Here's an interesting read:

http://www.cspinet.org/new/pdf/dyesreschbk.pdf

Amtram
09-15-13, 09:51 PM
Yes, they've found that certain food additives can exacerbate hyperactivity. So taking them out can reduce hyperactivity. That's one symptom, not the whole of ADHD. As I said, avoiding artificial stuff is a good idea. But it does not cause ADHD, and avoiding it doesn't cure ADHD. Research on individual ingredients shows that some have some effect on some people. That doesn't warrant treating an elimination diet as restrictive as Feingold as a cure.

Additional studies have also concluded that a part of the success of the diet is that it forces parents to pay closer attention to their children and spend more time with them. This aspect has shown improvement in children's symptoms even in the absence of dietary changes.

ccom5100
09-15-13, 09:58 PM
Yes, they've found that certain food additives can exacerbate hyperactivity. So taking them out can reduce hyperactivity. That's one symptom, not the whole of ADHD. As I said, avoiding artificial stuff is a good idea. But it does not cause ADHD, and avoiding it doesn't cure ADHD. Research on individual ingredients shows that some have some effect on some people. That doesn't warrant treating an elimination diet as restrictive as Feingold as a cure.

Additional studies have also concluded that a part of the success of the diet is that it forces parents to pay closer attention to their children and spend more time with them. This aspect has shown improvement in children's symptoms even in the absence of dietary changes.

No one is saying that it will cure adhd. What the studies show is that it will address the hyerpactivity,which is a big part of the disorder (and for some, the biggest part). Feingold is not an overly restrictive diet. There is no ingredient that our family restricts except for petro-chemical additives. Naturally, there are people who are sensitive to certain foods and it would be good for them to restrict them. Would you call a diabetic's diet too restrictive, and suggest that they just take medication and eat whatever they want?

As for paying more attention to your kids, why not try it? Take your kids off meds and pay more attention to them. I bet it won't impact their adhd symptoms. Our diet has been a way of life for us for the past 11 years; there is no special attention being paid. We are used to eating the way we do, and guess what - it still works!

MarciaD
09-17-13, 01:09 PM
There are, in deed, many good studies linking dyes & behavior since 1911. I'll list them below:

AAP Grand Rounds February, 2008, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“…a trial of a preservative-free, food coloring-free diet is a reasonable intervention.”
“Thus, the overall findings of the [McCann] study are clear and require that even we skeptics, who have long doubted parental claims of the effects of various foods on the behavior of their children, admit we might have been wrong.”

Food additives and hyperactive behavior in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the community: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial.
McCann et al., The Lancet September 6, 2007

“Artificial colours or a sodium benzoate preservative (or both) in the diet result in increased hyperactivity in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the general population.”


Do Artificial Food Colors Promote Hyperactivity in Children with Hyperactive Syndromes?
A Meta-Anaylsis of Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trials. David W. Schab, MD., MPH,
Nhi-ha T. Trinh, MD, MPH, The Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, December 2004, 25:6.

“…this study is consistent with accumulating evidence that neurobehavioral toxicity may characterize a variety of widely distributed chemicals.”


The Effects of a Double Blind Placebo Controlled Artificial Food Colourings and Benzoate Preservatives Challenge on Hyperactivity in a General Population Sample of Pre-school Children. B. Bateman, et. al.,Archives of Disease in Childhood 89: 506-511, June 2004

“There is a general adverse effect of artificial food colouring and benzoate preservatives on the behaviour of 3-year-old children which is detectable by parents but not by a simple clinic assessment.”


Favorable effect of a standard elimination diet on the behavior of young children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): a pilot study. L. Pelsser et al., Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd 146(52);2543-7, Dec 2002

25 of 40 children (62%) who met the DSM-IV criteria for ADHD showed an improvement in behavior of at least 50% after two weeks on a standard elimination diet, according to parent ratings using the 10-item Conners list, the ADHD Rating Scale, and a physical complaint list,. Among the children with both parent and teacher ratings, 10 of 15 (68%) improved both at home and at school. “In young children with ADHD, an elimination diet can lead to a statistically significant decrease in symptoms.”

Synthetic Food Coloring and Behavior: A Dose Response Effect in a Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Repeated-Measures Study. K.S. Rowe, K.J. Rowe, Journal of Pediatrics Nov 1994, 135:691-8

150 of 200 children (75%) improved on an open trial of a diet free of synthetic food coloring, and 63% of them responded to a single-item challenge of tartrazine [FD&C Yellow #5 food dye]. In the double-blind portion, the study identified 24 children as clear reactors, including 19 of the 23 “suspected reactors” (82.5%). When they reacted to the dye, the younger children had “constant crying, tantrums, irritability, restlessness, and severe sleep disturbance,” and were described as “disruptive,” “easily distracted and excited” and “out of control.”

Foods and Additives are Common Causes of the Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder in Children. M. Boris, F. Mandel, Annals of Allergy 72:462-8, May 1994

73% of the children responded favorably. “This study demonstrates a beneficial effect of eliminating reactive foods and artificial colors in children with ADHD. Dietary factors may play a significant role in the etiology of the majority of children with ADHD…In summary, this double-blind, placebo controlled food challenge study supports the role of dietary factors in ADHD. Through a simple elimination diet symptoms can be controlled…Elimination of the causes of ADHD is preferable to the pharmacologic therapy of this condition.”


Synthetic Food Colourings and “Hyperactivity”: A Double-Blind Crossover Study. K.S. Rowe, Australia Paediatric Journal 24(2):143-7, April 1988

40 of 55 children (72.7%) put on a 6-week trial of the Feingold Diet “demonstrated improved behaviour.” 26 (47.3%) remained improved following “liberalization” of the diet over a 3-6 month period.


News & Features from NIH, National Institutes of Health, March 1981

“Animal studies indicate that certain food dyes interfere with chemical communication in the brain, adding further support to the theory that they are associated with hyperactivity in children. The researchers found that, in low doses, the dye enters the brain readily, inhibiting the uptake of neurotransmitters by nerve cells.”


Food Dyes Impair Performance of Hyperactive Children on a Laboratory Learning Test. J. Swanson, M. Kinsbourne, Science Magazine 207:1485-7, 28 March 1980

“The performance of the hyperactive children on paired-associate learning tests on the day they received the dye blend was impaired relative to their performance after they received the placebo, but the performance of the non-hyperactive group was not affected by the challenge…”


[quote=Amtram;1538517]If there were newer research with results, it would be showing up in PubMed. Research shows up in PubMed before it's presented to the general public. And usually scientists don't follow up on research that produces nothing worthy of further study.]

ccom5100
09-18-13, 10:29 AM
Here's another interesting article about the benefits of a petro-chemical free diet as a viable treatment for ADHD:

ADHD and diet - a possible cure? BY LAUREN McCUTCHEON, Daily News Staff Writer mccutch@phillynews.com, 215-854-5991

Posted: September 06, 2013


THAT 6-year-old Davin Schulson can make his own lunch (homemade citrusade, chicken tacos and raspberry-watermelon frozen pops) is no surprise. The eldest son of celeb chef-restaurateur Michael Schulson (Center City's Sampan, Atlantic City's Izakaya and Ardmore's The Saint James) has been cooking at his dad's elbow longer than he can remember.


"He was tossing edamame in a pot when he was 18 months old, when we appeared together on 'E! News,' " said his proud papa, also dad to Jordan, 3.


Still, that Davin can stand in one place on a stepladder while single-mindedly squeezing fruit, mixing in maple syrup, loading frozen berries into a blender and then slicing - and sautéing - a chicken breast is somewhat of a miracle.


A year and a half ago, six months before Davin entered kindergarten, at Greenfield Elementary, he, like more than 5 percent of American kids aged 6 to 12, was diagnosed with ADHD.


"He couldn't stay still," said Schulson, who cited Davin's most prominent symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as "impulse control." He also exhibited other typical ADHD symptoms of hyperactivity and inattention.


In school, Davin frequently acted out, received daily "red light" warnings about his behavior and eventually had to eat lunch in the principal's office. "His kindergarten teacher had him sit on a [fitness] ball, and he'd just bounce and bounce," recalled the chef.
Schulson took his pre-kindergartener to the Center for Management of ADHD, at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, for evaluation. Davin began taking a prescription to control his symptoms.
Schulson, who is divorced and has primary custody of his two kids, wasn't pleased with what he observed in Davin, post-prescription. He described his eldest's medicated state as "in a whole different world." He recalled, "I was like, 'Where's my son?' "

A cure in the kitchen?

The chef resolved to find another, drug-free approach. He came upon the Feingold Diet. Born in the 1970s of a West Coast allergist, Feingold is based on the idea that eliminating foods with petroleum-based dyes (those FD&C colors named by numbers) and other synthetic additives can be good for you. Feingold proponents claim that in some instances the regimen can minimize symptoms of ADHD.


Schulson took a closer look at the foods Davin ate. He was shocked to learn just how many kids' staples - even kids' toothpastes - contain dyes like Yellow No. 5 and Blue No. 1. "Eggo waffles, Kraft macaroni and cheese," the chef rattled off. "Even juice boxes and Lunchables," two of Davin's school-meal favorites.
"We don't even realize" how many foods contain artificial ingredients, said the chef. Other Feingold no-no's: the man-made preservatives BHT, BHA and TBHQ. The chef also decided to place strict limits on foods with refined flour or sugar, and cut out high-fructose corn syrup.


It wasn't long before Schulson and his girlfriend, Nina Tinari, were emptying out their Rittenhouse Square condo's cabinets and fridge and going shopping at Whole Foods. There, they realized, artificial-ingredient-less mac and cheese was much, much pricier than Kraft's version. "The mac and cheese that has the dye is 99 cents," said Tinari. "The mac and cheese that doesn't is $3.99."
Still, it was worth it.


"After a week - literally, a week!" of eating differently, Schulson said, Davin's behavior was "like night and day."


He could stay still. He could focus. He came home from school with all "green" and "yellow" lights.


Davin didn't become symptom-free. He still needs to be reminded to pay attention and still makes regular visits to his pediatrician at CHOP's ADHD Center, where his diet is supervised, and where he and his family learn behavior-based interventions. But his symptoms are much more manageable.

Recipes for success

Aside from cost, Davin's diet is no sweat. Schulson said there are three simple tricks to getting his kids to stay on the plan.
First, he takes the boys grocery shopping, where they learn about ingredients. When Davin or Jordan picks out something on the "no" list, their dad tells them, "This has X, Y or Z in it. I'm not going to put that in my body. Do you still want to put it in yours?"


Next, he lets them make what they eat. Even little Jordan can slice, squeeze and sauté with his dad's help. Davin, who described himself as the "better chef" of the two brothers (a claim his younger brother proudly disputed), likes to open the refrigerator and ask, "What can we make?"


Last, Schulson keeps Feingold-friendly substitutes on hand. "If I'm gonna take something away, I have to have something else for them." So when their building's doorman gives the kids lollipops, dad trades them for naturally flavored and colored gum balls from their pantry.


Schulson also doesn't deprive Davin of desserts. The youngster loves homemade frozen pops and is allowed chocolate on weekends. Recently, at a birthday party, Davin took it upon himself to scrape the colored icing off his slice of cake.


"I don't want my son to be afraid of food," Schulson said.
Mostly, though, the chef-dad believes that cooking itself makes his boys proud to eat their meals. Said Schulson, "Any time a kid makes something himself, he automatically likes it better."

someothertime
09-18-13, 10:39 AM
even fresh fruits and vegetables have been exposed to one thing or another

I did my chemical application training two weeks ago. My teacher said he did his on an apple farm and his eyes popped out of his head when he was talking about the amount of pesticides used.

Amtram
09-18-13, 07:17 PM
The plural of anecdote is not data. I read that article already, and many, many like it. You may want to read this blog entry about judging the quality of science sources. (http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/judging-quality-science-sources/)

ccom5100
09-18-13, 08:11 PM
The plural of anecdote is not data. I read that article already, and many, many like it. You may want to read this blog entry about judging the quality of science sources. (http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/judging-quality-science-sources/)

The first phrase in the "About me" was enough: "After spending years in the medical industry,"

The medical industry, by its very nature, will pooh-pooh any alternatives to medication.

The many studies in previous posts in this thread do show that ingesting petro-chemical additives does contribute to (and can even cause) adhd symptoms. They go on to show that excluding these additives from the diet does alleviate those symptoms. Petro-chemical additives are toxins which attack the brain, thus causing adhd symptoms.

sarahsweets
09-19-13, 05:19 AM
serious question here: How does anyone decide which scientific articles/data/evidence is valid regarding alternative diets regardless of whether or not you are for dietary intervention? What I mean is, if the science one can find refereneces medical experts, then does that mean its automatically invalid? The same is true for non-medical yet scientific studies, if a source who is not associated with medicine but is associated with science, and doesnt support medical intervention, and advocates dietary changes, how do we know which evidence either for, or agaisnt is the "true" evidence? I'm not being a smart as* here, I am geniuinely curious.

Hml1976
09-19-13, 12:37 PM
serious question here: How does anyone decide which scientific articles/data/evidence is valid regarding alternative diets regardless of whether or not you are for dietary intervention? What I mean is, if the science one can find refereneces medical experts, then does that mean its automatically invalid? The same is true for non-medical yet scientific studies, if a source who is not associated with medicine but is associated with science, and doesnt support medical intervention, and advocates dietary changes, how do we know which evidence either for, or agaisnt is the "true" evidence? I'm not being a smart as* here, I am geniuinely curious.

It's an excellent question and there's no clear answer. Some colleges have entire courses of study on the ethics of "studies" ie if Pfizer is paying is it legit? What if an anti-med group is? Is there such thing as an unbiased study?

I think the bottom line is that most of us will try most anything to try to help our kids. For our son who doesn't have the attention issues but really struggles with hyper/impulsiveness, dietary and discipline changes have been a godsend and we no longer medicate. For my best friend's son they do nothing and medication has been the answer. So my feeling on alternative treatments is why not? If it works, great, if it works in conjunction with meds, great, if it doesn't, well it doesn't hurt right?

Amtram
09-19-13, 12:41 PM
There are a lot of ways you can weed out valid information if you know what you're looking for. You look for the size of the study. You look at the variables being tested (too many variables makes the study useless.) You look to make sure that it's blinded - the subjects don't know who's getting the thing that's being tested, and the reviewers don't know who's getting the thing that's being tested, so the results are objective. You want to see how significant those results are (if the difference is a percentage point or two, it's useless.)

Good research should also be reproducible. So, for example, if you take a study that uses only boys between the ages of 7 and 14, you should be able to do the exact same study on a different group of boys between the ages of 7 and 14 and get the same or close to the same results. If it's repeated with girls and/or repeated with a different age group, then it has more value. If it works only with the selected subjects, then it's not useful.

It should also be falsifiable. There should be a mechanism that would disprove the findings, and certain researchers will even include that in their papers to show that they tested that before releasing it.

There are also things like the number of papers the researcher has released and the Impact Factor (http://www.bioxbio.com/if/) of the journals that published them. Someone who produces a few papers that are published in high Impact Factor journals and whose papers are referenced by other researchers in larger numbers has more credibility than someone who publishes a lot of papers in low IF journals and is rarely cited by other researchers.

There are 35 published papers that looked at the Feingold Diet. Most of them aren't available because they are so old that they predate the database. Of the rest, they found that there was no objective improvement from the diet (except for one study done on one boy who had multiple mental and physical issues - hardly conclusive.) The most positive determinations from all of these was that they didn't make things worse. Yeah, I just read all the abstracts.

So, no well-constructed studies showing a statistically significant outcome. Check. No conclusive findings. Check. Minimal citations. Check. No reason to assume that the claims are valid. You can look for yourself (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed) if you want.

ccom5100
09-19-13, 03:14 PM
serious question here: How does anyone decide which scientific articles/data/evidence is valid regarding alternative diets regardless of whether or not you are for dietary intervention? What I mean is, if the science one can find refereneces medical experts, then does that mean its automatically invalid? The same is true for non-medical yet scientific studies, if a source who is not associated with medicine but is associated with science, and doesnt support medical intervention, and advocates dietary changes, how do we know which evidence either for, or agaisnt is the "true" evidence? I'm not being a smart as* here, I am geniuinely curious.

The problem is that not all treatments work for all people. Also, the drug companies have lots of money to fund their studies, but alternative treatments do not have access to that type of funding. I believe that the only way to find out if a particular treatment works, after doing your research, is to try it. If it works for you, then it is a viable treatment. If it is a viable treatment for you, then it could also be a viable treatment for others and it is worth passing it on so that others may benefit from it.

ccom5100
09-19-13, 03:25 PM
There are 35 published papers that looked at the Feingold Diet. Most of them aren't available because they are so old that they predate the database. Of the rest, they found that there was no objective improvement from the diet (except for one study done on one boy who had multiple mental and physical issues - hardly conclusive.) The most positive determinations from all of these was that they didn't make things worse. Yeah, I just read all the abstracts..

As you mentioned, the studies on Feingold are quite old. However, the studies quoted above by Maria and in the article I posted, while not referencing the Feingold Diet, are studies that deal with the same premise (petro-chemical additives, such as artificial colors, artificial flavors, and certain preservatives). These studies do show a correlation between those additives and adhd symptoms. Thus, the Feingold Diet can be a viable treatment.

ashleywells
12-13-13, 04:05 AM
Thanks for posting this article. This could be helpful for parents who are looking for alternatives that are cheaper than any treatments. But always be careful since a balanced diet is important too.

Kunga Dorji
12-13-13, 06:46 AM
Interesting WebMD article on alternative treatments for ADHD

http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/adhd-alternative-treatments?ecd=wnl_add_090213&ctr=wnl-add-090213_ld-stry&mb=5Wk8UHxwYhGoSxQ5ffpkUeHnVev1imbCK030FC1RQEA%3d


Dizfriz

Thanks: it is a little over general.
Sugar instability will certainly worsen attention and emotional regulation (sympathetic response).
That's not to say it will "cause ADHD" but it will destabilise alrady marginal attention.

Interactive Metronome is a sort of specialised mindfulness treatment as is neurofeedback.
There is level 1 evidence for neurofeedback.

Chiropractic- again, I would suggest that it is better to understand that spinal misalignments can cause stress responses and disturbed proprioception, neither of which will help attention. That could be demonstrated to your satisfaction if you found a friendly chiropractor to sit in on.

The cranial bone story is a real interesting one.
Dizfriz- if you still have the old skeleton that you used at medical school- check the skull - esp the sphenoid- and you can see it is not firmly locked in place.
In adults the sutures round the back of the skull and over the top of the vertex are usually fused, but not all of the ones deep in the face/front of the skull.

My chiro did some cranial work on me this week, and my vision improved so much I can read 20 point text on my mobile. I had to use 32 point before that. Probably altered pressure on a nerve ganglion regulating the ciliary muscles.

Kunga Dorji
12-13-13, 07:09 AM
Yes, they've found that certain food additives can exacerbate hyperactivity. So taking them out can reduce hyperactivity. That's one symptom, not the whole of ADHD. As I said, avoiding artificial stuff is a good idea. But it does not cause ADHD, and avoiding it doesn't cure ADHD.


There are two different approaches- take steps to improve symptoms or aim to cure the problem.

Stimulants also relieve symptoms- but can make hyperfocus and anger/impulsiveness worse.

However, DSM defines syndromes on the basis of clusters of similar behaviours and expressions of internal experience-- and, by definition a syndrome cannot be cured.

daveddd
12-13-13, 08:26 AM
And everything i have mentioned has been been "proven" to "work", through recent research. Yet as far as i can see, nothing is listed on the site under "multi- modal treatments"

I'm all for calling mindfulness meditation and exercise "medicine", and dropping the "alternative", but the majority of the time I see them referred to as "alternative"- despite heaps of research backing them both.


I think the word we should be using, at least for proven methods not of a pharmaceutical nature is "complementary" medicine.
Yet i think very few people take the time to distinguish between the various non-pharmaceutical treatments available.

I'm pretty sure only non professionals consider mindfulness an alternative treatment in psychology . DBT is a scientifically proven treatment.

Dizfriz
12-13-13, 12:32 PM
Thanks: it is a little over general.

It is but there is a need for reasonably good articles on that level and I hoped that perhaps someone could use it or perhaps share.


Interactive Metronome is a sort of specialised mindfulness treatment as is neurofeedback. There is level 1 evidence for neurofeedback. Interestingly enough there is some good primary evidence for this intervention. From the section on it at the help4adhd site: http://help4adhd.org/en/treatment/complementary/WWK6


To date, there has been a single study of IM training for boys with ADHD.15 This was a well-conducted study with appropriate control groups, and the results indicated that boys who received IM training showed improvements in a wide range of areas. Thus, this intervention appears to be promising.

Additional research using IM training in individuals with ADHD is necessary, however, before the value of this approach can be known with greater certainty. Definitively looks interesting.

Chiropractic- again, I would suggest that it is better to understand that spinal misalignments can cause stress responses and disturbed proprioception, neither of which will help attention. That could be demonstrated to your satisfaction if you found a friendly chiropractor to sit in on. I cannot comment on Chiropractic as I have not looked into it much. One of the problems I have with it though comes from some very wild claims. Years ago I got a flyer claiming to be able to cure cancer through Chiropractic. I still have some residual caution based on this kind of thing.


The cranial bone story is a real interesting one. Dizfriz- if you still have the old skeleton that you used at medical school- check the skull - But I did not go to medical school so lost out on the possession of said skeleton; a cause of emotional trauma that I will just have to somehow survive in my old age (grin).

On the rest, I am going to have to pass for now as it is out of the range of my training. It sound interesting and I hope that you have found something real and suspect you have. I will leave it up to you though to get it established.


My chiro did some cranial work on me this week, and my vision improved so much I can read 20 point text on my mobile. I had to use 32 point before that. Probably altered pressure on a nerve ganglion regulating the ciliary muscles.I am a firm believer in that if something works, it works. Glad it did.

Dizfriz

ginniebean
12-13-13, 12:48 PM
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=150242&page=2

Dr's don't know anything, they're bad, parents who allow Dr's to treat their children are bad. Therefore this anti-med treatment is good. Very effective.

Lot's of adhd kids in this school none of them on meds. Good parents line up, and he's only making 50 million a year. Can't afford good studies it's those damn medical researchers who won't pay attention to just how successful this alternative therapy is. They need to research it because the alternative industry is impoverished and can't afford to do real research. And, of course any research done that has a negative outcome can be disputed on so many different grounds because we all know that science is theenemy of wholesome alternative treatments.

Dizfriz
12-15-13, 06:40 PM
A follow up article to the OP

This one called " Skip the Supplements" has come up today covering some of the same material, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/15/opinion/sunday/skip-the-supplements.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

The last paragraph from this article:

For too long, too many people have believed that dietary supplements can only help and never hurt. Increasingly, it’s clear that this belief is a false one. Alternative treatments come up often and I have nothing against them as such but some caution needs to be taken before jumping into the them with the eyes wide shut.

For what it is worth,


Dizfriz

Dizfriz
12-15-13, 07:09 PM
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=150242&page=2


Can't afford good studies it's those damn medical researchers who won't pay attention to just how successful this alternative therapy is. They need to research it because the alternative industry is impoverished and can't afford to do real research. And, of course any research done that has a negative outcome can be disputed on so many different grounds because we all know that science is the enemy of wholesome alternative treatments.

Satire yes, but there is something to it at least according to the OP article and the article which I caught this morning.



From the Big Placebo OP article: Alternative medicine isn't quite the underdog it's usually made out to be.

The revenue of the alternative and traditional medicine industry worldwide is estimated to be $60 billion a year,[2] and in 2004 the supplement industry was worth $20 billion in the U.S. alone.[2] For comparison, Big Pharma is worth about $300 billion a year.[3]I suspect the alternative treatment industry could afford some research and quality control.



While I don't necessary agree in total, I can see some merit with this statement from the Big Placebo article:

The two BPs are practically identical: They are both run by selfish, greedy business executives who will do anything to make a quick buck, even if it means endangering millions of lives.

The main difference between Big Pharma and Big Placebo is that Big Pharma is regulated, to make sure its products work and contain the substances on the label, while Big Placebo is free to sell more or less whatever it wants, label be damned.From today's article titled "Skip the Supplements" http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/15/opinion/sunday/skip-the-supplements.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

The last paragraph from the article: For too long, too many people have believed that dietary supplements can only help and never hurt. Increasingly, it’s clear that this belief is a false one. We here see a lot on alternative treatments and I have no real objections to them as such but considering the quality control and research issues, some caution should be exercised before jumping in eyes wide shut.

Dizfriz