A Recent Study on Milk and ADHD

Changes in our diets can be used as a treatment intervention for ADHD.

According to a recent study from Norway, it seems that at least a sub-group of children with ADHD have a particular type of protein imbalance that may be contributing to a child’s ADHD symptoms, or maybe causing that child’s ADHD problem entirely.

Milk and ADHD
Milk and ADHD

The study began back in 1996 as a group of researchers and educators in Norway began a study of 23 children with ADHD. They placed the children on a milk-free diet and have followed the performance of the children since.

The researchers wanted to see if the ADHD symptoms in the children, particularly hyperactivity and impulsivity, would improve by avoiding milk, or more specifically the casein in the milk.

Since one of our long-held ADHD diet recommendations has been to stop
drinking cow’s milk for two weeks, then add it back into the diet and see if there is
any adverse reaction to it, we were very interested in the observations from this

Milk is one of the most common food allergens in children. Studies in several
countries around the world show a prevalence of milk allergy in children around
2% to 5%. Some estimates are much higher, as the researchers in this study
propose. Cow’s milk contains at least 20 protein components that may cause
allergic responses. The milk proteins casein and whey are the main problems.
Caseins give milk its “milky” appearance and are the protein in milk that makes it
possible to make cheese. Whey makes up the remainder of the milk substance.

We have been familiar with the theories of Dr. Kalle Reichelt and have offered Dr. Reichelt’s thoughts on diet, particularly milk and gluten, and mental illness to our readers for several years on our websites. So I have always been interested in studies that have investigated these positions. This study caught my eye.

The group was working under Reichelt’s theory that a metabolic disorder makes it
difficult to break down certain proteins might cause mental problems including

All twenty-three children in the long-term study had symptoms of ADHD and had
been shown to have abnormal levels of peptides in their urine.
The children followed a strict casein-free diet a year, and all but one had “clear
improvements” in their behavior and attention span.

One of the researchers noted, “One of the kids I worked with started on the diet on Wednesday and by the weekend his parents said they saw a huge positive change in his behavior.

Not drinking cow’s milk is certainly a simple and safe intervention to try. And, as we like to say, if what you are doing works, don’t mess with it. But if it doesn’t work, try something else.

Learn more about our recommended Eating Program or ADHD Diet at
http://newideas.net/adhd/adhd-diet or to read more about ATTEND with amino
acids for a natural but effective treatment for ADHD at http://newideas.net/attend.

The ADHD Information Library at http://newideas.net serves over 300,000 parents
and teachers each year by providing accurate and timely information on ADHD.
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter with Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., the clinical
editor of the ADHD Information Library, or take our free online screening test for
ADHD athttp: //ne wideas.net/adhd-online-test- screening .

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Restricted diets can help children with ADHD, study suggests

Restricted diets can help children with ADHD, study suggests

Restricted diets can help children with ADHD

Different foods trigger different behavioral problems and should be monitored, according to paper in the Lancet

* Sarah Boseley, health editor
* The Guardian, Friday 4 February 2011
* Article history

Ritalin is widely used to treat children diagnosed with ADHD, but a paper in the Lancet suggests changing diet may be as effective.

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), who are impulsive, inattentive and unable to sit still, should be put on a restricted diet for several weeks to establish whether particular foods are the cause, scientists say today.

Certain foods and additives can worsen the behavior of some children, although guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) say there is no proof that cutting out fatty acids, food colorings or additives can help.

A paper published today in the Lancet medical journal establishes that food is responsible for ADHD children’s erratic and difficult behavior in many cases, although it is likely that different foods trigger behavioral problems in different children. The findings are likely to be welcomed by those who are concerned about the amount of drug treatment given to children with ADHD.

Researchers from the Netherlands put 50 children with ADHD on a “restricted elimination diet” consisting of foods with the least possible risk of allergic reaction – a combination of rice, meat, vegetables, pears and water – which was tailored to the preferences of each child. A second group of 50 children were not put on a diet, but their parents were given advice on healthy eating and asked to keep a diary of everything their child ate.

The behavior of 78% of the 41 children who completed the five-week restricted diet phase improved, while the behavior of those who were not on a special diet remained the same.

Researchers then tried adding particular foods high in immunoglobulin G (IgG), antibodies known to trigger allergic responses, to the restricted diet. They subsequently added foods that were low in IgG – to find out whether blood tests for the antibodies could be used to identify foods that trigger ADHD. However, 63% of the children relapsed and there was no difference in the response to low IgG or high IgG foods.

The researchers conclude that – although food sensitivity plays a part in ADHD, it is not caused by an allergic reaction.

“We think that dietary intervention should be considered in all children with ADHD. This provided that parents are willing to follow a diagnostic restricted elimination diet for a 5-week period, and that expert supervision is available,” say Professor Jan Buitelaar of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre and Dr Lidy Pelsser of the ADHD Research Centre in Eindhoven.

“Children who react favorably to this diet should be diagnosed with food-induced ADHD. They should enter a challenge procedure to define which foods each child reacts to, increase the feasibility and minimize the burden of the diet. In children who do not show behavioral improvements after following the diet, standard treatments such as drugs, behavioral treatments, or both should be considered.”

British experts welcomed the findings. “This study provides further evidence for the potential value of dietary approaches to the treatment of ADHD,” said Professor Jim Stevenson of the University of Southampton. “It is a condition that disrupts family life, interferes with the child’s ability to sustain friendships with other children and places the child at risk of longer term problems with attainment in school. Many parents are reluctant to use a drug treatment and it is important that alternatives such as the few foods approach can be shown to be effective.”

But professor David Daley at Nottingham University’s institute of mental health said there was more work to do. “Scientifically, I think this paper offers excellent evidence about another possible underlying cause of ADHD, but it would be premature to conclude such dietary intervention would be of any clinical benefit to children with ADHD and their parents. We need to know more about how expensive the intervention is, how motivated parents must be to make it work, and how easy it is for parents to get their child to stick to the diet,” he said.


Please read about these Bach Flower Remedies 

Clematis, are used for those who daydream, living in a fantasy world and are not really present.

Impatiens, are for those who are quick in action and impatient.

Gentian, are used for those who easily get discouraged at small setbacks.

Walnut, are used when the person easily gets distracted by noises, motions and commotion. They have a hard time focus on what they are going or supposed to be doing.

Elm, are for those who easily get overwhelmed.

Larch, are for those who lack self-confidence.

Vervain, are for those who get overactive due to an idea or an activity.

White Chestnut, are for those who have repeated unwanted thoughts.

The Bach Flower Remedies are 100% safe for the whole family, without any side effects.