A restrictive diet for children suffering from hyperactivity, or ADHD, can be so beneficial that many of them can stop taking medicine altogether, according to research by Radboud University medical school in Nijmegen, which will be published in medical magazine The Lancet on Saturday.
The Volkskrant carried a report on the research on Friday.
The research involved 100 children aged four to eight. Fifty of them followed an elimination diet – removing all known allergens until some of them consumed only rice, turkey, pear, vegetables and water.
After five weeks, two-thirds of the children on the special diet no longer had any behavioural problems. There was no difference in the behaviour of the control group.
The children were followed for a further year, with foodstuffs being added back into their diet to determine what caused the hyperactive reaction.
The paper says some 5% of Dutch children are labelled as suffering from ADHD and the link between diet and the syndrome has been known for a long time.
This diet is not new but it is the first time it has been tried out on so many children for such a long time.
UMC professor Jan Buitelaar told the paper the children are not allergic and food additives are not causing the problems. Instead, the children appear to be oversensitive to some foodstuffs.
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