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ADHD in Children Health Center

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Food Dye and ADHD

What is in food dye? continued...

There are two types of approved color additives - dyes and lakes. Dyes are water-soluble and usually come in the form of powders, granules, or liquids. Lakes are not water-soluble. They are found in products containing fats and oils.

Some food colorings are synthetically produced. Examples of these color additives include FD&C Blue Nos. 1 and 2, FD&C Green No. 3, and FD&C Red No.40. Other food colorings come from pigments of vegetables, minerals, or animals. Examples of these natural additives include beta-carotene, grape skin extract, caramel color, and saffron.

Does sugar cause symptoms of ADHD?

Processed sugars and carbohydrates may have an effect on a child’s activity level. These sugars produce a rapid increase in blood glucose levels because they enter the bloodstream so quickly. A child may become more active due to an adrenaline rush produced by this blood sugar spike.

Decreased activity in the child is sometimes noted as the adrenaline levels fall. However, there has been no proof to date that sugar actually causes ADHD.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD on November 18, 2014
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