Lourdes Salvador's Column
...Co-founder of MCS America discusses the latest Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issues.
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Food Dye and Chemicals Linked to Behavioral Disorders in Children
by Lourdes Salvador
As far back as the early 1980s, Dr. Doris Rapp, MD has been helping children to eliminate food dyes from their diet and recover from attention deficits, hyperactivity, misbehavior, and other effects of these chemicals. Dr. Rapp says behavioral problems are often caused by an unrecognized form of allergy from dust, molds, pollen, foods or chemicals.
Rapp says allergic children tend to have red earlobes or cheeks, dark eye circles, bags under their eyes, nose rubbing and/or wiggly legs just before sudden unexplained changes in their activity and behavior. It is easy to miss the signs of these allergies since the glaringly obvious symptom is only misbehavior, such as screaming and fussing.
Finding the cause can be tricky. Rapp suggests paying close attention to the changes that occur within the minutes of eating or inhaling of anything fragrant, biological, or chemical, such as dust, mold, fabric softener, pesticide, cleansers, food additives, and personal care products.
The best treatment is avoidance according to Rapp. For extreme reactions, she suggests going to an emergency room for oxygen at 6 liters per minute for a minimum of ten minutes.
Provocation/Neutralization is a relatively new practice which may also help some types of reactions.
Dr. Rapp says, "If a food is causing your child to act inappropriately, try 1-2 tsp of baking soda in some water. It can help in a few minutes."
Bernard Weiss, a professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, also began studying potential links between artificial food dyes and neurobehavioral effects in children in the late 1970s and describes the effects of food dye, not as and allergy, but as a neurotoxicity.
Weiss says, To me the evidence implicating food colors as a provocative chemical is clear. [But] you have to remember that these kids are exposed to thousands of chemicals in the environment. We know that some of them, such as lead, are very powerful members of the class of chemicals we call neurotoxicants; that is, they are toxic to the nervous system, to the brain. Endocrine disruptors such as those that are found in plastics also have the ability to change behaviors of this kind. Pesticides are also found in most childrens bodies today, and they too have the ability to provoke these kinds of behaviors. Our children are really facing an assault of chemicals, many of which have the ability to change how the brain functions.
Simply eliminating a liquid vitamin with food dye could make a huge difference in a child. The easiest way to treat any of these disorders in both children and adults is to avoid toxic chemicals, fragrances, and foods which are not natural and organic.
Ahearn A. 2010. Neurobehavioral Effects of Artificial Food Dyes, with Bernard Weiss. Environ Health Perspect :-. doi:10.1289/ehp.trp100110.
Rapp, Doris. Doris Rapp, MD. 2010. Retrieved on October 23, 2010 from: http://www.dorisrappmd.com/
For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.
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