The Role of Salicylate in ADD/ADHD

by ProfKeith

salicylate and adhdThe role of salicylate (aspirin-containing) foods in hyperactivity (ADD/ADHD) in children was first put forward by Dr Ben Feingold. He claimed dramatic results from a diet free of these foods.

Feingold diet 1: Foods Containing Salicylates

All fresh meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, cereals & bread are low in salicylates.

Feingold Diet

Feingold later improved the diet by eliminating food additives and colourings (the notorious yellow-orange dye tartrazine is related to salicylates). This gives better results.

FEINGOLD DIET 2: Common Dyes And Benzoates

  • E102
  • Tartrazine.
  • E107
  • Yellow 2G.
  • E110
  • Sunset Yellow – cordials, custard.
  • E123
  • Amaranth.
  • E124
  • Ponceau 4R – red berry & cherry flavours, jellies.
  • E151
  • Brilliant Black – black currant flavours, sauces.
  • E155
  • Brown HT – chocolate flavourings, sauces.
  • E210, 211, 212, 213
  • Benzoates (preservatives) – fruit juices, drinks.
  • E220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 228
  • Sulphites (preservatives and bleaches) – wines, sausages, fruit juices, flours, pickles.
  • E310, 311, 312
  • Gallates (antioxidants) – oils and fats.

Try the salicylate/colorings-free experiment on your child if you feel like it. However, I think Feingold’s approach is over-rated. Some children do improve. But many ordinary foods are capable of causing brain allergy and hence hyperactivity. It is restrictive to confine the evaluation to chemical targets only. A much sounder approach is to follow the full elimination/challenge program given earlier in this blog.

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