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Newsgroup: sci.med.nutrition
Subject: Re: add/adhd
From: Ron Hoggan
Date: Fri, 07 Feb 1997 05:48:24 GMT

krisma711@aol.com (Krisma711) asked:

>Any information out there regarding possible foods that should be avoided
>or could cause these symptoms? Foods that should be avoided when taking
>Ritalin?

Those who are familiar with celiac disease, especially in children, would
most likely agree that ADD/ADHD symptoms are commonly demonstrated by those
with this disease. The converse argument is more difficult to make. Dietary
interventions have been used to investigate attention deficits, and the
inconvenience of maintaining such diets has made stimulant therapies far
more attractive. 

That is unfortunate because there is a growing body of evidence that
suggests that opioid peptides derived from gluten and casein may be the
culprits. Equally unfortunately, it can take up to a year for the body to
rid itself of the offending peptides, while following a strict
gluten-free/casein-free diet.

Still, the evidence of specific patterns of EEG abnormalities in celiac
disease (more than 90% of which goes undiagnosed in North America) and
specific patterns of urinary peptides, along with some anecdotal reports of
symptom resolution with the institution of a gluten-free diet, may increase
interest in this area. 

Why were previous investigations unsuccessful in identifying gluten and
casein as exacerbating factors? The trials were much too short, often only
lasting a few weeks. And I have been unable to locate any studies that
excluded both dairy and gluten concurrently.  

Unfortunately, the only references I can offer are in Polish and German.

The Polish one is:
Kozlowska, Z.E. "Results of Investigation on Children with Coeliakia
Treated many Years with Gluthen Free Diet" _Psychiatria Polska_ 1991;
25(2): 130-134.

The German one is:
Paul, et. al. "EEG-befunde Zoeliaki-kranken Kindernin Abhaengigkeit von
der Ernaehrung" _Zeitschrift der Klinische Medizin_ 1985; 40: 707-709

The first indicates that 71% of celiac children, when newly diagnosed,
demonstrate EEG abnormalities. Now please note this caution:
I HAVE NO TRAINING IN THE INTERPRETATION OF EEG READINGS.

Nonetheless, when I compare the author's descriptions of the EEG
abnormalities in celiac children, and the abnormalities in children who
have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, there are some startling
similarities.

Paul, et. al. are paraphrased by Reichelt et. al. in "THE EFFECT OF
GLUTEN-FREE DIET ON GLYCOPROTEIN ATTACHED URINARY PEPTIDE EXCRETION"
_Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine_ 1990; 5: 223-239.

They say: "In coeliac children provocation with gluten after diet causes
alarmingly high frequency of EEG changes that persist up to a year (Paul
et al 1985)"

I would urge you to be very careful to avoid contamination in your
child's diet, and I would ask you to consider some alternatives to
stimulant therapy (Ritalin is a brand name of the most commonly used
stimulant.)

The concept of drugging a child to facilitate learning is upsetting to
me, especially when there is cause to suspect that, on the g-f diet, she
may improve without intervention. I have been unable to find any reports
that demonstrate any long-term improvements resulting from stimulant
therapy. Diet seems a much healthier, more humane alternative.  

Best Wishes,
Ron Hoggan   Calgary, Alberta, Canada