A recent Dutch study found a relationship between diet, behaviour and brain activity in children with ADHD.
The researchers observed behavioural and brain activity changes of 78 children with ADHD after following the few-foods diet for 5 weeks. The diet was limited to rice, turkey, vegetables (cabbage [white, green, Chinese, red], beet, cauliflower, borecole, swede, sprouts, lettuce), pears, olive oil, ghee, salt, rice drink with added calcium and water. During the first 2 weeks the few-foods diet was extended with some other foods, allowing lamb, butter and small portions of wheat, corn, potatoes, some fruits, and honey. If no behavioural improvement was reported within 2 weeks, the extended version of the diet was gradually adapted to the limited one.
As a result, the parents of 63% of the children that participated, observed a significant decrease in ADHD symptoms after following the few-foods diet. This subjective observation of behaviour changes was objectively confirmed through a brain scan. Interestingly, the more significant the change in behavior was, the more the activity was seen in the precuneus of the brain. The precuneus is a brain region involved in a variety of complex functions, such as recollection and memory, integration of information related to perception of the environment, cue reactivity, mental imagery strategies, and affective responses to pain.
The researchers noticed that a similar increase in precuneus brain activity is observed in children with ADHD, who use medication Ritalin.
Of course, the proposed diet is difficult to apply on children. That is why the researchers now study the role of the bacteria in the intestines (the microbiota) to understand better the biological relation between nutrition and ADHD.
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