Thursday, 29 March 2012


Currently, available treatments focus on reducing the symptoms of ADHD and improving functioning of medications proving functioning. Treatments include medication, various types of psychotherapy, education or training or a combination of treatments. The most common type of medication used for treating ADHD is called a “Stimulant”. Although it may seem unusual to treat ADHD with a medication considered a stimulant, it actually has a calming effect on children with ADHD (Cox et al: 2006). A list of medication and approved age for use is listed below:-

TABLE 1 showing list of approved medication for ADHD

Table Name
Generic Name
Approved Age
3 and older
amphetamine (extended release)
6 and older
methylphenidate (long acting)
6 and older
methamphetamine patch
6 and older
methamphetamine hydrochloride
6 and older
3 and older
dexmethylphemidte (extended release)
6 and older
Dexmethylphemide (extended release)
6and older
Methylphemidate (extended release)
6 and older
Methylphemidate (extended release)
6 and older
Methylphenidate (oral solution tablet)
6 and older
6 and older
Methylphemidate (extended release)
6 and older
Methylphenidate (long acting)
6 and older
6 and older
Lisdexomsylate dimesylate
6 and older



As earlier on discussed, human exposure to AFCS occurs mainly through ingestion. A recent British researcher indicates a possible link between consumption of certain food additives like artificial colours or preservative and an increase in activity  (Mccann et al:2007). This study provides evidence of delaterous effects of AFCS on children’s behaviour with data from a whole population sample, using a combination of robust objective measures with strong ecological validity, based partly on observations in the classroom and ratings of behaviour made independently by teachers and parents in the different context of home and applying double blinded challenges with quantities of activities equal to typical dietry intakes. The present findings in combination with the replicated evidence for AFCS effects on the behaviour of 3-year old children, lend stong support for the case that food additives exacerbate hyperactive behaviours (innatention, impulsivity and overactive) in the children at least up to middlehood.
Increased hyperactivity is associated with the development of educational difficulties, especially in relation to reading, and therefore, these adverse effects could affects the child’s ability to benefit from the experience of schooling. (Mclee et al:2002)
These findings show that adverse effects are not just seen in children with extreme hyperactivity (i.e. ADHD) can also be seen as the general population and across the range severities of hyperactivity (Schab and Trinh:2004). The effects are shown after a rigorous control of placebo effects and for children with the full range of levels of hyperactivity.


Hyperactivity disorders are also known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders. It is a disorder of certain mechanisms of the central nervous system, which can continue through adolescence and adulthood; ADHD has three subtypes which are grouped predominantly inattentive, combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive. This disorder is known to interfere with the child’s home, school and social life, thus, the child is unable to screen out stimuli, the child is easily distracted and this usually intelligent child receives a label of being learning disabled and finds the nervous system cannot be showed down to focus long enough to complete an assigned task.

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the key behaviours of ADHD. Though, it is the normal for all children to be inattentive, hyperactive or impulsive sometimes but for children with ADHD, this behaviour are more severe and occur more often. To be diagnosed with the disorder, a child must be diagnose with the disorder, a child must have the symptoms for six months or more months and to a degree that is greater than other children. Children who have symptom of inattention may be easily distracted, in details, forget things and switch from one activity to another, having difficulty focusing attention or organizing and completing a task or learning something new.
On the other hand, children who symptoms of hyperactivity may fidget and squirm in their seats, talk nonstop, dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight and also have trouble doing quiet task and constantly in motion while children who have symptoms of impulsivity may be very impatient, blurt out inappropriate comments, show emotions without restraint and act without regard for consequences. 
Though scientist are quiet unsure of the causes for this disorder, many students suggest that genes play a large role in the generation of this disorder (Faraone et al:2006).
In addition to genetics, researches lays credence to a possible to a possible cause from environmental factors, brain injuries, nutrition and the social environment (Linnet et al:2003, Brann et al:2006).


Most of the artificial food colourings (afcs) available for use in food appear either as dyes or lake pigments.
Dyes are dissolved in water, but are not soluble in oil. Dyes are produced as powder, granules, liquid or other special purpose forms, they can be used in beverages and baked goals, dyes can cause colour stool of large amount is ingested.
Lakes are ideal for coloring products containing fats and oil or items lacking sufficient moisture to dissolve dyes. They are typically used in coated tablets, cakes, candies and chewing gums.
Human exposure to AFCS occurs mainly through ingestion. The human gastrointestinal tract harbour a complex and microflora composed of at least general thousand species (Eckburg et al:2005). This microflora plays roles in the degradation of AZO dyes, with AZO reduction being the most important reaction related to toxicity and mutagenecity (Stolz:2001). There has been concern about contamination of hot chili, other species and baked foods with 1-amino-2-naphthol-based azo dyes. There is evidence that sudan dyes have genotoxic effects and that ingestion of food products contaminated with sudan I, II, III, IV and para red could leadnto exposure in the human gastrointestinal tracts.
Metabolism of most AFCS can lead to carcinogenic metabolites that could cause putative effects to produce overactive, impulsive and inattentive behaviour, i.e. hyperactivity which is a pattern of behaviour that shows substantial individual differences in the general populations (Mccann et al:2007).
Metabolism of most AFCS can lead to carcinogenic metabolites, this metabolites of AZO and sudan dyes are identified to be aniline, 2,4-dimethylaniline, 0-toluidine, and 4-mitraniline through high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and liquid chromatography electrospray ionization tendem mass spectrometry analysis.

Introduction to food colouring

Colours are used to enhance the visual properties of foods. Their use is particularly controversial partly because colours are perceived by some as a means of deceiving the consumer about the nature of the food, but also because some of the most brightly coloured products are those aimed at children.
The use of colour in food has a long and noble tradition in the UK. Medevial looks were particular fond of it as the brilliant yellow of saffron (from which saffron is walden derives its name) and the reddish blue of sanders (powered sandal wood) were used along the green spinach and parsly juice to colour soaps in stripes or to give marbleized effects (Mc Kendry; 1973). While adding artificial colours to food may appear to some to be an unnecessary cosmetic, there can be no doubt that the judicious use of colours enhances the attractiveness of many foods. Colours is important in perception pf food and often denotes a special favour. Thus, strawberry flavour is expected to be red and orange flavour colour red. Consumer expectation is therefore a legitimate reason for adding colour (Jeanie; 2004).
Artificial food colourings, in particular have long been the scape goat in the popular press for behaviours problems in children. It has been over 30 years since feifold suggested that artificial food colours and preservatives had a detrimental effects on the behaviour of children (Feingold:1975). Researchers into the effects of foods on children’s behaviour has further increased the negative perception of additives to products particularly aimed at this age group (Dean; 2002). A recent research significant changes were found in the hyperactivity behaviour of children by removing colourants and preservatives from the diet. There was no gender difference in the result obtained and the reduction of hyperactivity was independent of whether the child was initially extremely hyperactive, or not at all. (Mccann et al: 2007)