Alternative health supplements should not say their products have no artificial additives and then pack them with very strong natural flavours and salicylates. A dedicated mum had to deal with the reaction this caused.
Hi Joan, we have been continuing to manage diet for our two delightful but challenging boys with ADHD-type symptoms. Discovering mistakes along the way and working to sort through them. We have come across some oppositional type behaviour due to inconsistencies with our parenting based on the “they’re having a reaction, we’ll go easy on them” type reasoning but we noticed that perhaps not all bad behaviour is reaction based.
We purchased some Carusos kids calm and behaviour supplement to see if it would help calm the boys a bit and within less than 24 hours (after having a few days of beautiful behaviour) they went feral with aggression and defiance. I have
spoken with Carusos and they say no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. It does contain natural berry flavour. Made from fresh berries in Victoria. They are dried and turned into a powder. They also use stevia sugar. I wonder if you would mind having a look at the product to see if you can pinpoint anything that might be causing the reaction. Based on our experiences I am thinking either amines from the drying/aging process or Salicylates from the berries themselves (the boys can’t have strawberries for instance due to reactions). I’d really appreciate your thoughts on this. Thank you!!
Hi Nicky, Nice to hear from you, and that you are still trying to make diet work well. It is an ongoing complex battle I know! You are doing well appreciating the mixture of diet and parent management. ADHD kids and kids with like symptoms need firm management 24/7 and that does take lots of energy and perseverance. With regard to the Carusos kids calm, it may not have artificial additives but it can have strong natural berry flavour additives. So I suspect the reaction you had is part salicylate and part berry flavour. These cause reactions when the natural fruit is eaten. As well, drying the fruit also concentrates them. The stevia sugar does not usually cause reactions so we will not worry about it. Neither do the magnesium nor zinc, but I haven’t had anyone say they helped children be calmer either. You are entitled to be really annoyed with a company that sells a product but gives no indication of the flavour berry ingredients! The alternative health industry can be confusing. They want their products to be seen as more like foods than medicines so they don’t have to prove the benefit in the same way, but they want the products to be more like medicines in that they do not have to have a complete ingredient list! The best way to find out if it is the berries that have caused the reaction is to test berries on their own. However, since no other ingredients in this product are suspect for food sensitive children, this product has really been a test for you. You can see in Tolerating Troublesome Foods that reactions to the berry family are worse than reactions to strawberries which are really a different fruit. Some day when you want to test real berries for some reason it would be wise to begin with very small doses. Thank you for letting other families know to become assertive about asking about all additives in any alternative health product. Warm regards, Joan
Nguyen Bui says
Should I use Carusos Natural Health Kids Calm and Behavior 75g FOR LONG TIME LONG? SO I KNOW, IF WE USE MANY Magnesium FOR LONG TIME, IT’S NOT GOOD?
It’s looking for your reply. Many Thanks!
Dear Nguyen, Since other parents have not seen benefit and many have seen worse behaviour with this product I suggest you be very cautious. Do discuss the use of magnesium with your doctor as we all need to be very careful with what supplements minerals we give our children. Certainly you can obtain the book Are you Food Sensitive? https://www.amazon.com/Are-You-Food-Sensitive-investigate-ebook/dp/B00J7PC5VQ and learn how to investigate diet as a good way to see how much diet can change children. For information on how this diet helped literally hundreds of children see my thesis which makes very interesting reading https://foodintolerancepro.com/product/thesis/. All the best in your quest to help your children. Joan
I brought this for my 2 year old as i was told it worked she now has been on it for not quite a week and i don’t see that it’s working on her and she has development mental delays I won’t be buying it again
Dear Kylie, Thanks for reminding everyone that everyone needs to be watchful about everything that may go in the mouth, not just food!
Tracy Houston says
Hi I have a 12 year old daughter that I’ve started on this.
Is there any chance of taking the berry out of it as she does not drink juice we have put it water and milk she gagged so bad it come up everywhere.
Also both days she has continued to be nauseous and today she has slept for about 2 hours
Dear Tracy, You sound like another family who are having a bad reaction to this treatment. It is supposed to calm children but causes bad reactions in those who are food sensitive. Do read all the other comments so you feel supported by other parents who have had to handle this. There is no way to take the berry flavour out of it but there is something good to learn from the experience. That is that your daughter reacts to artificial additive flavour. That means that if you go through the diet investigation process you will have a treatment that does calm her. You will remove all the other chemicals [both additive and naturally occurring in fruit] and she will be able to be her real self. All the detail is present in my book Are You Food Sensitive? which you can obtain from this site. I wish you well in going through this process and understanding how to best help your daughter. Joan
Our son is 13 and has only started taking this about a week ago, he has adhd so we had thought this might help maybe settle and calm him down a little more. The product came recommended by a lady through an online support page. So after getting a little more info from her I went out and bought 2 bottles as I knew it can take 3-4 weeks to start to kick in. Our son in the past week has been internally suspended for behaviour and only returned to normal class today where he got into trouble again. After sitting and talking to my husband it was like I suddenly had this light bulb moment when I said to him had he noticed our son had been a bit more over the top this last week then usual. We both sat and recapped the past week and the behaviour and issues that have risen and to be honest I honestly believe that it has been from the use of this product. I remember many many years ago giving one of the kids strawberries and there personality and behaviour changed quite rapidly, I cant remember exactly which one of our kids it was but I am 80% certain it was our son, and from that day on I said no more strawberries, so I am thinking that he must have some kind of intolerance to berries hence the behaviour caused from the berry flavouring in this product. I have now decided to stop giving this product to him and hopefully his behaviour will return back to how it was prior to this. Will be interesting to see if others discover this page and have similar experiences.
It is sad when you buy a supposedly calming treatment only to have a child react. You are among others who have reacted badly, probably to the real or additive berry flavour it contains. As well we don’t know what the pharmacologically active compounds that are supposed to be calming are. As with all treatments they may be quite wrong for some children.The important idea is that no matter what you decide to change in your child’s world, whether it is intentional such as some food, new teacher, new game or sport, or some unintentional change such as a new smell for any reason, new flower blooming, or some stress, or a medication needed for some treatment, or an alternative product, such as you had, note it and watch what happens up until seven days after use. Where things go wrong you can do what you did and look back, and if things go better you can also write down what changed. you might also want to try giving your child a score out of 10 each day. It is interesting in many ways to look back over a month where you wonder why there have been changes. Look in Are You Food Sensitive? for lots more on managing diet and ADHD. Thank you for reassuring other parents that reactions can happen even when you think you have been careful.
i just spent $25 on a tub of this calm and behavior thinking it may give us some relief with our adhd and high functioning autism child but it made him climb the walls!
we took him grocery shopping which is a battle sometimes and he was doing circles on the floor crawling and just being generally jumpy it was horrible!
not happy at all have tried it twice and he has the same reaction both times never ever using it again!
Joanne Rayner says
My 8yr old has a lot of trouble sleeping l am trialing him on this product but have found that he is more awake after taking it he has adhd and ODD mild autism he takes 15mg of ritalin a day which really helps with his behavior he was prescribed melatonin for sleeping it was working although it costs me $90 for 5 day supply its just not affordable now lm off work sick and a single mum we are tired and need sleep and lm all out of ideas
Dear Joanne, I have met many mothers whose children do not settle well, or sleep well enough. It is a really big problem as you are then overtired yourself, and just getting through the day is very hard. Many children are wakeful because of what they eat or what is in some product. You are right to wonder if something in the new product – either additives or natural flavours, is making things worse. If your child benefitted from Ritalin he may be food sensitive. It is worth going through a good diet trial to see if it makes any difference. You can read all the Articles on ADHD and behaviour, and the new article on The Family Sensitivity History on this site. This is useful as collecting information in the family can give you clues as the likelihood that diet will have a significant role. Diet additives and food chemicals can make the underlying behaviours worse in reactive children. Children can change from being easily distracted, being impulsive, restless, “off with the fairies” and irritable, as well as settling to sleep, and sleep difficulties. Having children settle and sleep better can make an important difference in a child and his family. You can get all the diet info, with commercial food lists in my book “Are You Food Sensitive? https://foodintolerancepro.com/food-sensitivity-advice/ preferably also with the support of an experience dietitian. Remember to read all the detail understanding about withdrawal, cravings and the importance of knowing that it will take a week, or even two, for him to clear from the ingredients in the product that were making him worse. I am glad you read the story of the mother who had to deal with the dried berry flavour as it showed you just how much difference it made to her boys. You have tried many helps in your son’s life. Now it is time to really find out what will happen with diet using information that I have found after 30 years working with families with ADHD kids. Just take it one day at a time! My warm regards, Joan