Phenols are the new name for the food chemicals best avoided where ADHD and ASD are present. Food additives were the first “baddies”, then salicylates were singled out. Then MSG was highlighted, and tyramines and histamine were other food chemicals said to cause symptoms. Salicylates, additive colours, flavours and most preservatives, as well as strong flavours and smells (which I emphasized particularly with the others) all have a phenolic or aromatic chemical structure. The new name sounds as if more science is known.
Doctors and health professionals, especially young dietitians, are asking why there is “no published research” providing neat results of neat studies, explaining why families are having to search for dietitians or obtaining information from Dr Google! Why are there not enough neat studies?
Many scientists would prefer if there was one clear diet for ADHD, and ASD, or one diet for migraine or one for IBS? And it would seem more like other diets if that one diet worked for everyone with that one symptom. Editors of Nutrition Journals like double-blind placebo-controlled trials, but this is difficult when the suspect food list is so broad and some scientists could think you would not be able to tell the difference between a diet with highly spiced foods, tomato and herbs, and one that had only plain foods. A diet like this would be necessary in a double-blind placebo controlled food trial. Because of this little work has been published in the more well-known medical journals in UK, the US or Canada, whereas there is much everywhere on allergy. I and other dietitians in Australia have been conducting clinical research of food sensitivity. There has been work done at RPAH by Anne Swain in NSW, and Mel Reid in SA or Joy Anderson in WA and the RCH dietitians in Victoria. Over the last 45 years I have written over 100 free articles on food sensitivity, four books, a Manual for dietitians and my thesis on diet and ADHD. You can read them in the [Articles] section of my website http://www.foodintolerancepro.com/articles/ I have had an invited chapter on the role of diet in ADHD published in an international reference book: Additives.
A few years I wrote an article presented on radio. I spent much time considering why food sensitivity is complex. Following are some headings and the link to hear the interesting talk:-
Can we cope with what looks complex in science? “The Known Unknowns”
We can begin with the mostly knowns. The things we think we know.
We also have the known unknowns.
Then there’s the facts we thought we knew.
And we can also add the knowns that we didn’t know we knew,
Fortunately, our body of knowledge is increasing.
It is easy to see how this condition may be tested through an elimination diet. If there’s no change, it means the hypothesis is false for that person.
We should also consider the suspect unknowns.
To add to this uncertainty there must be the “unknown unknowns” as Donald Rumsford reminded the world.