According to recent British researchers' reports, some common food colorings and preservatives may increase the risk of hyperactive behavior in children. The link between food coloring and preservatives in food and Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been suspect by parents for sometime but until now, research has been inconclusive. The trial, performed over a six-week period by The University of Southampton in Great Britain, tested 297 children by giving them drinks containing artificial food coloring and preservatives such as sodium benzoate. These drinks were similar to those that are commercially available. Teachers and parents were then asked to evaluate the children's hyperactivity and inattention with help of a computer test. Researchers found that those given the mixtures with additives were noticeably more hyperactive and had shorter attention spans. Parents are being advised to read food labels and steer clear of the behavior-affecting culprits. Sodium benzoate can be found in Diet Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and many fruit drinks. Other suspect additives evaluated included a number of food colorings:
Carmoisine (E122): Red food coloring sometimes used in jams
Sunset Yellow (E11): Used in fruity drinks
Ponceau 4R (E124): Red food coloring
Tartrazine (E102): Used in carbonated drinks and lollipops
Allura Red AC (E129): Red food coloring
Quinoline Yellow (E104): Red food coloring
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