3 Impacts of Red 40 Dye on Children with ADHD

Red 40

Red 40 , for parents of children with ADHD, it can be difficult to navigate the complex world of treatment options. One area that is often overlooked is the role that diet can play in managing symptoms. In particular, artificial food dyes have been shown to exacerbate ADHD symptoms in some children. Red 40, also known as Allura Red, is one of the most common food dyes used in the United States. Here are three ways that Red 40 dye can impact children with ADHD.

Red 40

Red 40
  1. Affect Mood and Behavior
    One of the most well-established effects of food dyes is their ability to impact mood and behavior. Studies have shown that food dyes can cause hyperactivity in some children, which can lead to challenging behavior. For parents of children with ADHD, this means that eliminating foods with Red 40 dye from their child’s diet may help to improve symptoms.
  2. Interfere with Sleep
    Another potential impact of Red 40 dye is interference with sleep. Many children with ADHD have difficulty sleeping, and artificial food dyes can make this problem worse. Not getting enough sleep can impact both behavior and school performance. Eliminating foods with Red 40 dye from your child’s diet may help them to sleep better and improve their overall functioning during the day.
  3. May worsen Allergies and Asthma
    In addition to impacting mood and behavior, some research has also shown that food dyes like Red40 can worsen allergies and asthma. If your child has either of these conditions, eliminating foods with artificial dyes may help to improve their symptoms.


For parents of children with ADHD, it is important to be aware of all potential treatment options, including dietary changes. Artificial food dyes like Red40 have been shown to exacerbate symptoms in some children. If you suspect that your child’s diet may be contributing to their symptoms, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian about making changes. eliminating foods with Red40 dye from your child’s diet may help improve their mood, behavior, sleep, and overall functioning.

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