Restriction and elimination diets in ADHD treatment

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2014 Oct;23(4):937-53. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2014.05.010. Epub 2014 Aug 10.


Food elimination diets are defined and the history of their investigation in relation to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is reviewed. After noting that a consensus has emerged that an elimination diet produces a small but reliable aggregate effect, the present review provides updated quantitative estimates of effect size and clinical response rates to elimination diets. It then highlights key issues that require research attention, in particular characterization of dietary responders. Finally, because some children may benefit, clinical guidelines at the present state of knowledge are summarized. It is concluded that updated trials of elimination diets are sorely needed for ADHD.

Keywords: ADHD; Alternative treatment; Few foods diet; Food elimination diet.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diet therapy*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Therapy / methods*