Food Dyes and Autism

A meta-analysis (review of studies) published last year found that synthetic food dyes

are a factor in the dramatic increase in autism.

The report, Food Color and Autism: A Meta-Analysis, was published in the journal Advanced Neurology in October of last year.  The authors noted, “Artificial dyes have neurotoxic chemicals that aggravate mental health problems. Many families with autistic children avoid food dyes in their diet in order to avoid behavioral issues.”

Most of the dyes used in food in the U.S. are made from petroleum and can include formaldehyde; they can also be contaminated with lead, mercury and arsenic.

The researchers, located in India and Qatar, noted that they U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not studied the effects of food dyes on behavior in children.  The link between food dyes and behavior disorders has been known since it was first discovered in the mid-1960s by Ben Feingold, MD., who was Chief of Allergy at the Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center in San Francisco.