Does Drinking Milk Contribute to Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)?


General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), defined ADHD on its website (accessed on Sep. 12, 2007) under the section "Children's Health Topics":

"Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition of the brain that makes it hard for children to control their behavior. It is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood. All children have behavior problems at times. Children with ADHD have frequent, severe problems that interfere with their ability to live normal lives."

Sep. 12, 2007 - American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) 



PRO (yes)

Robert Cohen, Executive Director of the Dairy Education Board, wrote the following in an article posted on the website notmilk.com, titled "The Final Paragraph" (accessed Sep. 13, 2007):

"WHY IS THE CHILD OK OVER THE SUMMER, AND ADD IN SCHOOL?

No thanks to USDA's forced bovine body fluid agenda.

During the school year when a child is in school, he or she gets milk for breakfast, chocolate milk for snack, macaroni and cheese or pizza for lunch, and more chocolate milk before going home from school.

During the summer, this healthier child and millions more like him no longer have attention deficit disorder. It's only when they get back to school and back to the state- mandated dairy diet that ADD returns.

This unfortunate child and millions more like him are overdosed on bovine hormones during the school year.

Dairy products take away this child's ability to learn."

Sep. 13, 2007 - Robert Cohen 



Leo Galland, MD, Director of the Foundation for Integrated Medicine, wrote in a Sep., 1999 article titled "ADHD," published in Better Nutrition:

"[A] study was done at the Hospital for Sick Children in London and published in the leading British journal, Lancet, which demonstrated that most children with severe ADHD are salicylate [plant-based hormone] sensitive, but that 90 percent of these children have additional food intolerances... After determining that 80 percent of the children had apparent food sensitivities as a cause of hyper activity, they then performed double blind, placebo controlled challenges with the offending foods. Using this most rigorous clinical research method, the investigators confirmed the presence of food intolerance in the majority of children with ADHD. Subsequent research by the leading investigator of this study suggested that these food intolerances represent true food allergy. The foods to which children with ADHD most commonly had allergic reactions were cow's milk (which included milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream), corn (an additive in many prepared foods), wheat, soy, and eggs... In my clinical practice I have found that food allergy is especially likely to be implicated in ADHD."

Sep. 1999 - Leo Galland, MD 



Jane Sheppard, Owner, Editor, and Publisher of the website Healthy Child, wrote the following in an email to ProCon.org on Oct. 1, 2007, which addressed her article "(ADHD) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - What's Happening to Our Children?" featured on her website:

"Many kids who are considered to have behavior or attention problems may actually be suffering from food or environmental allergies, which can cause 'abnormal' learning patterns and the inability to focus. Some of the signs to look for in detecting allergies are red cheeks, red ears, eye circles, puffy eyes, eye wrinkles, bloated belly, rubbing nose and mottled tongue. It takes some detective work to find the specific cause or causes of a child's problem. Pasteurized cow's milk can be one of the biggest culprits of allergies in children, and may be one of the contributing factors in behavioral issues of some children. Even though a milk allergy may be just one of the many contributing factors of a child's behavior, it may be prudent to remove all pasteurized milk products for at least a month to see if there is improvement."

Oct. 1, 2007 - Jane Sheppard 



CON (no)

The Mayo Clinic wrote in a Feb. 16, 2006 article titled "Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)," published on its website under the section "Mental Health":

"Over the years, a great deal of media attention has focused on diets for ADHD. Most diets involve eliminating additives and foods thought to increase hyperactivity, such as sugar and caffeine, and common allergens such as wheat, milk and eggs. So far, however, studies haven't found a consistent link between diet and improved symptoms of ADHD."

Feb. 16, 2006 - Mayo Clinic 



The Dairy Council of California wrote the following in an email to ProCon.org on Sep. 17, 2007:

"We are not aware of any conclusive research in the area of milk and ADHD."

Sep. 12, 2007 - Dairy Council of California 



The National Dairy Council wrote the following in an email to ProCon.org on Sep. 27, 2007:

"This claim [that drinking milk contributes to ADHD] is unsubstantiated. Dairy foods are an important source of nutrients for growing children and teens, providing nine essential nutrients that help build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and teeth."

Sep. 27, 2007 - National Dairy Council (NDC)