Mental Health

Artificial food colouring and hyperactivity symptoms in children.

(1) A hypothesis has been proposed that artificial food colourings have a role in exacerbating hyperactive behavior in children; (2) A placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover clinical study in 297 children representative of the general population showed higher hyperactivity scores during the periods when they were ingesting food colourings; (3) A meta-analysis of 15 double-blind clinical trials that evaluated artificial food colouring in children already considered to be hyperactive showed an increase in their hyperactive behavior; (4) In practice, even though the mechanism underlying t

Megaloblastic anaemia in vegetarian Asians.

Of 27 Asians with a megaloblastic bone marrow, 22 (81%) had nutritional deficiency of vitamin B12 (NMA), while five (19%) had true pernicious anaemia (PA). All the patients were Hindu vegetarians except for a single Muslim who had PA. Dietary intakes of calories, protein, iron, vitamin B12 and folate were below the recommended level in both groups. The PA group had lower levels of serum B12 and higher levels of serum folate than the NMA group.

Vitamin D deficiency rickets and vitamin B12 deficiency in vegetarian children.

During the years 1978-83 four vegetarian children have been admitted to the pediatric departments of Ullevaal and Aker Hospitals in Oslo and Haukeland Hospital, Bergen, with the diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency rickets. One had vitamin B12 deficiency as well. All had been fed a vegetarian diet with some cows' milk, but without vitamin supplementation. All had marked hypocalcemia, and three had tetany or convulsions. All responded well to conventional doses of vitamin D therapy. Two of the mothers had vitamin D deficiency, and one of them also had vitamin B12 deficiency.

Megaloblastic anaemia in a vegetarian Hindu community.

138 Indian patients with megaloblastic haemopoiesis were studied. All were lifelong vegetarians. The diagnosis was nutritional cobalamin deficiency in 95 and pernicious anaemia in 20; only 4 patients had folate deficiency. A third had intestinal malabsorption, 20 had features of osteomalacia, and 87 were iron deficient. Tuberculosis was diagnosed in 17. Cobalamin deficiency may have contributed to these complications via intestinal malabsorption and impaired bacterial killing of phagocytosed bacilli by cobalamin-deficient macrophages.

Nutritional vitamin B12 deficiency in a breast-fed infant of a vegan-diet mother

A 7-month-old male presented with lethargy and failure to thrive. The child was exclusively breast-fed from birth by a mother who was a strict vegetarian. Laboratory data revealed macrocytic anemia and methylmalonic acid in the urine, consistent with vitamin B12 deficient anemia. The patient responded well to supplementation with B12 alone and was developmentally normal by 11 months of age. This study emphasizes the need for assuring maternal dietary adequacy during pregnancy and after birth.

Megaloblastic anaemia in one of monozygous twins breast fed by their vegetarian mother.

Megaloblastic anaemia in infancy is uncommon in western countries. We describe a case of an exclusively breast-fed monozygous twin with severe vitamin B12 deficiency with haematologic and neurologic abnormalities. Treatment with vitamin B12 resulted in a rapid haematological and clinical improvement.


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