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Action: When possible, buy organic foods certified to contain no artificial colors. Otherwise, scrutinize food la- bels for the nine petroleum-based syn- thetic dyes in U.S. foods: Blue 1 and 2, Citrus Red 2, Green 3, Orange B, Red 3 and 40, Yellow 5 and 6. Avoid ingre- dients like high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, glucose, fructose, cane sugar and syrup—all added sugars.


Crankiness Suspects: Gluten sensitivity is tradi- tionally associated exclusively with digestive disturbances, but some recent studies have linked it to neu- rological symptoms, from moodiness and chronic headaches to ADHD and coordination loss.


Action: Eliminate gluten for a month to assess a potential connection between mood and food, possibly signaled by excessive eating of a certain food.


Stunted Growth Suspects: Gluten sensitivity or zinc defi- ciency. Because gluten intolerance inter- feres with nutrient absorption, suffering kids often fail to thrive. “Small size— height or weight—is a classic symptom of celiac disease,” Dorfman advises. Zinc could be another factor; it normalizes appetite and through its relationship with growth hormones, helps the body develop. If levels are too low, growth will be abnormally stunted. In such cases, a child may rarely be hungry, be a picky eater or complain that food smells or tastes funny, Dorfman says.


Action: Eliminate gluten consumption for a month. A blood test by a pediatri- cian can determine serum zinc levels, or buy a zinc sulfate taste test online. After sipping a zinc sulfate solution, the child will report either tasting nothing (indicating deficiency) or a bad flavor (no deficiency). Zinc-rich foods include beef, chicken, beans, pumpkin seeds, cashews and chickpeas. To counter a deficiency, ask a family healthcare provider for an age-appropriate supple- ment dose.


Pamela Bond is the managing editor of Natural Foods Merchandiser.


Alcat Testing and Food Sensitivity


A


ntigen leukocyte antibody (Alcat) testing indentifies cellular reactions to more than 400 foods, chemical and herbs. These inflammatory reactions are linked to chronic health problems such as obesity and diabetes and skin, heart, joint and digestive disorders.


Positive reactions include soy bean, brewer’s yeast, garlic, baker’s yeast, wheat, apple, shrimp, clams, peanuts and gluten/gliadin. Food allergies usually come on suddenly; small amount of food can trigger them; they happens every time we eat the food; and can be life- threatening


Food intolerance usually comes on gradually; may only happen when we eat a lot of the food; may only happen if we eat the food often; and is not life-threatening/


Alcat testing is offered at Hudson Premiere Physical Therapy and Sports 4800 Broadway, Ste. 212, in Union City. For more information, call 877- 576-4681. See ad page 7.


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