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Eliminating aspartame for ADHD

Published April 2013

Download the evidence summary PDF: WTE Eliminating aspartame for ADHD

PLEASE NOTE: This summary was produced more than 4 years ago. Information provided may be out of date. If you think it would be helpful to update this summary please contact us at:

What were we asked?

A survey of parents of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) indicated that they were interested in whether eliminating aspartame, an artificial sweetener used in some foods and drinks, from their child’s diet might affect symptoms of ADHD.

Key findings

There are no trials investigating the effects of aspartame elimination diets on ADHD symptoms in children.

There is no evidence which would support the recommendation of an aspartame elimination diet to reduce symptoms in children with ADHD.

Where there appears to be a well-established link in an individual child between food or drink and behaviour, this is likely to be best addressed by referral to a dietician in conjunction with the clinician who is managing the child's ADHD.

Note: This information is produced by PenCRU researchers and reviewed by external experts. The views expressed are those of PenCRU at the University of Exeter Medical School and do not represent the views of the Cerebra charity, or any other parties mentioned. We strongly recommend seeking medical advice before undertaking any treatments/therapies.