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September 6th, 2007

Certain artificial food colorings and other additives can worsen hyperactive behaviors in children aged 3 to 9, British researchers reported on Wednesday.

Tests on more than 300 children showed significant differences in their behavior when they drank fruit drinks spiked with a mixture of food colorings and preservatives, Jim Stevenson and colleagues at the University of Southampton said.

“These findings show that adverse effects are not just seen in children with extreme hyperactivity (such as ADHD) but can also be seen in the general population and across the range of severities of hyperactivity,” the researchers wrote in their study, published in the Lancet medical journal.

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