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Health Risks of Artificial Food Dyes with Rebecca Bevans, PhD

adhd artificial food dye food dye effect mental health Oct 26, 2022

When her 7-year-old son told her he didn’t want to live anymore, Dr. Bevans made it her mission to get to the bottom of his behavior and mental health problems. Rebecca Bevans, PhD has a Masters degree in Child Development and a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience. Her educational background gave her the insight to know that when her son said his brain was “buzzing,” something was wrong. 

After behavioral therapy, discipline, and everything else she could think of wasn’t helping, she stumbled upon an article that linked food dyes to hyperactivity and similar symptoms her son had. Removing food dyes from his diet wasn’t easy. There are red, green, yellow, and blue dyes. Food marketed to kids is especially high in artificial dyes - think skittles, cereals, M&Ms. But other products like sunscreen, gum, and toothpaste had them, too. 

Her son experienced severe withdrawal but slowly started to improve. After removing all artificial food dyes from her son and family’s diet, he no longer had behavioral problems and was able to heal physically and mentally. Her TEDx talk, The Effects Of Artificial Food Dyes, was so moving and I asked her to share her and her son’s story today on the podcast.


Listen to This Episode 



Highlights From This Episode

[0:00] Topic introduction.

[2:42] Dr. Bevans shares her son’s story on how artificial food dyes affected his health and behavior.

[5:43] Why removing red 40 wasn’t enough and common foods that contain yellow, green, and blue dyes affected him, too.

[8:44] What happened to Dr. Bevan’s son after food dyes were removed from his diet.

[14:25] Did his doctor’s say anything about artificial food dyes affecting behavior?

[19:59] What about the effects of added sugar on behavior?

[31:40] When behavioral modification and counseling isn’t working.

[37:17] How to know if your food has artificial food dyes.

[41:00] The best time to experiment with removing food dyes from a diet.

[42:00] How Dr. Bevans dealt with artificial food dyes at school.

[49:36] Why the M&Ms are different in the US & Europe.

[53:02] Center for Science in the Public Interest - Food Dyes, A Rainbow of Risks PDF.


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Resources From This Episode

>> Join Zivli

>> Freebie: Weight Loss Mindset Audio Training

>> Freebie: The Ultimate Food Guide

>> Dr. Rebecca Bevans’ Website

>> Dr. Rebecca Bevans’ TEDx Talk

>> Center for Science in the Public Interest

>> Food Dyes, A Rainbow of Risks PDF