ADHD diagnoses are on the rise, with approximately five percent of children in the United States labeled with the condition, according to The American Psychiatric Association. With the increase in numbers over the past decade, parents and researchers are becoming more and more eager to pinpoint a reason for the uptick. If we could just get to the root of the issue, scientists hope that perhaps these rates could be curbed.
The latest research points to a connection between the levels of fluoride in a woman's urine during pregnancy and ADHD symptoms.
A team from the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health looked at 213 mother-child groupings, paying close attention to urine samples the woman provided while they were pregnant, as well as their kids who currently range in age from six to 12 years old).
For the children's part, they were given a number of tests and surveys to answer. According to Science Daily, the results were enough for the research team to reach the opinion that there is a link between high levels of fluoride in urine during the prenatal period and ADHD symptoms in kids later on.
This puts pregnant moms in a real pickle because fluoride is everywhere.
Flouride is in our tap water and toothpaste, just to name two sources. And it's not as though fluoride is a bad thing in the general sense. It's imperative warding off tooth decay.
So what's a mom-to-be to do? That question is still up in the air. Study authors admit they don't know exactly how much fluoride was consumed by these women during pregnancy. It also isn't known if these women come from families predisposed to ADHD symptoms.
Interestingly, the ADHD symptoms that came up most in this study linked to elevated fluoride levels were cognitive behavioral issues and not hyperactivity, so there's another factor that needs further research.
The study, which was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, opens up a can of worms for further investigation, but at least it gives scientists one more place to focus their attention.
For the record, if your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests a combination of both behavior therapy and medication as the best ways in which to help kids cope.