Many individuals with autism use or have used fish oil containing omega-3 fatty acids. Many have reported benefit from this treatment while others have not. A study involving omega-3 fatty acids as an autism treatment was conducted to determine the safety and efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids as an autism treatment. The findings were published in an article titled Omega-3 Fatty Acid Treatment in Autism.
The research utilized an open-label study design. It included 10 children between the ages of 4 and 7 years who had been diagnosed with autism. Each child was given 1 gram of omega-3 fatty acids per day over a period of 12 weeks. The Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist was utilized to measure any benefit or improvements seen with omega-3 fatty acid treatment.
Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Nine out of the 10 children finished the 12 weeks of omega-3 fatty acid treatment. The overwhelming majority, 8 out of 9, showed improvements in the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist scores. More specifically, the 8 children showed an improvement of approximately 33% on their Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist with omega-3 fatty acid treatment.
The study also found that none of the children experienced worsened symptoms during the treatment period and no side effects were reported.
The authors state that the findings suggest omega-3 fatty acid treatment is safe and effective as an autism treatment. However, they also suggest that larger studies need to be conducted utilizing double-blind methodology. They also recommend that future studies include various dosages of omega-3 fatty acids in order to determine the most effective dose in the treatment of autism.
The article was epublished in August 2009 in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.
- View the PubMed Abstract for Omega-3 Fatty Acids Treatment in Autism
- More Research on Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Autism
- Additional Info on Autism and Omega-3 Fatty Acids