Food and Behaviour Research

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Omega-3 fatty acids in the management of autism spectrum disorders: findings from an open-label pilot study in Singapore.

Ooi YP, Weng SJ, Jang LY, Low L, Seah J, Teo S, Ang RP, Lim CG, Liew A, Fung DS, Sung M (2015) Eur J Clin Nutr.   doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2015.28. [Epub ahead of print] 

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Abstract:

The goal of this open-label trial was to examine the efficacy and safety of a 12-week omega-3 fatty acids supplementation among children suffering with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). A total of 41 children and adolescents aged 7-18 years (36 boys, 5 girls; mean age=11.66, s.d.=3.05) diagnosed with ASD participated in the study. At post-treatment, participants showed significant improvements on all subscales of the Social Responsiveness Scale (P<0.01) and the Social and Attention Problems syndrome scales of the Child Behavior Checklist (P<0.05). Blood fatty acid levels were significantly correlated with changes in the core symptoms of ASD. Baseline levels of blood fatty acid levels were also predictive of response to the omega-3 treatment. Omega-3 fatty acids supplementation was well-tolerated and did not cause any serious side effects. Our findings lend some preliminary support for the use of omega-3 fatty acids supplementation in addressing ASD. Future randomized controlled trials of omega-3 fatty acids in ASD with blood fatty acid measurements with a larger sample and longer follow-up period is warranted.