Research Insight: Fish Oil in Australian Autism Study
The trial comes after Singapore researchers studied a total of 41 children and adolescents aged 7-18 years (36 boys, 5 girls; mean age = 11.66) diagnosed with ASD. The open-label trial was to examine the efficacy and safety of a 12-week omega-3 fatty acids supplementation among children suffering with ASD.
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.
The findings lend some preliminary support for the use of omega-3 fatty acids supplementation
in addressing ASD. Authors concluded that future randomised 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.