Omega 3 fatty acid treatment in autism. Academic Article uri icon


  • Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy and safety of omega-3 fatty acids for children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). Methods: This was an open-label pilot study. Ten children aged 4–7 years old with ASD according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV), were given 1 gram daily of omega-3 fatty acids for 12 weeks. The main outcome measure used was the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC). These data were collected between July, 2006, and June, 2007. Results: Of the 9 subjects who completed the study, 8 showed improvement of about 33% on the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC). None worsened and no side effects were reported. Conclusions: Omega-3 fatty acids appear to be safe and might be helpful for children suffering from ASD. Further study is needed with a larger number of children in a double-blind design and with various doses of omega-3 fatty acids.

publication date

  • January 1, 2009