ARI Publication 40 – 2013 Version
One unpublished open study by Audhya et al. was a 9-month treatment study of several hundred
children. They found little improvement by 6 months, but substantial improvements by 9 months.
The largest improvement was in gut function (verified by pre and post endoscopies in many cases),
but also improvements in other areas.
An open-label study of 30 children with autism found that fish oil supplementation led to
improvements in EFA levels, and 2/3 of the participants had improvements in their autistic
Meguid et at Role ofpolyunsaturated fatty acids in the management ofEgyptian children with autism.
Clinical Biochemistry 41 (2008) 1044-1048
One study found that fish oil supplementation improved omega-3 levels in children with autism.
BellJG et at The fatty acid compositions oferythrocyte andplasma polar lipids in children with autism,
developmental delay or typically developing controls and the effect offish oil intake. Br J Nutr. 2010
One small randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled 16-week treatment study found that the
combination of DHA (an omega 3 EFA) and arachidonic acid (an omega 6 EFA) led to significant
improvements in communication and social withdrawal. (There is a concern that western diets
already contain sufficient arachidonic acid.)
Bent et al,. Effects oflarge doses ofarachidonic acid added to docosahexaenoic acid on social
impairment in individuals with autism spectrum disorders: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized
trial J Clin Psychopharmacol 2012 Apr;32(2):200-6.
One small double-blind, placebo-controlled treatment study by Amminger et al. found that fish oil
might have some benefit in reducing hyperactivity, but the numbers were too small to be
Amminger et al Omega-3 FattyAcids Supplementation in Children with Autism: A Double-blind
Randomized, Placebo-controlled Pilot Study. Biol Psychiatry. 2006 Aug 22.
In an open-label 6-week study of 19 young adults with severe autism, there was no benefit of EFA
supplementation on autistic symptoms or problem behaviors.
Politi etat Behavioral Effects ofOmega-3 FattyAcidSupplementation in Young Adults with Severe
Autism: An Open Label StudyArchives ofMedical Research 39 (2008) 682-685
In a small randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled 12-week treatment study of young children
with autism, the treatment group did not improve significantly more than the placebo group on
hyperactivity (the primary outcome measure).
Bent et al, A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial ofOmega-3 FattyAcids for Autism Spectrum Disorder.
J Autism Dev Disorc/. 2011 May;41(5):545-54.
For more info on essential fatty acids:
see www.nordicnaturals.com; www.ghs.co; www.barleans.com