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J Autism Dev Disord. 2009 Aug;39(8):1145-54. doi: 10.1007/s10803-009-0724-5. Epub 2009 Mar 31.

Omega-3 fatty acids for autistic spectrum disorder: a systematic review.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, University of California, San Francisco VAMC, 111-A1 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA. Stephen.Bent@ucsf.edu

Abstract

We conducted a systematic review to determine the safety and efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids for autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). Articles were identified by a search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Database using the terms autism or autistic and omega-3 fatty acids. The search identified 143 potential articles and six satisfied all inclusion criteria. One small randomized controlled trial (n = 13) noted non-significant improvements in hyperactivity and stereotypy. The remaining five studies were small (n = 30, 22, 19, 9, and 1) with four reporting improvements in a wide range of outcomes including language and learning skills, parental observations of general health and behavior, a clinician-administered symptom scale, and clinical observations of anxiety. Due to the limitations of evidence from uncontrolled studies and the presence of only one small randomized controlled trial, there is currently insufficient scientific evidence to determine if omega-3 fatty acids are safe or effective for ASD.

PMID:
19333748
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2710498
Free PMC Article

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