Cochrane Summaries

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Omega-3 fatty acids for autism spectrum disorders (ASD)

James S, Montgomery P, Williams K
Published Online: 
7 December 2011

It has been suggested that difficulties associated with ASD may be explained in part by lack of omega-3 fatty acids, and that supplementation of these essential fatty acids may lead to improvement of symptoms. The purpose of this review was to assess the evidence for the effectiveness of omega-3 supplementation for core features of ASD and associated symptoms. We found only two small randomised controlled trials that evaluated omega-3 fatty acids for ASD. There is insufficient evidence that omega-3 fatty acids supplementation is an effective treatment for ASD. However, high quality large randomised controlled trials are needed before definite recommendations about this treatment can be made.

This record should be cited as: 
James S, Montgomery P, Williams K. Omega-3 fatty acids supplementation for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD007992. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007992.pub2
Assessed as up to date: 
1 December 2010