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  • Writer's pictureKaren

Testing The Effect Of Fish Oil Supplementation In Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder

In this randomized crossover trial, fish oil supplementation improved cognitive function and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms in adults with autism spectrum disorder.

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Studies have found that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tend to have lower blood levels of n−3 fatty acids, which is associated with impaired cognitive function. Randomized controlled trials on n−3 supplementation in children with ASD have shown some improvements in cognitive function, but overall, the results have been inconsistent.

Because the effects of n−3 supplements in adults with ASD are largely unknown, and because ASD can often co-occur with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), this crossover trial examined the effect of fish oil on various aspects of cognitive function and ADHD in adults with ASD.

The study

In this randomized crossover trial, 21 participants with ASD (10 with ADHD and 11 without ADHD) took fish oil (FO) containing 5.2 grams of n−3 fats or an equivalent amount of fats from safflower oil (SO) for 1 month, after which time the interventions were switched. The interventions were taken in the form of four capsules twice per day, and the sequence in which the interventions were taken was assigned in a randomized order.