Reference Work Entry

Comprehensive Guide to Autism

pp 2427-2433

Omega-3 Fatty Acids in the Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Robert H. BelmakerAffiliated withBen Gurion University of the Negev Email author 
  • , Gal MeiriAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Soroka University Medical Center


Several open studies and a small number of small clinical trials have been performed with omega-3 fatty acids in autism. These trials were based both on the reported etiological abnormalities of fatty acid metabolism in autism and also on the reported efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids in other syndromes such as obsessive compulsive disorder and depression. This literature is too small to summarize by a meta-analysis. However, in summarizing this data it appears too early to recommend omega-3 fatty acid as standard treatment. However, data suggests that some subgroups of autistic patients and individual patients may benefit significantly from this treatment and that further research and clinical trial are indicated.