Supplementation of omega 3 fatty acids may improve hyperactivity, lethargy, and stereotypy in children with autism spectrum disorders: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
Authors Cheng YS, Tseng PT, Chen YW, Stubbs B, Yang WC, Chen TY, Wu CK, Lin PY
Received 26 July 2017
Accepted for publication 1 September 2017
Published 4 October 2017 Volume 2017:13 Pages 2531—2543
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewer comments 2
Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder
Yu-Shian Cheng,1 Ping-Tao Tseng,1,2 Yen-Wen Chen,3 Brendon Stubbs,4–6 Wei-Chieh Yang,7 Tien-Yu Chen,8,9 Ching-Kuan Wu,1 Pao-Yen Lin10,11
1Department of Psychiatry, Tsyr-Huey Mental Hospital, Kaohsiung Jen-Ai’s Home, 2WinShine Clinics in Specialty of Psychiatry, 3Prospect Clinic for Otorhinolaryngology & Neurology, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Republic of China; 4Physiotherapy Department, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, 5Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, London, 6Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, UK; 7Department of Pediatrics, DA-AN Women and Children Hospital, Tainan, 8Department of Psychiatry, Tri-Service General Hospital, Taipei, 9School of Medicine, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, 10Department of Psychiatry, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, 11Institute for Translational Research in Biomedical Sciences, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Republic of China
Aim: Deficiency of omega 3 fatty acids may be linked to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Evidence about the potential therapeutic effects of supplementation of omega 3 fatty acids is lacking in ASD patients.
Methods: We searched major electronic databases from inception to June 21, 2017, for randomized clinical trials, which compared treatment outcomes between supplementation of omega 3 fatty acids and placebo in patients with ASD. An exploratory random-effects meta-analysis of the included studies was undertaken.
Results and conclusion: Six trials were included (n=194). Meta-analysis showed that supplementation of omega 3 fatty acids improved hyperactivity (difference in means =-2.692, 95% confidence interval [CI] =-5.364 to -0.020, P=0.048, studies =4, n=109), lethargy (difference in means =-1.969, 95% CI =-3.566 to -0.372, P=0.016, studies =4, n=109), and stereotypy (difference in means =-1.071, 95% CI =-2.114 to -0.029, P=0.044, studies =4, n=109). No significant differences emerged between supplementation of omega 3 fatty acids and placebo in global assessment of functioning (n=169) or social responsiveness (n=97). Our preliminary meta-analysis suggests that supplementation of omega 3 fatty acids may improve hyperactivity, lethargy, and stereotypy in ASD patients. However, the number of studies was limited and the overall effects were small, precluding definitive conclusions. Future large-scale randomized clinical trials are needed to confirm or refute our findings.
Keywords: poly-unsaturated fatty acid, omega 3, autism, pediatric
This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.Download Article [PDF] View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]