Saturday, November 12, 2011

How Can Fish Oil Help Autistic Kids?

It is known all over the world to relieve autism. It has shown tremendous potential in regulating and alleviating symptoms of this condition. But how can this help autistic kids?

Autism is a developmental disorder that affects kids and appears during the first 3 years of life. Characteristics of autistic kids can vary, but autism mostly affects a child's communication and/or social skills. The exact cause as to the occurrence of autism is still unknown as of the moment, but research has it that autistic kids have remarkable problems with metabolism of omega-3 fatty acids. They have difficulty converting these essential fatty acids into forms necessary for normal chemical and biological reactions. It has also been found that levels of omega-3 are lower in those with autism compared to normal children.

It has also been discovered long ago that omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA and EPA, significantly affects brain function and mood. This should not be surprising as a large portion of the brain consists of DHA. DHA seems to have something to do with intercommunication between neurons, which make this ideal as brain foods.

Does this for autism really work?

Now the question is: does this really help autistic kids? There have been several studies conducted on the effectiveness of this supplementation as a natural treatment for autism. It has been found by researchers Patrick and Salik that children supplemented with this daily for 90 days increased their learning and language skills. Another study spanning 6 months showed improvements in sleep patterns, cognition, eye contact and social interaction. In another double blind placebo study published at the Biological Psychiatry journal, it was reported that autistic kids respond well to this supplementation showing reduced hyperactivity and reduction in performing repeating movements.

Where to get omega 3?

It is abundant in fish. However, autistic kids are almost always not fans of fish meals. There is also the problem of mercury intoxication which may even be more harmful. There are non-fish sources of omega-3, but just the same, high amounts must be taken in order for results to be seen. Fortunately however, there are not fish oil supplements that you can conveniently give to autistic kids. Fish oil caps, especially those that are ultra refined, contain pure omega 3 fish oil and offers benefits without posing any health risk.

How much this is needed?

Studies have established that at least 1 to 2 mg of fish oil supplement is optimal to yield positive improvements. However, it is important to make sure that the fish oil cap contains at least 50% active ingredient, DHA and EPA.

The discoveries the connection between omega 3 fish oil and autism continue to bring good news to autism sufferers. Yes, it can indeed help autistic kids attain better quality of life; it provides them a shot at eventually getting the normal life they deserve.

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