The popularity of fish oil and its benefits has been on the rise for the last two decades, and rightfully so. People swear by the power of omega-3s and the benefits that come from daily supplementation. Why? For starters, fish oil is regarded as a potent and effective anti-inflammatory that may help improve symptoms associated with various neurological disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
In more recent years, many studies have emerged that illustrate the potential effectiveness of fish oil for autism. Today, we will take a closer look at these studies regarding the relationship between fish oil DHA supplements and how they may improve brain function
What is Fish Oil?
So you might be asking yourself, what exactly is fish oil, and how is it made? As the name suggests, it is oil, or fat, extracted from a fish. Typically, fish oil is extracted from oily fish or “fatty fish” such as herrings, tuna, mackerel, anchovies, cod. The reason why people take fish oil supplements is likely because of the beneficial omega-3s. Sure, you can get the same benefits by simply eating fish, but unless you are eating fish twice a week or more, you may not be getting enough omegas or healthy fats in your diet. This is where fish oil supplementation comes in. Fish oil contains the types of important omega-3s that are said to be more beneficial than the omegas found in plant sources. Here is a breakdown of the main omega-3s and the benefits that they may have:
- Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA): supports brain health, mood, and anti-inflammatory
- Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA): supports brain health, mood, and anti-inflammatory
- Docosapentaenoic Acid (DPA): supports brain health, nerve transmission, and mood
If you don’t like fish, there are vegan or vegetarian sources of omega-3s that you can get from other food sources such as chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, brussels sprouts, edamame, kidney beans, and seaweed or algae.
The Use Of Fish Oil For Autism Symptoms
You know the benefits that come along with fish oil, but how do they apply to individuals who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder? Well, there have been studies that have concluded that children who have been diagnosed with ASD generally have lower levels of nutrients such as omega-3s than neurotypical individuals. There have also been studies that suggest low maternal DHA levels in expectant mothers are at higher risk of poor child neural and visual development. The same research indicates that supplementation and nutrient intervention showed that “increasing maternal DHA levels decreased the risk of poor infant and child visual and neural development.” It is worth noting that the human brain is made up of about 60% fat, so it is not surprising that fatty acids (omega-3s) are essential molecules that contribute to cognitive function in developing minds.
The connection between low levels of fatty acids and neurological disorders continues to be studied more in-depth, with more recent findings suggesting that nutrient supplementation can lead to improved symptoms associated with cognitive disorders such as autism. Some signs or symptoms of autism include:
- Social communication/interaction behaviors
- Making little eye contact
- Rocking back and forth, flapping of arms, etc.
- Intense and hyper-focused interests
- Repetitive/Restrictive Behaviors
- Picky eating
- Sensory issues to loud sounds, bright lights, etc.
The Best Fish Oil For Autism Symptoms
With the success and effectiveness of our Nutritional Support Supplement, we wanted to develop a supplement that would address concerns of low omega levels in children with ASD. We wanted to deliver the benefits of DHA, EPA, DPA in a simple, easy, and delicious way. A simple teaspoon of our DHA supplement provides the equivalent dose of 4-5 soft gel capsules – without the unnecessary shell ingredients and fishy burps associated with other supplements.
The Omega 3 DHA supplement was formulated to support children's developing brain and nervous systems. Recent clinical research suggests that DHA is essential for numerous bodily functions, especially inflammation.
Here at Simple Spectrum, we believe in the power of nutrition and supplementation. If you are interested in DHA supplementation for your child, it’s a good idea to discuss it with your doctor.