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Vitamin D and Omega-3 for Autism

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We know how much good nutrition and supplements can help those with autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and research conducted this year has found that two supplements may reduce irritability and hyperactivity in children.

In a 12-month, randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study with children diagnosed with ASD aged between 2.5 and 8 years, two supplements were tested:  Vitamin D and Omega 3-fatty acids.  Within 12 months, Omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (mostly DHA) reduced irritability and supplementation with Vitamin D reduced hyperactivity.

If you’ve ever tried to get a kid to take fish oil (or even for yourself), you’ll know that including fish oil in your child’s supplementation routine is easier said than done!  There are many methods, including mixing in flavored liquid fish oil into smoothies (this did not work well for my family), buying the flavored gel caps for them to swallow or chew (this did not work for us either), or using vitamins that included fish oil (this would have worked for us if the dose was high enough, but many formulations for children have doses that are much lower than what many doctors recommend for certain conditions).

The best product I found after many trials and errors was in a gummy form.  It’s easy to find gummy forms of fish oil, but again, trying to find a gummy product that had enough fish oil in it so that I wasn’t having to give 8-10 gummies every day to equal what the doctor had prescribed was the hardest part.  I did find a particular formulation that worked very well, tasted good, had a higher-than-average dose of fish oil, and it did not cause any fishy burps or aftertaste:  Nordic Naturals Nordic Omega-3 fishies in Tutti Frutti flavor.  These consistently work for my family, and because they have 300 mg of Omega-3s, you can reach higher levels of fish oil without having to give a huge amount of gummies.  This is the highest level of kid-friendly (and adult-friendly) fish oil inside a gummy that I have been able to find!

References

  1. Mazahery, Hajar, et al. “A Randomised Controlled Trial of Vitamin D and Omega-3 Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in the Treatment of Irritability and Hyperactivity among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.” The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, vol. 187, pp. 9–16., https://publications.csiro.au/publications/#publication/PIcsiro:EP189386/BTyear/BV2019/RP39/RS25/RORECENT/RFYear=2019/STsearch-by-keyword/LIBRO/RI15/RT1431.

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