Impact of nutrition on serum levels of docosahexaenoic acid among Omani children with autism

Yahya M. Al-Farsi, Mostafa I. Waly, Richard C. Deth, Marwan M. Al-Sharbati, Mohammed Al-Shafaee, Omar Al-Farsi, Maha M. Al-Khaduri, Samir Al-Adawi, Nathaniel W. Hodgson, Ishita Gupta, Allal Ouhtit*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Autism is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder of early childhood. Dietary supplementation of the ω-3 fatty acid (docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]) during prenatal and postnatal life is considered a protective dietary intervention strategy to minimize the risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To our knowledge, no relevant studies have been conducted in the Middle East investigating the status of DHA among children with autism during early childhood. The aim of this study was to investigate the serum levels and dietary intake status of DHA among Omani children recently diagnosed with ASD. Methods: The present case-control study involved 80 Omani children (<5 y), 40 cases and 40 controls matched for age and sex. A semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire was used to assess dietary intake of all the participants, while serum levels of DHA were measured using high-performance liquid chromatography. Results: Our results showed that children with ASD had lower dietary consumption of foodstuff containing DHA, as well as lower serum levels of DHA than controls. Conclusion: The present finding from Oman supports the view of other studies that there are low serum levels of DHA among children with ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1142-1146
Number of pages5
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013


  • Autism
  • Diet
  • Docosahexaenoic acid
  • Omani children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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