Children With Autism Have Lower Levels of HDL
[Source: Science Daily]
Mystery surrounds autism. Its theories of causes and treatments are as unique and diverse as the people who have it. The same holds true for its symptoms. Scientists and physicians are uncovering more about this disorder every day; many of those studies and findings concentrate on diet.
Dr. Yasmin Neggers, a professor of human nutrition and hospitality management in The University of Alabama College of Human Environmental Sciences whose main research focus is nutrition during pregnancy, was inspired by a visiting colleague to learn more about this disorder that affects the brain’s normal development of social and communication skills.
The colleague, Dr. Eun-Kyung Kim from Kangnung-Wonju National University in Korea, and Neggers decided to look at blood levels of lipids and fatty acids in two groups of South Korean children — one group of typically developing boys and another group of boys with an autism diagnosis. These fatty acids, particularly omega-3 and omega-6, are needed for normal development of the nervous system, including the brain.
“Many studies have shown omega-3 fatty acids to be neuroprotective because they decrease the risk of neurological problems,” Neggers explains.
“We were surprised when we didn’t find studies that looked at omega-3 levels in children with autism.” Omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon and many other foods, are known to be neuroprotective.
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