Health Benefits of DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) for Autism


Docosahexaenoic acid, abbreviated as DHA, is an omega-three acid essential for brain development. In essence, the body of a healthy human produces this component in small quantities. However, if you have autism, the production of this element will stop entirely. 

Therefore, you must take it in the form of supplements or through other dietary sources. 

But, why do you need DHA? 

How does it help an individual with ASD to grow more proactively? 

We have answered all of your concerns in this article as thoroughly as possible. Nonetheless, if you still have any confusion by the end of the blog, make sure to let us know through the comment section. We’ll solve it right away! 

How Does DHA Work In Your Body? 

DHA is generally found in the cell membranes, making it easier for the nerve cells to communicate (send or receive electrical signals). Therefore, if you have an adequate amount of DHA in your body, you can feel or sense everything much quicker than usual. 

Nonetheless, this component tends to be available at a lower level in an individual suffering from autism. It, in turn, affects their natural brain function, making them act differently than normal human beings. They generally react slowly to everything due to this reason.

Sources Of DHA 

According to nutritionists, seafood is the best source of DHA. Various fish and fish-based products are quite enriched with the same as well, providing around ten grams per serving. Some of these include – 

  • Shellfish 
  • Caviar 
  • Sardines 
  • Mackerel 
  • Herring 
  • Salmon 
  • DHA Supplements

Besides these, fish oils, like cod liver oil, consist of around one gram of DHA in one tablespoon. However, remember; these products tend to contain a high amount of vitamin A, which might affect your kid’s health if taken too frequently. 

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In any case, getting an adequate amount of DHA from your diet plan will not be possible. Thus, if you cannot eat these foods regularly, opting for an effective supplement could be ideal for you.

How Does DHA Subdue The Symptoms Of Autism? 

People with autism tend to suffer from a lack of brain development. Therefore, their way of communicating and socializing tends to be slightly different from others. However, this issue can be improved by intaking DHA supplements and going through treatment sessions. 

Here’s how DHA can help an individual dealing with ASD:

  • Takes Care Of Cognitive Impairment 

As mentioned before, DHA can efficiently improve the connection between your brain and nerve cells. Therefore, if you take it regularly, your overall cognitive skills will improve quickly.

Additionally, some of the autism-related symptoms, such as hand flapping, will reduce to some extent too. 

  • Improves Learning Proficiency 

Aside from boosting cognitive skills, DHA can also enhance the overall learning proficiency of a child with ASD. 

But, how will it do so? 

If you take an adequate amount of DHA regularly, it will help you focus on a single aspect or subject efficiently. 

It will also make you feel calm, which many people with autism tend to have difficulties with. Hence, it will be easier for you to learn a new skill or enhance an older one. 

  • Enhances Memory 

Finally, taking DHA supplements can develop your memory. Thus, it will be easier for you to remember everything, including behaving at school or home, and apply the same accordingly. 

Besides, an improved memory can also help you learn and take care of psychosocial activities properly. 

Best Dosage For Docosahexaenoic Acid For Autism 

The dosage of DHA usually depends on the severity of your condition (autism) and your overall health. However, in general, the following dosages are considered to be viable for almost every situation – 

  • 1400mg for ages 1-3
  • 1800mg for ages 4-8 
  • 2400mg for ages 9-13 (male)
  • 2000mg for ages 9-13 (female)
  • 3200mg for ages 14-18 (male)
  • 2200mg for ages 14-18 (female) 

In any case, you should still consult with your doctor about the dosage of the supplement before taking any further steps. Dealing with a patient with ASD is already a risky endeavor, so we don’t want you to take any additional risks.

Final Thoughts 

When taking DHA supplements for treating autism, the key for you will be to take a balanced approach. While these products can make a substantial impact on your health, you should also focus on your diet structure. Make sure to contact a nutritionist if you need any help. 

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