Essential fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that cannot be created within the human body and must therefore be obtained from the diet
Some people think that individuals with autism do not have enough EFAs, or that they have a poor balance of EFAs i.e. too much omega-6 fatty acid and not enough omega-3 fatty acid.
They think that this may cause some of the symptoms of autism, such as impaired communication and social difficulties. They believe that these difficulties can be overcome by following a diet rich in essential fatty acids or by taking supplements which contain the right kinds of fatty acid.
There is a wide range of supplements which contain essential fatty acids from a variety of sources – such as borage, cod liver oil, evening primrose etc.
This glossary is designed to explain some of the jargon and gobbledygook used by some people when they talk about autism or research..
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The fact that an intervention is listed in this glossary does not necessarily mean that we agree with its use. Nor does it necessarily mean that there is any scientifically valid or reliable evidence behind it.