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.

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.

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.

The present finding from Oman supports the view of other studies that there are low serum levels of DHA among children with ASD.