Hajar Mazahery

Doctor of Philosophy, (Nutritional Science)
Study Completed: 2019
College of Health


Thesis Title
The Role of Vitamin D and Omega-3 Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

The efficacy of vitamin D and omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 LCPUFA) each individually, in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been tested in a few trials and the results are inconclusive. Ms Mazahery evaluated the efficacy of daily vitamin D, omega-3 LCPUFA, or both supplements (for one year) in managing behavioral symptoms of ASD (core symptoms and co-existing problem behaviors) and in improving biochemical markers of these nutrients in New Zealand children. Compared to placebo, she found that active treatments were associated with greater improvement in biochemical markers and in multiple behavioural outcomes (some with significantly greater improvement and some with a non-significant trend for greater improvement). She concluded that vitamin D and omega-3 LCPUFA, each individually or together, had the potential to improve some behavioural symptoms of ASD, but due to low statistical power, she could not make a definitive conclusion.

Professor Pamela Von Hurst
Professor Marlena Kruger
Professor Cathryn Conlon
Professor Kathryn Beck