Autistic Children Have Lower Levels of HDL


Children With AutismHave Lower Levels of HDL

2 professors of human nutrition 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.

Even though there were no major differences in what these children ate, those with autism had a lower omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio and lower levels of high density lipoprotein, more commonly known as HDL. For both levels, it's often believed, the higher the better. HDL is commonly referred to as "good" cholesterol. High levels of HDL seem to protect against heart attacks, while low levels increase the risk of heart disease.

"It is plausible that low blood levels of HDL and omega-3 fatty acids observed in autistic children at an early age may be an indicator of impaired fatty acid metabolism.

"We wouldn't suggest starting to give omega-3 supplements to autistic children yet," Neggers advises, "although it wouldn't hurt because it's good for you. But these findings suggest the need for further investigation. The next step is to look at bigger sample sizes for a longer amount of time and with children of different ethnicities."

There is nothing, yet, to suggest that increasing blood levels of HDL or omega-3 fatty acids will reduce the symptoms of autism. In fact, the study doesn't reveal what causes what : if autism causes a lipid metabolism disorder or if the disorder causes autism.

PUBLISHED ONLINE (Jan. 24, 2012)

Source: University of Alabama

Les enfants autistes ont des taux plus faibles de HDL «  bon » cholesterol

2 professeurs en Nutrition ont décidé d'examiner les taux sanguins de lipides et d'acides gras dans deux groupes d'enfants sud-coréens : un groupe de garçons typiques et un groupe de garçons autistes. Ces acides gras, en particulier les oméga-3 et oméga-6, sont nécessaires pour le développement normal du système nerveux, y compris le cerveau.

Bien que soumis à un même régime alimentaire, les enfants autistes ont présenté un taux plus faible d'acides gras (oméga-3 et oméga-6) et de lipoprotéines de haute densité (HDL : «bon» cholestérol).

Des taux élevés de HDL tendent à protéger contre les attaques cardiaques, alors que des taux plus faibles augmentent le risque de maladies cardiaques. "Il est plausible que de faibles concentrations sanguines de cholestérol HDL et des oméga-3 observées chez les enfants autistes à un âge précoce peut être un indicateur du trouble du métabolisme des acides gras.

L'étude ne révèle pas si c’est l'autisme qui provoque un trouble du métabolisme des lipides ou si c’est le trouble qui provoque l'autisme.