Walaa MR El-Meidany1*, Dalia I Tayel1, Marwa S Abd El-Maksoud2, Ebtisam M Fetoh3, Fikrat AF El-Sahn1
1Nutrition Department, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Egypt. 2Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Egypt. 3Department of Health administration and Behavioural Sciences, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Egypt
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Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is one of the pediatric neuro-developmental disorders of great concern that needs a lifelong management and treatment. The global rise in the prevalence of ASD was linked to the interaction between different factors such as genetic, environmental, and nutritional factors. ASD caused many children to have different disabilities of great importance for their development such as lack of social development and language impairment. Many nutrition interventions were proved to be effective in improving the ASD symptoms through different mechanisms. Aim of the study: The study aimed to investigate the effect of dietary supplementation with virgin coconut oil (VCO) on the core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder. Methods: Quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test study including 61 children of age group less than 18 years from both sexes. Results: Dietary supplementation with VCO caused a significant improvement in the core symptoms assessed by autism treatment evaluation checklist (ATEC) among the studied sample. A significant decline in the total ATEC score as well as the four subtests. Conclusion: virgin coconut oil supplementation may be a safe nutraceutical therapy for children with ASD. It is recommended to use VCO along with the other therapeutic modalities for a better control of the autistic symptoms among autistic children.
Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Children, Core Symptoms, Virgin Coconut Oil Supplementation
Citation: El-Meidany WMR, Tayel DI, Abd El-Maksoud MS, Fetoh EM, El-Sahn FAF. Does Supplementation with Virgin Coconut Oil Improve the Core Symptoms of Autistic Children? Canadian Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2022; 10 (1): 38-51.