A very recent article in the journal of Aggressive Behaviour (Volume 36, Issue 2, Pages 117-126), yes there is such a journal, found that supplements which included omega-3s, vitamins and minerals were associated with a 34 per cent reduction in violent incidents, while the placebo group (received no supplements) had a 14 per cent increase in the number of reported incidents. This is following on from a study of young violent offenders reported in the British Journal of Psychiatry, in 2002 which found a 39% reduction in violent offences when they supplemented with a similar mix of nutrients. This is understandable if you look into a bit of the brain chemistry and the role of fatty acids and nutrients involved in healthy brain function.
Imagine we could reduce the violent behaviour out there in the community by getting people to eat well and supplement. Next time someone gets angry at you go tell them to take some supplements. The only real difference is that these people in the study are in prison. I know many kids who probably eat a lot worse than those in prison.
Omega 3 and kid’s brains
A study out just this week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.28549) found that supplementing healthy boys with DHA (one of the main omega 3s and the main one in the brain) led to an increase in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex part of the brain (the front part) – an area of the brain associated with working memory. Changes, measure by functional magnetic resonance imaging also occurred in other parts of the brain, including the occipital cortex (visual processing) and the cerebellar cortex (motor control). This builds on a huge amount of evidence on the benefits of DHA for healthy and not so healthy brain function in kids. Note the study above. There are literally hundreds of studies telling us it will help us and our kids. So why aren’t we all supplementing with fish oils? It should be a government education program and mandate. The evidence is overwhelming.
Michael is head consultant at Planet Naturopath - Functional Medicine and Nutrition Solutions. As Seen
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