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Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals may reduce aggressive behaviour

February 23, 2010

Supplements of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals for prisoners may reduce the number of violent and aggressive episodes in prisoners, according to a new study.

According to findings of a randomized placebo-controlled trial with over 200 Dutch young adult offenders, nutritional supplements containing multivitamins, minerals, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids were associated with a 34 percent reduction in violent incidents (1). On the other hand, a 14 percent increase in the number of reported incidents in participants in the placebo group were reported.

The prospect of influencing aggression and rule-breaking behavior with nutrients in moderation doses is important enough to warrant further research, the researchers commented. Adequate supplementation may also have beneficial effects on mental health and cognitive functioning.

Oxford University researchers are currently conducting a similar double blind, randomized, controlled trial at three locations and planned to include 1,000 subjects.

References

  1. Zaalberg A. et al. Effects of nutritional supplements on aggression, rule-breaking, and psychopathology among young adult prisoners. Aggressive Behavior. 2010; 36(2):117–126.