Can aggression and anti-social behaviour in children be helped by omega 3 fish oils?
It’s already known that the fish oils can help adults with criminal or aggressive behaviour but the University of Pennsylvania wanted to find out if the supplements could do the same for children who were aggressive or anti-social.
What did the research involve?
The researchers gave 50 children, aged from eight to sixteen, a drink containing one gram of omega 3 every day for six months and another 50 the same drink but without the fish oils.
After six months, both groups reported less aggressive and anti-social behaviour, but only the omega 3 group continued to show an improvement in their behaviour after twelve months: there was a 42% reduction in ‘external’ behaviour problems, such as aggression, and a 62% drop in ‘internal’ behavioural problems, such as depression, anxiety and withdrawal.
Research indicates that children who had poor nutritional status at the age of three were more anti-social and aggressive by the time they were eight years old.
Source – Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, 2015; 56 (5): 509