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Researchers Find that Omega 3 Supplements Could Lower Extreme Aggression in Children on a Short Term Basis

May 20th, 2016

The results of a new University of Pennsylvania study shows that extreme aggression in children could be reduced in the short term with the use of omega 3 supplements. The study evaluated and followed preteens who had a history of violence and severe aggression, and the researchers found that when these children receive a supplement that is rich in omega 3s, vitamins, and minerals the problem behavior was reduced in the short term. This was especially true in children who had a more emotional and impulsive form of aggression. Previous studies have also found that omega 3s can help reduce aggression and violence in children but none of these studies involved children in the USA. Richard Perry University Professor of Criminology, Psychology and Psychiatry Dr. Adrian Raine has dedicated his career to researching antisocial behavior and the way the brain functions, and focusing on how to modify aggressive or antisocial behaviors. Dr. Raine explained “How do you change the brain to make people better? How can we improve brain functioning to improve behavior?”

The study on omega 3 supplements and extreme aggression in children evaluated and followed almost 300 children who had a history of violence and aggression. The children weer divided into 4 distinct groups for treatment. One group received a juice supplement rich in vitamins, minerals, calcium, and omega 3s. Another group received cognitive behavioral therapy. Group 3 received the supplements and the CBT while group 4 received information and access to resources which targeted aggression reduction in the child. According to researchers “Immediately after three months of the nutritional intervention rich in omega-3s, we found a decrease in the children’s reporting of their aggressive behavior.” According to Dr. Raine “No matter what program you use, could adding omega-3s to your treatment help? This suggests it could. We can’t oversimplify the complexity of antisocial behavior. There are many causes. It’s not just the brain. Is it a piece of the jigsaw puzzle? I think it is.”

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