Aggressive and anti-social behaviour in children can be helped by omega-3 fish oils. It's the ultimate brain food that can have a big impact on the children, especially if their diet is poor, say researchers.
It's already known that the fish oils can help adults with criminal or aggressive behaviour, but lead researcher Adrian Raine from the University of Pennsylvania wanted to find out if the supplements could do the same for children who were aggressive or anti-social.
The researchers gave 50 children, aged from eight to 16, 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 12 months; there was a 42 per cent reduction in 'external' behaviour problems, such as aggression, and a 62 per cent drop in 'internal' behavioural problems, such as depression, anxiety and withdrawal.
Raine said that in earlier research he had discovered 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)