Are You Feeling Aggressive? Try Omega 3’s

© Piotr Rzeszutek |

According to a new study, eating fish can prevent aggressiveness. Dr. Adrian Raine, professor of Criminology, Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania has produced findings that Omega 3 fatty acids can reduce violent behaviors. Dr. Raine presented his findings at IV Brazilian Congress of Brain, Behavior and Emotions, where he suggested that prison inmates should increase their intake of fish. Genetic dysfunction of the cerebral cortex is found in approximately 50% of criminal offenders.

Dr. Raine found evidence from a 2002 study conducted on 321 young English prisoners who took Omega 3 fatty acid supplements for at least two weeks. Violent behaviors decreased by 35% for five weeks. Another study, performed in 2003, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, showed that children who participated in a program that included a diet rich in fish, physical activity and cognitive stimulation had a 35% less incidence of crime when compared to the control group. Another body of evidence came from normal boys; age 8 to 11 who took Omega 3 is for 4 months and became less aggressive. A national ecological analysis also found lower murder rates in areas where seafood intake is highest.

Bernard Gesch, researcher in the Department of Physiology and lead author of the 2002English trial is planning to conduct a much larger trial on 1000 prisoners. He says, "It will take around 2 years to complete. We are not only retesting to see if nutrition affects behavior, but also to explore how it works," he said. "It is a simple approach to prevent antisocial behavior, and the only 'risk' from a better diet is better health."

We’ve heard much about the role of Omega 3 fatty acids and good health in recent years. The body of evidence supporting nutritional balance is ever growing. Supplements don’t provide the same positive impact on health as does good eating. Some antioxidant supplements have been shown to increase the progression of cancer. Fish oil supplements are considered beneficial, especially if you're concerned about the contaminants in seafood.

Making Seafood Choices:

Seafood is an excellent source of protein, calcium, iodine, copper, zinc, and omega-3fatty acids. Iodine is essential for proper thyroid function, another area of research that has received recent attention. The risk of ingesting toxins versus nutritional value has to be weighed when making seafood choices. Mackerel, shark and swordfish are very high in Mercury. Special dietary conditions include local contamination of seafood, especially for children, pregnant women, or women who are planning pregnancy. You can obtain more information about making good seafood choices at the Institute of Medicine - Nutrient Relationships in Seafood: Selections To Balance Benefits And Risks. Dietary supplements should be chosen with caution. Look for Omega 3 supplements that are certified for purity. Less expensive options may not be the safest. Consider adding Omega 3 supplements to your diet. Make a point to eat food high in Omega 3 fatty acids - the list of health benefits is extensive.