Incorporating omega-3, vitamins and mineral supplements into the diets of children with extreme aggression can reduce this problem behavior in the short term, especially its more impulsive, emotional form, according to University of Pennsylvania researchers who published their findings in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. The Philadelphia randomized control study placed 290 11- and 12-year-olds with a history of violence into four groups: The first received omega-3 in the form of juice, as well as multivitamins and calcium for three months. For that same duration, a second group participated in cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, which included meeting weekly for an hour, with time split between the child, the parent and with both together. A third group in the study took the supplements and participated in CBT, and a fourth received resources and information targeted at reducing aggressive behavior. Blood samples at the experiment’s start and conclusion measured omega-3 levels in each child.
“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… No matter what program you use, could adding omega-3s to your treatment help?” Raine asked. “This suggests it could.”