Researchers aimed to determine whether omega-3, vitamin and mineral supplementation would be more effective in reducing aggressive behavior when combined with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The randomised, single-blind study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry involved 290 children aged 11–12 years, dividing them into four groups, one group receiving only nutritional supplementation, one receiving only CBT, one receiving both nutritional supplementation and CBT and one control group.
The results showed that after three months of treatment the nutrition-only group showed a reduction in aggressive behavior when compared to the control group. Three months after treatment, the group receiving nutritional supplementation and CBT showed less antisocial behavior than both the control and the CBT-only group. However, the dietary changes only showed a short-term effect. Nine months after treatment, there were no noticeable differences between the four groups – an indication that ongoing supplementation may be needed to maintain the behavioral improvements. A previous study conducted by Professor Raine found that children who were given a daily omega-3 supplement for 6 months showed a reduction in anxiety, depression and aggressive behavior such as fighting.