Omega-3 supplementation by children could improve children’s and parents’ behavior

Parents of children who received omega-3 reported a long term decrease in psychological aggression
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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

July 27 2018. A randomized, double-blind trial reported on May 20, 2018 in the journal Aggressive Behavior revealed that supplementing children with omega-3 fatty acids improved their behavior and that of their parents toward each other.

The study included children who were given a fruit drink that contained a gram of omega-3 fatty acids or an unsupplemented fruit drink for 6 months. The children’s adult caregivers provided information concerning inter-partner and child-directed physical and psychological aggression at the beginning of the study, at 6 months, and 6 months after the study’s conclusion.

Among parents of children who received omega-3, a long term decrease in psychological aggression (characterized as arguing and verbal abuse) was reported, which correlated with improvement in child externalizing behavior (problem behaviors directed toward the external environment, including physical aggression and disobeying rules). “This study is the first to show that omega‐3 supplementation in children can reduce inter‐partner psychological aggression among adult caregivers not receiving supplements.,” authors Jill Portnoy, PhD, and colleagues announce.

“This is a promising line of research because omega-3 fatty acids are thought to improve brain health in children and adults,” noted Dr Portnoy, who is an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s School of Criminology and Justice Studies. “There is more to be learned about the benefits, but if we can improve people’s brain health and behavior in the process, that’s a really big plus.”

“Biology and social environment interact in complex ways that we’re just beginning to figure out,” she added. “Before we can design effective interventions, we need to do research to understand what’s happening.”

—D Dye

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