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Omega-3 Linked to Decrease in Childhood Aggression in Short Term

May 17, 2016 03:07 AM EDT

Childhood aggression is a serious problem that is being set aside by parents. There are many factors affecting children's inclination to violence.

At present, childhood aggression can be treated using psychosocial therapy and pharmacotherapy, but a new study shows that omega-3 can also be used to lessen childhood aggression.

The study, published in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, suggests that incorporating omega-3, vitamins and mineral supplements into the diet of children with extreme aggression can lessen their negative behavior for a short while.

For their study, researchers randomly chose 290 11- and 12-years-old with a history of aggression and divided them in to four groups. The first group received omega-3 in form of juice, vitamins and minerals for three months. The second group was asked to participate in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which included meeting weekly for an hour, with time split between the child, the parent and with both together.

On the other hand, the third group both received omega-3 and participated in CBT, while the last group received resources and information targeted at reducing aggressive behavior and served as the control group. The researchers measured the omega-3 levels in the blood of each participant at the beginning and after the experiment.

After the 3-month experiment, researchers noticed that children who have received omega-3 and participated in CBT have lesser reported aggressive behavior, compared to those participants belonging to CBT-only group and control group.

However, after nine months all the positive effects of omega-3 and CBT have decapitated, showing no significant difference to the other groups.

In a statement, researchers admit that the study itself presents some minor limitations. One of those is the inconsistency between the self-reporting of the parent and the child. Some of the children in the omega-3 and CBT group reported fewer aggressive behaviors, but their parents said there is no change in their aggressive tendencies.

It is still unknown if continued use of both omega-3 and CBT together can have a long term reduction of childhood aggression, but their findings strongly suggests that adding omega-3 in the treatment can greatly help in procuring positive outcomes.

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