Omega 3 and Behaviour
There has been a spotlight lately on the importance of Omega 3 in our diets.
The ABC aired a documentary recently which featured a pilot feasibility study looking at the effect of fish oils and multivitamins and minerals on aggressive behaviour. This study repeats a study that was done in the UK and the Netherlands where supplements of omega-3s, vitamins and minerals for prisoners may reduce the number and severity of reprimands by up to 35%.
Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids (EFA). They are necessary for human health but the body can’t make them -- you have to get them through food. Also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function, as well as normal growth and development. They have also become popular because they may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function, thus justifying that further research needs to be done to look into the efficacy of omega-3s, vitamins and minerals for reduction of aggressive or depressive behaviours.
Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.
It is important to have the proper ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 (another essential fatty acid) in the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, and most omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation.
New studies are identifying potential benefits for a wide range of conditions including cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and other autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Omega-3 fatty acids | University of Maryland Medical Center http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/omega3-fatty-acids#ixzz3AjZy8aFn