T Nation

Supplements Against Aggression?

Hi there!

I know it is a bit off-topic, but for the pro-supplement guys on this site it might be interesting to read. Other might just think I am crazy… :wink:

I remember that some time back, in an article about the benefits of fish fats on T-Nation, the author mentioned that there was some evidence that fish fats can reduce aggression in people. I thought this was strange, but logical in a way. You are what you eat, right?

Later I saw some articles and research on the topic that just amazed me. Turns out that simply giving some fish fats (in combination with vitamins and minerals) to a population of (violent) inmates every day can reduce violent behaviour by 25% to almost half in a few months. It’s insane!

Some governments in Europe are seriously researching this stuff to help fight crime.

Check it out:

-Influence of supplementary vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids on the antisocial behaviour of young adult prisoners. Randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Br J Psychiatry. 2002 Jul;181:22-8. by Gesch CB, Hammond SM, Hampson SE, Eves A, Crowder MJ.

-Effects of nutritional supplements on aggression, rule-breaking, and psychopathology among young adult prisoners. by Zaalberg A, Nijman H, Bulten E, Stroosma L, van der Staak C.

-The impact of diet on anti-social, violent and criminal behaviour. by Benton D.
Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2007;31(5):752-74. Epub 2007 Mar 4.

What do you guys think? (Yes, I know it is not really about bodybuilding or health, but mental health is health none the less)

Is this to good to be true? Has someone else ever heard about this stuff?

It’s a very interesting topic; I have to wonder though, whether this is beneficial (As in, correcting a neurotransmitter/hormone imbalance which had the adverse effect of aggression) or not beneficial (Imbalancing neurotransmitters/hormones from a normal state to make one ‘spineless’, in a way).

But given how it seemed more significant in criminals, I would hazard a guess that it’s the former.

Is this too good to be true???

Is there some huge problem with aggression that the media has neglected to report, or is this because you feel you have issues with aggressive behaviour and are hoping this will curb them?

I’m sure it’s possible.

Hell you could probably use some nootropics (Bacopa & Ani) to help too.

Well your gov could just decriminalize marijuana and allow the prisoners access to it. That would settle them down a bit. Keep them mellow. Hell why not add some herion and opium as well. Anything that gives that will mellow the guys out. We should pay for it all too.

They are in jail, why should I law abiding person have to pay for supplements and these guys that had there chance at a good life get it for free? Cause they don’t have impulse control. Fuck that. You rape and kill kids and do all sorts of shit your life is forfeit IMO. I don’t care how sorry you are.

Maybe just being healthy makes you feel better and you end up less irritable?

I think its entirely possible and even a very good idea. Nutritional deficiencies and genetic predispositon against proper usage of nutrients alter behaviour. You neednt be very malnourished to be unconcentrated and antisocial - just look at schoolchildren that arent properly fed.

A lack of omega-3 will affect the concentration of DHA in the brain, and to many heavy metals will screw you up as well. I believe that levels of both heavy metals and n-3’s are linked to criminal behaviour, meaning that low levels of n-3 and high levels of heavy metals are found in inmates. Now, i cant acces those damn articles, but thats what I remember right now.

I seem to recall a few british studies (might have been on tv? ) where maladjusted kids were given fish oil and miraculously became wonderkids. It certainly does something.

the criminals were all deprived of their daily dose of weed.

[quote]dirtbag wrote:
Well your gov could just decriminalize marijuana and allow the prisoners access to it. That would settle them down a bit. Keep them mellow. Hell why not add some herion and opium as well. Anything that gives that will mellow the guys out. We should pay for it all too.

They are in jail, why should I law abiding person have to pay for supplements and these guys that had there chance at a good life get it for free? Cause they don’t have impulse control. Fuck that. You rape and kill kids and do all sorts of shit your life is forfeit IMO. I don’t care how sorry you are.[/quote]

Your view is understandable, but the theory goes that their ‘impulse control’ is decreased by nutritional deficiencies and so adding nutrients result in less violent behaviour. So it may be used as a preventive tool in the future, which makes it worth paying for IMO.

There have also been studies indicating that nutritional deficiencies may cause lower IQ, lower concentration, higher irritation and so on.

It also seems that deficiencies, overweight, sugar consumption, aggression and even lower than normal cholesterol are correlated. It is not clear yet how this al fit together though.

Anyone got some ideas?

[quote]dirtbag wrote:
Well your gov could just decriminalize marijuana and allow the prisoners access to it. That would settle them down a bit. Keep them mellow. Hell why not add some herion and opium as well. Anything that gives that will mellow the guys out. We should pay for it all too.

They are in jail, why should I law abiding person have to pay for supplements and these guys that had there chance at a good life get it for free? Cause they don’t have impulse control. Fuck that. You rape and kill kids and do all sorts of shit your life is forfeit IMO. I don’t care how sorry you are.[/quote]

I hate to admit it but I agree with a “Dirtbag”

[quote]xxrob5xx wrote:

[quote]dirtbag wrote:
Well your gov could just decriminalize marijuana and allow the prisoners access to it. That would settle them down a bit. Keep them mellow. Hell why not add some herion and opium as well. Anything that gives that will mellow the guys out. We should pay for it all too.

They are in jail, why should I law abiding person have to pay for supplements and these guys that had there chance at a good life get it for free? Cause they don’t have impulse control. Fuck that. You rape and kill kids and do all sorts of shit your life is forfeit IMO. I don’t care how sorry you are.[/quote]

I hate to admit it but I agree with a “Dirtbag”
[/quote]

Criminals getting away with crime freaks me out too. I personally get pissed when some child killer is set free as if he is somehow “cured”, but I think it is not about being punished or not. Supplements or therapy of any kind must (and probably will) never replace punishment. When a person rapes, kills whatever he is still f’cked when he is caught even if his diet, upbringing or life sucks. There are no excuses.

But…

When an opportunity arrises to prevent all these things from happening I think it is silly not make use of it. I think these links between food and behavior are an opportunity to prevent a lot of suffering.

Aggression is a good tool as long as you are aware of it and can direct it appropriately.