Omega-3 supplements may help keep kids out of trouble | Kalvimalar - News

Omega-3 supplements may help keep kids out of trouble-

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Washington: Consuming omega-3 fatty acid supplements could reduce disruptive, abusive behaviour in children, a study has found.

This in turn had a positive effect on their parents, making them less likely to argue with each other and engage in other verbal abuse, according to Jill Portnoy, an assistant professor University of Massachusetts Lowell in the US.

This is a promising line of research because omega-3 fatty acids are thought to improve brain health in children and adults. There is more to be learned about the benefits, but if we can improve peoples brain health and behaviour in the process, thats a really big plus, said Portnoy.

The research, published in the journal Aggressive Behaviour, is just one example of how Portnoy is studying biological and social factors that can help explain and predict impulsive and risky behaviour.

The goal is to help determine effective ways to intervene before anti-social behaviour escalates into crime.

The work takes Portnoy into the heart of the nature versus nurture debate - whether people who commit crimes have something in their physiological makeup that predisposes them to doing so or if social factors like abusive family situations lead them to it.

My theory is that a low resting heart rate might be an acquired, adaptive trait: If you are subjected to chronic or frequent stress as a child, you adapt by lowering your heart rate, Portnoy said.

The lower heart rate protects you by blunting your reaction to stressful events, but it can also lead to stimulation-seeking behaviour, she added.

In other words, a stressful environment may cause physiological changes that lead to an increase in aggressive and impulsive behaviour, in addition to causing the behaviour directly, she added.

Researchers found that the youths with lower resting heart rates were more likely to act out as a form of sensation-seeking, including anti-social behaviour, which can be especially problematic for individuals living where there are few options for positive forms of stimulation. 

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