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Fish oils improve behaviour

12th October 2006

19072006_capsules1.jpgA school in Wiltshire has reported massive behavioural improvements in its male pupils after they were given a 20-week course of fish oil supplements.

The Cotswold community school, a residential school for boys with some of the UK's most severe emotional and social problems, treated its pupils with fish oil supplements for 5 months and measured changes in their behaviour.  Nutritionist, Jackie Stordy, analysed records of the boys' behaviour, using school logs of the number of times the children had to be restrained. She also compared scores for hyperactivity, impulsiveness and oppositional behaviour.

Dr Stordy reported that after 20 weeks the number of times staff had to restrain the boys had dropped by 46%. The length of time they had to be restrained dropped by 42% and their scores for impulsiveness and hyperactivity improved by 20%.  Nearly all the boys showed behavioural improvements with the scores for 3 pupils moving into the normal range for the population.

Dr Stordy said her work made no claim to be a proper trial but her findings have prompted a call from experts on omega-3 fatty acids for properly conducted scientific research on the impact of diet on the brain.  Michael Crawford, an expert on essential fatty acids and the brain at the London Metropolitan University, said this sort of evidence was little more than anecdotal. "What we need is serious research." he said.

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