Posted on Wed, 7 Dec 16
Nutritional supplementation combined with cognitive behavioural therapy helps to reduce aggressive behaviour in children.
An adequate supply of several important nutrients in food are important for good mental health, but these are often lacking in modern diets and may help explain poor mental health.
Poor nutrition predisposes to aggressive and antisocial behaviour in children, and nutritional supplementation has been shown to reduce aggressive behaviour in adults. Based on this knowledge a study was undertaken to see if nutritional supplementation could reduce childhood antisocial and aggressive behaviour.
In the study children with antisocial and aggressive behaviour were divided into three groups 1) nutrition only [omega-3 fatty acids, multivitamins, minerals and vitamin D], 2) cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) only, or 3) nutrition with CBT.
After 3 months’ children in the nutrition only group showed improved behaviour, and at 6 months the nutrition + CBT group were doing better than CBT only or the control group.
“Some limited support was found for the efficacy of nutritional supplementation in reducing childhood aggression,” said the study authors. “Nutritional supplementation by itself significantly reduced child aggression immediately at the end of treatment compared to Controls. Adding nutritional supplementation to CBT reduced child aggression 3 months post treatment compared to CBT only and Control groups.”
Raine A, Cheney RA, Ho R, Portnoy J, Liu J, Soyfer L, Hibbeln J, Richmond TS. Nutritional supplementation to reduce child aggression: a randomized, stratified, single-blind, factorial trial. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2016 Sep;57(9):1038-46.