An American researcher, Joseph Hibbeln, has conducted experiments in the United States. Other researchers have completed similar studies at a maximum security prison in the United Kingdom in which prisoners convicted of violent crimes were administered a series of supplements, chief among them omega-3 fish oils. The result has been that assaults and violent incidents in the prison decreased by 26 percent (Felicity Lawrence, “Omega-3, Junk Food and the Link Between Violence and What We Eat,” The Guardian, Oct. 17, 2006).
Hibbeln’s research suggests that omega-3 oils are essential to proper brain function. The effective functioning of serotonin and dopamine seem especially critical, as they must work efficiently to avoid depression. When a person is without enough omega-3, he or she is more susceptible to violence and aggression.
Over the past century, the modern Western diet has achieved an excess of omega-6 oils (destructive to brain function) through the excessive use of soy, corn and sunflower oils in foods, and a corresponding lack of consumption of fish, fish oils and green leafy vegetables with omega-3 oils.