We know Omega-3 fatty acids like those found in green lipped mussels are effective forces in the fight against inflammation. We also know they’re necessary building blocks for healthy brain development and brain function.
But a new study conducted by UMass Lowell professor Jill Portnoy and University of Pennsylvania professors Adrian Raine and Jianghong Liu suggests omega-3 supplementation may also help reduce behavior problems in children.
Portnoy published the study in Aggressive Behavior as part of her ongoing research originally published with Raine in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Her research attempts to resolve anti-social behavior early on before it results in criminal acts later in life.
Let’s take a closer look at this promising study of omega-3s and your kid’s behavior.
Omega 3s: Behavior Benefits for Individuals
In this ongoing randomized, double-blind, controlled, parallel group trial, a sample of children received a fruit drink containing 1 gm of omega‐3 fatty acids. The control group (placebo group) received a fruit drink without omega-3 supplementation.
Adult caregivers rated their child’s behavior, and those in the omega-3 group showed significant improvements on externalizing behavior scores.
These “externalized behaviors” “are aggressive and antisocial behavior, such as getting into fights or lying” They also reported improvements on “‘internalizing’ behavior such as depression, anxiety and withdrawal” (PENN).
“This is a promising line of research because omega-3 fatty acids are thought to improve brain health in children and adults,” Portnoy reported.
And she’s not alone:
We’ve got an entire article dedicated to omega 3 supplementation benefits to mental health and brain health..
Plus, when Raine was a graduate student, he helped conduct a study that looked at nutrition deficits and later antisocial behavior in children.
“We saw children who had poor nutritional status at age 3 were more antisocial and aggressive at 8, 11 and 17,” Raine said. “That made us look back at the intervention and see what stood out about the nutritional component.” (PENN)
They noticed the enrichment group who received larger portions of omega-3s exhibited improved brain function at age 11 and a 34% reduction in criminal behavior at age 23.
Omega 3s are essential fats.
“Omega-3 regulates neurotransmitters, enhances the life of a neuron and increases dendritic branching, but our bodies do not produce it. We can only get it from the environment,” Raine said.
This includes the foods we eat and the supplements we consume, like natural green lipped mussel oil.
The implications for this study reach further than the individual, however.
Omega 3s and Behavior: Family Benefits
With the reduction in problematic child behavior came reduced inter-partner psychological aggression.
Simply put, they argued less.
“This study is the first to show that omega‐3 supplementation in children can reduce inter‐partner psychological aggression among adult caregivers not receiving supplements,” Portnoy wrote in the report.
This benefit represents a beneficial correlation between omega 3 supplementation for children and the family system as a whole. The findings suggesting behavioral improvement across family members surprised the research staff, and the results encourage further research into potential long-term benefits.
Help Improve Your Child’s Behavior with Green Lipped Mussel Omega-3s
Addressing a nutrient deficit, specifically one in omega 3 levels, is a helpful first step towards naturally improving your child’s behavior and the health of your family without medications.
To help your family get the necessary amount of omega 3 fatty acids in their diet, try including fatty fish or walnuts.
For a complete list of foods packed with omega-3s for your family to enjoy, download our Grocery List!
But the easiest way to make sure your family is getting safe and natural omega 3s is to supplement with green lipped mussel oil capsules.
Our capsules are tiny and tasteless, so your kids will have no trouble swallowing them. Plus, we know you want to keep them safe.
So we make ours with only 3 natural ingredients:
- Green lipped mussel oil,
- New Zealand Olive Oil, and
- Vitamin E oil.
“As a protective factor for reducing behavior problems in children,” Liu said, “nutrition is a promising option; it is relatively inexpensive and can be easy to manage.” (PENN)
At GLX3, we couldn’t agree more!
Please remember to talk with your family doctor for supplementation and dosing information.