Daily multi may improve bad behaviour

A new study suggests it may be possible to improve bad behaviour by providing daily vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Scientists from the UK wanted to test if getting adequate nutrients would cause a reduction in antisocial behaviour among prisoners. They gave 231 young adult prisoners supplements and compared offences before and during supplementation.

The researchers found that, compared with those taking placebo pills, those receiving the active capsules committed an average of 26.3% fewer offences. Those taking active supplements for a minimum of 2 weeks committed an average of 35.1% fewer offences, whereas those taking placebos remained within their “normal” range. Vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids all play roles in a number of body systems, including those affecting mood and brain function. The researchers conclude that “antisocial behaviour in prisons, including violence, are reduced by vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.” They say their study may have implications for both prisoners and those eating poor diets in the community at large.

Source: Br J Psychiatry 2002 Jul;181:22-8