Fish oil supplements could help cool and control the anger of children with behavioural problems, says a new study.
Researchers studied behavioural problems and emotional difficulties, including autism of 28 boys (10 to 16 years old) studying at Eaton Hall Special School in Norwich and found that they had fewer violent outbursts while taking daily doses of the fatty acids, reported the online edition of Daily Mail.
In the six months prior to the trial, students had 112 angry outbursts which required teachers to physically restrain them. This dropped to 36 during the six-month study, when they were given 'Eye q' supplements alongside healthier school meals.
The capsules, made by Equazen, contain omega-3 fish oils and omega-6 evening primrose oil.
The biggest impact was on pupils who had been involved in the most violent incidents. One youngster had to be restrained 10 times prior to the trial but recorded no incidents while taking the capsules, the researchers claimed.
The study suggests students become better able to control their anger, as teachers were less likely to have to intervene to calm them.
Lianne Quantrill, project co-coordinator at Eaton Hall, said: "These statistics suggest that as a result of the new health programme and supplements the children were able to control their anger better. So while outbursts still occurred, they were less extreme, requiring minimal physical intervention from a teacher."
Madeleine Portwood, an educational psychologist involved in a study in Durham, had earlier found the supplements significantly improved short-term memory among primary pupils and enhanced achievements in reading and spelling.