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Omega - Deficiency Linked with Anger and Violence

Jan 23rd 2024

Omega - Deficiency Linked with Anger and Violence

In our polarized country, anger is common.  Not that there aren’t legitimate reasons why many people are angry or ways that anger can be used constructively to make positive change. But often you can sense in people a kind of aimless anger, an angry mood just looking for a target.

What if a lot of this anger had to do with diet?  It probably does.  Just like depression (which is described as anger turned towards the self), anger can be a mood disorder, and the Standard American Diet (SAD) fosters mood disorders.

Omega-3 fatty acids—lacking in the SAD—are key to mental health and a feeling of well-being. One of the brain’s major components is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fat, and the association between low DHA brain levels and depression, suicide and violence is well established. 

Receptors in the brain for the “reward” and “feel-good” neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin are made from DHA. If DHA isn’t available, the body will use inferior materials, like trans fats, to build these receptors, which then won’t work well. Another omega-3, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), keeps brain inflammation from inhibiting serotonin release.

Non-farmed fish are high in EPA and DHA, and an early study linking omega-3 deficiency and violence found that the risk of being murdered was 30 times greater in countries where fish consumption was low compared to countries where it was high. The report also advised that depressive and aggressive feelings diminished by about 50% after taking fish oil capsules for 2-4 weeks.   

In a landmark study, Bernard Gesch, an Oxford University physiologist, investigated the effects of nutritional supplements on young prison inmates, ages 18-21. He gave each prisoner placebo pills or a daily multivitamin/mineral plus omega-3s for 4 months. In the group receiving the supplements, minor infractions of prison rules were reduced by 26% and incidents of violence went down 37%; there were no changes in the placebo group.

A similar study replicated Gesch’s findings in 2010, except that reports of violence and aggression in this treatment group went down by 34% while similar incidents in the placebo group went up 14%.       

One of the ways the SAD promotes mood disorders is by being too high in omega-6 fatty acids and too low in omega-3 fatty acids, a pattern commonly found in the plasma of people with psychiatric diagnoses.  To move towards a healthier diet, remove supermarket vegetable oils, which are high in omega-6s, from your diet and replace them with high-quality olive oil, coconut oil and ghee. Reduce/eliminate processed foods, and replace conventionally-raised livestock, including eggs and fish, with grass-fed and wild varieties. Raw nuts and seeds are healthy foods, but they’re also high in omega-6s, so limit them to a handful a day. 

To increase omega-3s, add freshly ground flaxseeds, flax oil and fatty fish to your diet and include Beyond Health’s EFA Formula, which supplies omega-3s at a 4:1 ratio with particular omega-6s that are especially beneficial.  Beyond Health Fish Oil Formula is also highly recommended.  





Information contained in NewsClips articles should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.