Severely troubled boys 'soothed by fish oils'

· School findings warrant more research, say experts
· Big improvement seen in behaviour after 20 weeks

Experts on omega-3 fatty acids said yesterday there was an urgent need for properly conducted scientific research on the impact of diet on the brain, amid claims that fish oils have dramatically improved the behaviour of boys with some of the UK's most severe emotional and social problems.
The Cotswold community school in Wiltshire, a residential school for boys who cannot be handled in mainstream care homes and schools, has treated its children with fish oil supplements for 20 weeks and measured changes in their behaviour. A nutritionist, Jackie Stordy, analysed records of the boys' behaviour, using school logs of the number of times the children had to be restrained.

The children's scores for hyperactivity, impulsiveness and oppositional behaviour were also compared before and after.
After 20 weeks the number of times staff had to restrain the boys had dropped by 46%. The length of time they had to be restrained dropped by 42% and their scores for impulsiveness and hyperactivity improved by 20%, said Dr Stordy.

For nearly all the boys there was a small but significant improvement, except two who did not take the fish oil and showed no improvement. Three showed dramatic improvements. "Their scores moved into the normal range for the population, which is remarkable," Dr Stordy said.

Source - Guardian