CENTER ON BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE
Essential Nutrients-Behavior: Research Article
Gesch, C.B., Hammond, S.M., Hampson, S.E., et al. (2002).
of supplementary vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids on the
behaviour of young adult prisoners. Randomised,
trial. British Journal of Psychiatry, 181, 2 2-2 8.
Background. Thereis evidence that offenders consume diets lackingin essentialnutrients andthis could adversely affecttheir behaviour. Aims Totestempiricallyifphysiologically adequateintakes of vitamins,minerals and essential fatty acids cause a reductionin antisocialbehaviour.
Method. Experimental, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomisedtrialof nutritional supplements on 231young adultprisoners, comparingdisciplinary offencesbefore and during supplementation.
Results. Comparedwith placebos, those receiving the active capsules committed an average of 26.3% (95% CI 8.3^44.33%) fewer offences (P¼0.03, two-tailed).Compared to baseline, the effectonthose takingactive supplements foraminimumof 2weeks (n¼172) was an average 35.1% (95% CI16.3^53.9%) reduction of offences (P50.001, twotailed), whereasplacebosremainedwithin standard error.
Conclusions. Antisocialbehaviourin prisons, including violence, are reducedby vitamins,minerals and essential fatty acids with similar implications for those eating poordiets inthe community.
Declaration of interest. The researchwas supported by a grant from the research charityNatural Justice (see Acknowledgements) andmanaged from theUniversityof Surrey.Scotia Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Unigreg Ltd suppliednutritional supplements.
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