Do your eating habits affect whether you commit crimes? Some researchers say that's possible following several studies in the field of nutrition and its impact on violence.
The Guardian reported in 2006 that a United Kingdom study at Aylesbury prison found that when young men there were fed multivitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, the number of violent offenses they committed in the prison fell by 37 percent. That finding prompted a former prisons inspector to say he was "absolutely convinced that there is a direct link between diet and antisocial behavior, both that bad diet causes bad behavior and that good diet prevents it."
A National Institutes of Health study found that 30 patients with violent records who were given omega-3 fatty acids supplements saw their anger reduced by a third, The Guardian reported. NIH researchers think that omega-6, found in snack foods like chips and ice cream, depletes omega-3 from the brain. NIH mapped the growth in consumption of omega-6 fatty acids in 38 countries since the 1960s along with the rise in murder rates over the same period. There was a correlation in all cases.
Of course, this doesn't prove that a high omega-6 and low omega-3 diet causes violence, researchers noted.
Psychology Today reported in 2011 that an Oxford University researcher looked at the influence of vitamins, minerals and fatty acids on antisocial behavior in young adult inmates. The study included 231 young male adult prisoners. They took the supplements for an average of 142 days. The findings: The average number of disciplinary incidents per 1,000 person-days dropped by 35 percent in the group who took the supplements compared to a 6.7 percent drop in the placebo group.
Mark Walport with Wellcome Trust, which funded the study, was quoted in media reports saying, "If this study shows that nutritional supplementation affects behavior, it could have profound significance for nutritional guidelines, not only within the criminal justice system but in the wider community..."
Other studies also show promising results to support the concept of supplements helping to reduce violent incidents.