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Logo of jcinvestThe Journal of Clinical InvestigationCurrent IssueArchiveSubscriptionAbout the Journal
J Clin Invest. Feb 15, 1996; 97(4): 1129–1133.
PMCID: PMC507162

The effect of docosahexaenoic acid on aggression in young adults. A placebo-controlled double-blind study.

Abstract

41 students took either docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-rich oil capsules containing 1.5-1.8 grams DHA/day (17 females and 5 males) or control oil capsules containing 97% soybean oil plus 3% fish oil (12 females and 7 males) for 3 mo in a double-blind fashion. They took a psychological test (P-F Study) and Stroop and dementia-detecting tests at the start and end of the study. The present study started at the end of summer vacation and ended in the middle of mental stress such as final exams. In the control group extraggression (aggression against others) in P-F Study was significantly increased at the end of the study as compared with that measured at the start (delta = +8.9%, P = 0.0022), whereas it was not significantly changed in the DHA group (delta = -1.0%). The 95% CI of differences between the DHA and control groups were -16.8 to -3.0%. DHA supplementation did not affect the Stroop and dementia-detecting tests. Thus, DHA intake prevented extraggression from increasing at times of mental stress. This finding might help understand how fish oils prevent disease like coronary heart disease.

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Selected References

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