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Vitamin and fatty acid supplements may reduce antisocial behaviour in incarcerated young adults

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QUESTION: Do vitamin, mineral and fatty acid supplements reduce antisocial behaviour among young adults in prison?


Randomised controlled trial. Clinicians, participants and outcome assessors were blind to treatment allocation.


Information from authors: One maximum security correctional institution in Aylesbury, United Kingdom. Recruitment began September 1996.


Information from authors: Participants were 231 prisoners, aged 18–21 years, typically serving long sentences for serious offences.


Participants received dietary supplementation or placebo (after stratifying for prison wing). The supplementation group received a vitamin and mineral supplement based on 100% of the Reference Nutrient Intakes and essential fatty acid supplements in 4 daily capsules (1260 mg linoleic acid; 80 mg gamma linolenic acid; 80 mg eicosapentaenoic acid, and 44 mg docasahexaenoic acid). The average time spent on supplementation or placebo was 142 days. There was 100% follow up for the intention to treat analysis.

Main outcome measures

Antisocial behaviour was measured using incidents adjudicated by Governor reports (serious incidents such as violence) and minor action reports (for instance, …

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    Additional Commentary
    Authors: Professor Stephen J Schoenthaler, PhD and Ian D Bier, ND, PhD
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