The solution to violence (unless your a salmon)

Studies are continuing to show that more omega-3 fatty acids in our diets — whether we’re human or canine — can play a role in reducing aggression.

Of course, eating more salmon isn’t going to cure all the violence in the world — and especially not for salmon, which we’d have to slaughter much more of in order to be peaceful.

But it’s something you might want to take a serious look at if your dog has aggression problems, or if (dare I say it, don’t get mad) you do.

A recent Italian study has shown that aggressive dogs are characterized by low levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid. Studies of humans have already indicated the same may be true in us.

In the Italian study, 18 adult male German shepherds with histories of aggression were compared to 18 male shepherds with no history of aggression.

Compared to the “normal dogs,” aggressive dogs showed lower omega 3 levels. “Altogether, our results suggest that low omega-3 fatty acids may adversely impact behavior in dogs,” the scientists said, resulting in greater propensity to aggression, and possibly hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

Similar studies of prisoners and mental patients with aggression and impulse-control problems have shown they too tend to be deficient in omega-3.

Research conducted by the National Institutes of Health, and at a British prison have raised questions about diet’s role, and even gone so far to suggest that nutritional deficiencies may be responsible for some aggressive human behavior.

The British prison trial at Aylesbury jail showed that when young men there were fed multivitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, the number of violent offenses committed in the prison fell by 37 per cent.

Holy mackerel (also a good source of omega-3)! That’s significant. But it leaves me a little puzzled about bears — given the amount of salmon they consume, you’d think they would be our most jovial species, veritable social butterflies. As it turns out, most people who attempt to have lunch with a Grizzly become lunch for a Grizzly. 

Still, whether you run the prison cafeteria or have but one canine mouth to feed, omega-3 may be worth considering.