Food and Behaviour Research

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Essential fatty acids and their role in conditions characterised by impulsivity

Garland MR, Hallahan B. (2006) Int Rev Psychiatry 18(2) 99-105 

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There is a biological basis for anticipating a role for the essential fatty acids (EFAs) in the therapeutics of the large number of conditions characterized by impulsivity, hostility and aggression.

Abnormalities in these constructs have been linked to dysfunction of several monoaminergic systems, 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) in particular. The EFAs ameliorate the function of these systems and also act through a number of other mechanisms.

While limited in volume, a number of EFA supplementation studies support their role in the treatment of such conditions. This paper summarises the literature in terms of epidemiology, clinical science and therapeutics in clinical and non-clinical populations.