It's sometime surprising to consider that even in our society of extreme bounty we may still be suffering from nutritional deficiencies that contribute to our individual and cultural problems. I've written about how lead-tainted Mexican candy is linked with learning disabilities and violence, and now a new study in the UK reaffirms that nutrition is something we all need to take very seriously -- not just by counting calories and watching our weight, but also by ensuring that we get enough of the micronutrients our bodies need.
That Dwight Demar is able to sit in front of us, sober, calm, and employed, is "a miracle", he declares in the cadences of a prayer-meeting sinner. He has been rocking his 6ft 2in bulk to and fro while delivering a confessional account of his past into the middle distance. He wants us to know what has saved him after 20 years on the streets: "My dome is working. They gave me some kind of pill and I changed. Me, myself and I, I changed."
Demar has been in and out of prison so many times he has lost count of his convictions. "Being drunk, being disorderly, trespass, assault and battery; you name it, I did it. How many times I been in jail? I don't know, I was locked up so much it was my second home."
Demar has been taking part in a clinical trial at the US government's National Institutes for Health, near Washington. The study is investigating the effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplements on the brain, and the pills that have effected Demar's "miracle" are doses of fish oil.
It appears that omega-3 is necessary for proper brain functioning, and that without enough of it some portion of the population goes haywire. As Claytron Cramer says, these sorts of discoveries can have revolutionary effects on our civilization.