When examining the complex issue of violence one must not take only a single approach but rather look at the causes from many different angles together. There seems to be no singular answer as to why different causes some human beings are violent. As scientists have searched for a solution they have uncovered many different causes. Each type of scientist has a different theory. Environmental psychologists feel that violence is a product of a environment. Evolutionary psychologists feel that violence stems from caveman instincts when aggression was a successful way to gain access to scarce resources. Ins some cultures this still proves to be an effective too when competing for resources. Neurologist believe chronic violent behavior stems from a defect in the brain. If any one single theory had proven to be true unnecessary acts of violence would have been extinguished long ago. Instead it seems that not one particular thing causes a person to become violent but rather a combination of several issues. One factor that contributes to this combination causing chronic violent behavior is the nutritional health of a person. When one examines the vitamin and mineral balance as well as the diet of a violent person and finally the excess or lack of proteins made up of amino acids one can clearly see this too can contribute to behavior know as violence.
It is a known fact since the late 1800’s that niacin (B3) deficeniency causes a disease call Pellagra. The symptoms of Pellagra are know as the four D’s, dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia and finally if left untreated death. Examining further the dementia stage Pellagra causes, the symptoms seem to mimic schizophrenia. Symptoms include: visual changes, hallucinations, vertigo, hyper acute sense of smell, dulled sense of taste, parasthesais, an abnormal burning feeling, or feeling of insects crawling on the skin, disorientation, confusion, memory loss, depression, anxiousness and fatigue (Pfeiffer). These symptoms, when exhibited with the other D’s almost always respond to niacin therapy. Although full blown Pellagra was virtually extinguished with the introduction of enriched flour and other additives to processed foods it still exisits in some sub-clinical forms. In 1938 Dr. T.D. Spies authored a paper entitled “The Mental Symptoms of Sub-Clinical Pellagra”. Spies was one of the first medical professionals to introduce the isea that a niacin defiency can exsist on a level not sever enough to cause any symptoms other than the mental effects, hence sub-clincial Pellagra. Spies classed sub-clinical Pellagrins as neurasthenic. He describes symptoms as: numbness, headache, forgetfulness, apprehension, and distractibility. He also noted the conduct of a sub-clinical Pellagrin’s as feeling incapable of mental or physical effort even though the patient is ambulatory. These symptoms are very close to schizophrenia (Reed, 1983) In fact so close that in the 1950’s Doctors Hoffer and Osmond discovered that low histamine schizophrenia is actually sub-clinical Pellarga. Later Dr. Carl Pfeiffer elaborated on this model by noting that the brain many not be able to convert the amino acid tryptophan into its metabolite, niacin. It is evident that schizophrenia can cause its victim to become violent as Dr. Glen Green, the attending physician for five and a half years at Prince Albert Penitentiary noted, “one third of the prisoners that I saw have been classifies as having sub-clinical Pellagra.” While working at the penitentiary Green invited Dr. Hoffer to examine what he considered to be twelve of the worst offending, most violent prisoners. Hoffer found that nine of the twelve we paranoid schizophrenics. He concluded their diet was the cause of the violent behavior. (Reed, 83) Hoffer was referring to the lack of nutritious food that leads to a niacin deficiency coupled with high refined sugar intake. B3 is not the only vitamin B that can violent behavior when one is deficient.
Thiamine (B1) has also been linked with violent and destructives tendencies. The reason, researchers believe, is because thiamine acts as a coenzyme in the processing of glucose into energy. (Nutritional Almanac) As will later be discussed violent offenders have been closely linked with hypoglycemia. Thiamine is known as the “morale vitamin” because it a healthy nervous system and a positive mental attitude. Thiamine bind with the mineral manhanese and other specific proteins to become a coenzyme.