Vol. 4, No. 1, 1998 Page 7


For 20 years, William J. Walsh and colleagues have studied the biological differences between criminals and non-criminals. One consistent finding, they say, is that individuals prone to violence have abnormal trace metal concentrations, and in particular elevated serum copper and depressed plasma zinc (see related article, Crime Times, 1996, Vol. 2, No. 3, Page 6).

Recently, Walsh et al. studied 135 assaultive males between the ages of 3 and 20, and 18 controls with no history of assaultive behavior. Blood samples from each group were analyzed for serum copper and plasma zinc concentrations.

The researchers found that "the median copper/zinc ratio for the assaultive subjects was 1.40 compared to 1.02 for controls, a statistically significant difference." Furthermore, they note, "Copper/zinc ratio [was] highest in subjects with a history of aggravated assaults followed, in descending order, by subjects who exhibited destructive rages, physical assaults, verbal assaults and normal behavior."

Walsh et al. say their findings strongly suggest a correlation between abnormal body chemistry and violence, and note that four studies have reported significantly improved behavior in subjects when copper/zinc ratios and other biochemical factors were normalized.


"Elevated blood copper/zinc ratios in assaultive young males," William J. Walsh, H. Ronald Isaacson, Fatima Rehman, and Anmarie Hall, Physiology and Behavior, Vol. 62, No. 2, August 1997, pp. 327-329. Address: H. Ronald Isaacson, Health Research Institute, 1804 Centre Point Drive, Suite 102, Naperville, IL 60563.

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