Study Title: Lower dietary intake of magnesium is associated with more callous-unemotional traits in children
This study investigated how micronutrient intake, specifically magnesium and vitamin B6, relates to children's antisocial behavior and callous-unemotional (CU) traits. These nutrients are involved in neurochemical processes that could influence such behaviors.
The study involved 446 children aged 11–12 who participated in the Healthy Brains and Behavior Study. The researchers assessed the children's dietary magnesium and vitamin B6 intake using three 24-hour dietary recall interviews. CU traits and antisocial behavior were evaluated through caregiver-reported questionnaires. The analysis controlled for various factors, including age, sex, race, total energy intake, BMI, social adversity, ADHD or learning disability diagnosis, and internalizing behavior.
Researchers' Summary of Findings:
The key finding was that children with lower magnesium intake displayed higher levels of CU traits, even after adjusting for other variables. However, the intake of vitamin B6 was not significantly associated with CU traits. Similarly, neither magnesium nor vitamin B6 intake showed a significant association with general antisocial behavior. These results suggest that magnesium intake might influence the development of CU traits in children but not necessarily broader antisocial behaviors.
The study implies that dietary magnesium could play a role in managing CU traits, though it does not impact general antisocial behavior as significantly. The researchers propose further studies to explore whether magnesium supplementation or diets higher in magnesium can positively affect CU traits in children.