According to a new review, patients with Schizophrenia, a long-term mental disorder, have low levels of Vitamins C, E, D, B12 and Folate. The studies looked at did not determine a definitive cause and effect relationship between Schizophrenia and nutritional deficiencies.
28 study articles were reviewed for this meta-analysis which involved over 2600 participants, 1221 with first-episode psychosis (FEP) and 1,391 controls. Significant reduction in Vitamin C, Vitamin D and folate were seen in the participants who had experienced FEP when compared to the control group. These nutrient deficiencies existed in participants with long-standing psychosis as well as at the onset of first-episode psychosis. Researchers also found that the difference in Vitamin D levels between the control group and the participants experiencing FEP was the most pronounced of all the nutrients. In one study researchers found the differences in participant’s folate levels were caused from genetic differences in metabolizing folate and not from dietary influences. Additionally large deficits of Vitamin C in FEP were noted in 2 studies both with small sample sizes. It was noted that this Vitamin C deficit may have been due to low vegetable and fruit intake in the group with the Vitamin C deficit. One RCT (randomized control trial) in participants undergoing their first antipsychotic treatment who supplemented with 500 mg of Vitamin C daily showed reductions in psychiatric symptoms.
The review showed that nutritional deficiencies caused from insufficient absorption or intake of nutrients is seen as potential risk factors for psychiatric conditions. Vitamin B supplementation may reduce symptoms of schizophrenia significantly and reverse some neurological deficits associated with the disorder. Additionally the antioxidants, Vitamin C and E are lower in long-term schizophrenia which might contribute to the increased levels of oxidative stress seen in this group of people.
Future research is warranted.
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