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Schizophrenia does not yet have a cure so the standard treatment options available focus on eliminating the symptoms as opposed to eliminating the illness as what causes the condition remains unknown.
A meta-analysis (large-scale review of existing research) reviewed data from 18 separate clinical trials (total of 832 psychiatric patients that were under antipsychotic treatment) and concluded that B vitamins have a positive effect on schizophrenia symptoms significantly reducing schizophrenia symptoms
Schizophrenia affects around 1 percent of the population worldwide with most of those affected being men. The debilitating mental health condition includes severe symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions, but also cognitive dysfunction and agitated body movements. Additionally, so-called negative symptoms range from not taking pleasure in daily activities anymore, to reduced speaking, reduced emotional expression, and the inability to engage in activities. Antipsychotic drugs appear to be effective within the first few months of treatment, but long-term outcomes seem to be poor. Nearly 80 percent of patients experience a relapse of symptoms such as hallucinations and delusional thinking. So this new research suggests that in addition to these standard treatments, a high dose of B vitamins may be more helpful in reducing schizophrenia symptoms than conventional treatments on their own. Low doses of the vitamins were revealed to be ineffective. Furthermore, the analysis showed that vitamin B supplements are most effective when taken early on in the development of the disease. The studies reviewed showed B-vitamins to be most beneficial in patients whose illness lasted the shortest amount of time.
Jerome Sarris, a professor of integrative mental health at Western Sydney University in Australia and co-author of the review, weighed in on the findings:
“This builds on existing evidence of other food-derived supplements, such as certain amino-acids, [being] beneficial for people with schizophrenia. These new findings also fit with our latest research examining how multi-nutrient treatments can reduce depression and other disorders.”Jerome Sarris
The researchers note that more studies are needed to understand exactly how nutrients impact the brain and how they can improve mental health, cognitive functioning, and metabolic health.
This study is not surprising. We all have heard many times that we are what we eat. Diet is so important to maintaining health and so with that being said, if you have schizophrenia, perhaps try buying high dose B-vitamins, but more importantly, make sure you eat a balanced diet.