Vitamin D deficiency doubles the risk of schizophrenia
This is according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Schizophrenia is a mental illness with a range of symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations. Schizophrenia is more prevalent in high latitudes and cold climates. This led researchers to speculate that perhaps vitamin D may be connected to the condition.
Vitamin D is necessary for the body to absorb calcium and is needed for bone and muscle health. Your skin produces vitamin D after exposure to sunshine. You can also obtain smaller amounts of vitamin D through foods such as egg yolks, wild salmon and butter. It is thought that more than 1 billion people around the world are vitamin D deficient due to limited sunshine exposure. You may find a vitamin D supplement to be of assistance.
New studies are uncovering the importance of vitamin D for mental health. This particular study found that people with schizophrenia had significantly lower levels of vitamin D in their blood compared to healthy people. People with vitamin D deficiency were 2.16 times more likely to have schizophrenia than those with adequate vitamin D in their bloodstream. Furthermore, 65 percent of the participants who had schizophrenia were vitamin D deficient.
"There is a growing trend in the nutrition science field to consider vitamin D and its relationship to conditions such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and depression," said Ahmad Esmaillzadeh, PhD, of the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Isfahan, Iran. "Our findings support the theory that vitamin D may have a significant impact on psychiatric health. More research is needed to determine how the growing problem of vitamin D deficiency may be affecting our overall health."
Reference: The Endocrine Society. "Vitamin D deficiency raises risk of schizophrenia diagnosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2014.