B Vitamins Reduce Symptom Severity in Schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia is a serious, long-term mental health disorder characterised by experiences of distorted reality (such as visual and auditory hallucinations) and cognitive impairments such as false beliefs, paranoia, and language deficits. Though many people are able to live full lives following a diagnosis of schizophrenia, for a large proportion of patients the illness destroys their quality of life and is associated with increased mortality.

Medication saves lives but the side-effects can be distressing and debilitating, so it is essential that research continues to look for safe and effective treatments for patients. A systematic review and meta-analysis published this year by an international team of researchers found that high-dose B vitamin supplementation alongside prescribed medication reduced the severity of symptoms, particularly in those with low baseline levels, high homocysteine, and when given earlier on in the illness progression. The authors conclude that further research is warranted to understand the underlying biological mechanisms and work out which combination and dosages of nutrients would have the most benefit. -

The effects of vitamin and mineral supplementation on symptoms of schizophrenia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. 10.1017/S0033291717000022