An increased intake of B vitamins can help improve concentration and other cognitive skills in young patients that are about to develop schizophrenia and other psychoses, according to a study conducted by scientists from Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Australia. Here, it is important to consider all the different factors that may lead to a deficiency of the essential B vitamins, including unhealthy diets, too much sugar, energy beverages, alcohol, and other stimulants. It appears that the unhealthy lifestyle that many youngsters have increases their risk of psychoses. It is therefore not enough to treat them with anti-psychotic drugs and psychological therapy, if the brain and the nervous system lack essential nutrients.
Vitamin B3 plays a crucial role in our brain and nervous system, and it is also important for our mental well-being. Studies suggest that lack of vitamin B3 increases the risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and schizophrenia. Moreover, epidemiological studies show that diets without vitamin B3 in them tend to cause aggression and an increased rate of homicide. Too little B3 can be caused by dietary shortages and environmental factors, but it also appears that some people have an increased need for the nutrient due to genetic variations and problems with utilizing the vitamin.
The link between low vitamin D levels in neonates and the development of schizophrenia later in life
There are countless reasons why an expecting mother must make sure to get plenty of vitamin D to support the health of her child. Neonates that lack vitamin D are 44% more likely to develop schizophrenia later in life compared with neonates that do not have a vitamin D deficiency. This was demonstrated by Danish and Australian researchers in a recent study. This vital knowledge may help prevent schizophrenia in the future, and the scientists therefore recommend more focus on the importance of having adequate vitamin D levels during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, vitamin D plays an important role in the bone development of the unborn child, in the brain, and in other functions. Maternal lack of vitamin D during pregnancy may therefore have serious consequences for the fetus and its development. This also goes for the development of neurons in the dopamine-producing area of the brain, which can most likely result in dysfunctions of the dopamine balance, a problem that is seen in young individuals and adults with schizophrenia. This was demonstrated in a new study that is published in Journal of Neurochemistry. The study supports an earlier review article where it was seen that early stages of psychotic disorders like schizophrenia are linked to severe deficiencies of vitamin D and other nutrients with vital importance to brain health, especially during pregnancy.