People who are actively having schizophrenia experiences have significantly lowered Vitamin D levels compared to people “in remission,” according to research in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology.
“Vitamin D deficiency is one of the implicated factors in ethio-pathogenesis of schizophrenia,” wrote a team of Turkish psychiatric researchers. “However, the question is still not answered: Is there a correlation between disease activity and serum vitamin D levels?”
The researchers examined 41 people “with schizophrenia in remission,” 40 patients undergoing an “acute episode,” and 40 matched controls “with no major psychopathology.” They found that the people having an acute episode on average had less than half the levels of Vitamin D as patients in remission or healthy controls.
They attempted to find causes for the differences such as sun exposure or nutrition, but could not detect any.
“Even though important factors for vitamin D synthesis were similar, there was severe vitamin D deficiency in patients presenting with an acute episode, significantly different from those in remission,” concluded the researchers. “Is vitamin D deficiency the result or the cause of an acute episode? Our results contribute to the idea that vitamin D deficiency and schizophrenia may have interactions with an unknown pathway… Appropriate further treatment with add-on vitamin D supplements and diets that are rich in vitamin D should be considered.”
(Abstract) Correlation between total vitamin D levels and psychotic psychopathology in patients with schizophrenia: therapeutic implications for add-on vitamin D augmentation (Yüksel, Rabia Nazik et al. Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology. Published online before print October 20, 2014. doi: 10.1177/2045125314553612)