Food and Behaviour Research

Donate Log In

24 July 2014 - MNT - Could vitamin D deficiency increase the risk of schizophrenia?

Honor Whiteman

Past research has linked vitamin D deficiency to increased bone aging, higher risk of chronic pain among men and even increased likelihood of death from all causes. Now, a new study suggests that individuals with vitamin D deficiency are at higher risk of schizophrenia.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin found in certain foods, such as oily fish. However, the body's main source of vitamin D is from the sun.

According to the team, schizophrenia tends to be more prevalent in cold climates with high latitudes. Since vitamin D levels are primarily influenced by sunlight exposure, this spurred their research.

The researchers found that, compared with healthy participants, individuals with schizophrenia had much lower levels of vitamin D in their blood.

Around 65% of patients with schizophrenia had vitamin D deficiency, according to the researchers. In detail, they found that vitamin D levels in subjects with schizophrenia were 5.91 ng/ml lower than those of healthy participants. The researchers calculated that participants with vitamin D deficiency were 2.16 times more likely to have schizophrenia, compared with those whose vitamin D levels were normal.