Food and Behaviour Research

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24 Aug 2015 - Nutraingredients - The link between psychosis and malnutrition

By Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn

First-time psychosis sufferers are far more likely to be deficient in micronutrients and protein than the general population – and more intervention studies are needed to explore strategies against this, say UK researchers.

Researchers from Sheffield Hallam University and the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) Rotherham Early Intervention in Psychosis Service looked at nutritional data from 143 individuals aged 19 to 64 years receiving treatment for first-episode psychosis.

The nutritional statuses of the patients, who lived within the wider community and had autonomy over their own diets, were compared with that of the general population according to data from the Food Standards Agency (FSA). 

The results showed average total energy intake was lower for males and higher for females in the cohort than the corresponding subgroups of the general national sample. 

Females in the study cohort consumed 12.9 g more total fat per day, whilst males consumed 7.7 g less protein per day than the national sample.

Males in the study also showed significantly lower average intakes of folate, iron, selenium, vitamin D and zinc, but not vitamin C.

The proportion of individuals not meeting the lower reference nutrient intakes, particularly for selenium (males 54.0% and females 57.1%) and for iron among females (29.6%) was cause for concern, the researchers wrote in the Journal of Nutritional Science