Early psychosis is associated with nutritional deficiencies, new research from Australia has found, potentially presenting new avenues for improving health among the millions of people affected worldwide.
International research led by NICM Health Research Institute at Western Sydney University systematically reviewed evidence examining nutritional deficiencies in people being treated for psychotic disorders for the first time.
Early detection and treatment of psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, is thought to be critical for maximising recovery.
Previous research has shown a strong correlation between long-term schizophrenia and various nutritional deficiencies including vitamins B, C, D, and E. However, until now, no one has assessed the full range of nutritional deficiencies which may be present during the first episode of psychosis.
The researchers assessed 28 studies examining blood levels of six vitamins and 10 minerals across 2612 individuals.
"Our research has found vitamin D and folate deficiencies, previously observed in long-term schizophrenia, exist right from illness onset, and are associated with worse symptoms among young people with psychosis.
These nutrient deficiencies are linked to mental ill health
The study, led by researchers from the NICM Health Research Institute at Western Sydney University, found that deficiencies, particularly in folate (vitamin B) and vitamin D, were “significantly” more likely among those experiencing early psychosis