Insufficient vitamin D levels can increase schizophrenia risk, according to a new research. The latest study has found a link between vitamin D deficiency and a person’s risk of developing schizophrenia, one of the major causes of disability worldwide, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Symptoms of schizophrenia include hallucinations, cognitive problems, and delusions. However, researchers explain several factors such as exposure to some viruses or the presence of certain sets of genes can cause the risk. Some researchers say that low vitamin D levels may cause risk of this condition.
Now, a new study suggests that newborn infants with vitamin D deficiency are more at risk of developing schizophrenia later in life. The teams of researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark and the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia led the study. Their findings now appear in the journal Scientific Reports. The authors note that in Denmark, low levels of vitamin D in newborn babies may caused approximately 8 percent of all schizophrenia cases.
The team behind the new study analyzed the data of 2,602 people in Denmark. They assessed blood samples of babies born in Denmark in 1981–2000 and looked at their vitamin D levels.
The researchers found that babies who had insufficient vitamin D levels at the birth time were at a 44 percent higher risk of developing schizophrenia later.
“We hypothesized that low vitamin D levels in pregnant women due to a lack of sun exposure during winter months might underlie this risk, and we investigated the association between vitamin D deficiency and risk of schizophrenia,” lead study author Prof. John McGrath said.