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Study Links Vitamin D Deficiency in The Womb to Schizophrenia

Human brain illustrated with interconnected small nervesYet another reason to take that neonatal vitamin supplement seriously. And to actually take it. A new study shows that babies born with vitamin D deficiency are more likely to develop schizophrenia as an adult.

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality.[1] People with the condition face a lifetime emotional, social, and financial consequences which also impact family and others close to them.

Causes of schizophrenia have long been a mystery, but the new study just may offer a way to reduce risk of getting it later in life. Symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, tend manifest in around age 16 to 25 although they may appear at any age.

Neurologist have previously hypothesized that schizophrenia starts in the womb. The new study appears to affirm this hypothesis, although genetic and other factors may also be at play.

The new study found babies with low levels of vitamin D are 44 percent more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia later in life, compared to those with normal levels of the vitamin.

This discovery may help prevent some cases of this extremely challenging mental condition by treating deficiencies during the earliest stages of life.

One researcher opined that since the baby is fully reliant on the mother’s vitamin D stores while in the womb, ensuring adequate levels for the mother may result in prevention of schizophrenia.

The research team used a Danish health database to identify 2602 adults with schizophrenia, who were born between 1981 and 2000. Blood samples taken at birth were analyzed for vitamin D levels. The researchers compared age and sex-matched samples with controls who did not have schizophrenia.

The researchers “confirmed” that neonatal vitamin D deficiency was associated with “significantly increased risk” of schizophrenia later in life.

Taking supplements such as a neonatal multivitamin, and now vitamin D, has never been so important. Cases of a crippling condition of the spine known as spina bifida have been reduced after it was discovered that taking folic acid (which typically comes with a neonatal comes with a neonatal multivitamin) could help prevent the condition.

It goes to show that eating healthy alone is not enough; our modern food is not what our ancestors used to eat. Forget what supplements-haters have to say and take that supplement. Not only could it do you good, but also your future generation.

Related: Vitamin D Supplements and New Moms


[1] NIH: Schizophrenia

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