Vitamins are essential for various functions in our body. It is not without reason that doctors advise us to eat more fruits and vegetables, and even take vitamin supplements to meet the daily requirement. The hectic lives that we live, most often we tend to ignore the importance of a balanced and nutritious diet. As such our intake of vitamins and minerals hit a low, which then can cause various ailments. We need to keep reminding ourselves that these nutritional components are responsible for boosting your immunity, regulating your blood pressure, absorption of essential nutrients, bone health, skin care, eyesight, so on and so forth.
According to a new study, vitamins are also essential to maintain mental health. The researchers from University of Manchester in Britain found that treating schizophrenia patients with high-dose B-vitamins - including B6, B8 and B12 - supplements may significantly reduce symptoms of the mental disorder that affects nearly one per cent of the population more than standard treatments alone.
Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. It is a mental disorder that is characterized by abnormal social behaviour and failure to understand what is real.
(How to Boost Mental Health: Include Fruits and Vegetables in Your Daily Diet)
How Can Vitamin B Help?
The findings showed that B-vitamin interventions which used higher dosages or combined several vitamins were consistently effective for reducing psychiatric symptoms, whereas those which used lower doses were ineffective.
"Looking at all of the data from clinical trials of vitamin and mineral supplements for schizophrenia to date, we can see that B vitamins effectively improve outcomes for some patients," said lead author Joseph Firth.
Currently, treatments are based around the administration of antipsychotic drugs. Although patients typically experience remission of symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions within the first few months of treatment, long-term outcomes are poor and 80 per cent of patients relapse within five years.
B-vitamin supplements were also found most beneficial when implemented early on, as B-vitamins were most likely to reduce symptoms when used in patients with shorter illness durations. "High-dose B-vitamins may be useful for reducing residual symptoms in people with schizophrenia," Firth added.
For the study, published in Psychological Medicine, the team carried out a meta-analysis that identified 18 clinical trials with a combined total of 832 patients receiving antipsychotic treatment for schizophrenia. "The study builds on existing evidence of other food-derived supplements, such as certain amino-acids, been beneficial for people with schizophrenia," noted co-author Jerome Sarris, Professor at Western Sydney University in Australia.