These two daily nutrients may benefit people with schizophrenia

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Research has long speculated about the connections between schizophrenia, gut health, and vitamin D levels.

Now, a recent study offers promising insights into potential treatments that could improve cognitive functions for individuals with schizophrenia, focusing on the use of probiotics and vitamin D supplements.

Published in Neuropsychopharmacology Reports, the study involved 70 adults diagnosed with schizophrenia.

These participants were divided into two groups; one received a placebo, and the other was given a combination of probiotics and 400 IU of vitamin D daily. This regimen was followed for 12 weeks.

To measure the effects of this intervention, researchers used two established tests: the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), which evaluates the severity of schizophrenia symptoms, and the 30-point Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), which assesses cognitive function.

Of the original 70 participants, 69 completed the study. Results showed an encouraging increase in MoCA scores by an average of 1.96 units in the group that took probiotics and vitamin D, compared to those who received the placebo.

Furthermore, the number of participants in the treatment group who achieved MoCA scores of 26 or higher—a score indicating normal cognitive function—increased significantly.

However, the study found no significant differences in the PANSS scores between the two groups, suggesting that while the supplements might enhance cognitive function, they don’t necessarily alter the overall severity of the disease’s symptoms.

Dr. Gita Sadighi from the University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences in Iran, who is the corresponding author of the study, commented on the findings.

She suggested that probiotics might represent a new approach to treating mental disorders by regulating the gut microbiota.

This concept aligns with emerging research that connects gut health with brain function, hinting at a complex interplay that could influence mental health conditions like schizophrenia.

This study marks a step forward in understanding how non-traditional treatments like probiotics and vitamin D supplementation can benefit cognitive aspects of schizophrenia, offering a glimmer of hope for improving the quality of life for those affected by this challenging disorder.

While more research is needed to explore these effects further and to understand the underlying mechanisms, these findings suggest a potential adjunctive treatment route that could be explored in future therapeutic strategies.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about berry that can prevent cancer, diabetes, and obesity, and the harm of vitamin D deficiency you need to know.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about the connection between potatoes and high blood pressure,  and results showing why turmeric is a health game-changer.

The research findings can be found in Neuropsychopharmacology Reports.

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