Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Vitamin D / Schizophrenia

Nord J Psychiatry. 2016;70(4):262-6.
Low levels of vitamin D poorly responsive to daylight exposure in patients with
therapy-resistant schizophrenia.
P A M Bogers J(1), Bostoen T(2), G Broekman T(3).
(1)a Jan P.A.M. Bogers, Mental Health Services Rivierduinen , High Care Clinics ,
Oegstgeest , the Netherlands. (2)b Tijmen Bostoen, Mental Health Services
Rivierduinen , High Care Clinics , Oegstgeest , the Netherlands. (3)c Theo G.
Broekman, Bureau Beta , Nijmegen , the Netherlands.
BACKGROUND: Low vitamin D levels are associated with schizophrenia, but the
possible association between vitamin D levels and illness severity or duration of
exposure to daylight has barely been investigated.
AIMS: To compare vitamin D levels in therapy-refractory severely ill
schizophrenia patients and members of staff. To investigate the influence of
daylight exposure on vitamin D levels in patients.
METHODS: Vitamin D was measured in patients with therapy-resistant schizophrenia
in April, after the winter, and in patients and staff members in June, after an
exceptionally sunny spring. Vitamin D levels in April and June were compared in
patients, and levels in June were compared in patients and staff. The influence
of daylight was taken into account by comparing the time patients spent outdoors
during the day with the recommended minimum time for adequate vitamin D
synthesis, and by comparing time spent outdoors in patients and staff.
RESULTS: Patients had high rates of vitamin D deficiency (79-90%) and lower
levels of vitamin D than staff members (p < 0.001), independent of skin
pigmentation. In patients, vitamin D levels did not normalize, despite the
considerably longer than recommended exposure of the skin to daylight (p < 0.001)
and the longer exposure in patients than in staff members (p = 0.003).
CONCLUSION: The vitamin D deficiency of therapy-resistant schizophrenia patients
is pronounced and cannot be explained by differences in skin pigmentation or by
an inactive, indoor lifestyle on the ward. Even theoretically sufficient exposure
of the patients to daylight did not ameliorate the low vitamin D levels.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: While vitamin D deficiency probably plays a role in
somatic health problems, it may also play a role in schizophrenia. Interestingly,
exposure to daylight during an unusually sunny spring was not sufficient to
correct the vitamin D deficiency seen in the patients. This emphasizes the need
to measure and correct vitamin D levels in these patients

My son’s doctor started testing him years ago and found his D level very low, he prescribed a 50,000 unit capsule once a week and his levels are now within normal range. If he stops taking the capsules the levels drop again so he stays on them. Good information. Thanks.

I had low vitamin D and boosting it helps me.

My son supplements 10,000 iu daily (except when he forgets). His olfactory hallucination stopped after 2 weeks on this dose. Obviously it could be a coincidence but it is something he willingly supplements now.