One in 100 people are diagnosed with Schizophrenia. Two thirds of schizophrenics have high histamine levels. Studies using MRI have shown that the deterioration of brain function can be reversed. Studies have also shown a decrease of glutathione, a major antioxidant, in the prefrontal cortex and the cerebrospinal fluid in patients with schizophrenia. Treating schizophrenia metabolically involves treating dysglycemia, or sugar balance, essential fatty acid imbalances, lack of enough antioxidants, niacin, B12 and folic acid therapy, the need for zinc, and food allergies such as gluten and wheat.
The breaking down of essential fats from brain cell membranes is performed by an enzyme called PLA2. This is over active in schizophrenic patients which leads to a greater requirement for essential fatty acids. Schizophrenics have lower levels of fatty acids in the frontal cortex of their brains. They need to be treated with Omega 3 fatty acids! When comparing schizophrenia worldwide, countries that intake more essential fats from fish as opposed to meat have less severe outcomes of their disease. Research has also shown that vitamin C supplementation can reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia. Niacin has found to be helpful especially when combined with vitamin B12 and folic acid. Food and chemical sensitivities may be present in people with schizophrenia. In a study of 53 patients, 64% reacted to wheat, 50% to cow’s milk, 75% to tobacco and 30% to petrochemical hydrocarbons.
A metabolic approach does not negate the benefits of pharmacological therapy but needless to say, a metabolic work up should be done as part of the general work up in any patient with schizophrenia, anxiety and/ or depression. There may be a simple solution to a seemingly complex set of symptoms! Nutritional medicine is clearly the future when it comes to many diseases and mental illness is no exception.