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The Nutritional Aspects of Schizophrenia

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MadArtist Views: 6,063
Published: 14 years ago
This is a reply to # 1,244,764

The Nutritional Aspects of Schizophrenia

North Star: I copied some short snapshots from a document that may be of interest to you and your question about investigating options and searching for answers.

I hope some of these synopses prove to be good clues. The link to the complete article is at the end of these snippets. I found it interesting to note a drop in Vitamin C mentioned, as you had posted about loose teeth just below and one of the references I had posted there specifically mentioned low Vit C as a possible cause for loose teeth.

BTW: Mr. Plesman – a psychiatrist with post graduate diploma in clinical nutrition posts here in CZ – search out his name and check his site out it has the most amazing collection of information on nutrition, body chemistry, loads of reference documents and links.

Again, all the best to you in your search

MadArt (ist)


The Nutritional Aspects of Schizophrenia
Jurriaan Plesman, BA (Psych), Post Grad Dip Clin Nutr

Excerpts: (for full context please see the link at the end)

“Many if not most major tranquilizers
deplete riboflavin, vitamin B12, folic acid and
vitamin C. The latter may reduce the effectiveness
of the drugs (Graedeon 291). Side
effects of psychotropic drugs seem to be caused
by interference with nutrients. Knowledge of
the drug/nutrient interactions may provide
steps to reduce adverse reactions.”

In fact, schizophrenia or any other psychotic
disorders could be affected by a number
of dysfunctions along the route of nutritional
digestion. There are about 22 digestive enzymes
capable of digesting carbohydrates,
proteins, sugars and fats. Magnesium is involved
in about 400 enzymatic reactions, 1 per
cent of which is in the extracellular fluid, thus
normal magnesium levels can exist in situations
of intracellular depletion.(Lopez
MJ,1997) Zinc is a constituent of about 200
enzymes (Florence et al. 58).

Patients should ensure that they have adequate
intake of vitamins by taking a B-complex
vitamin supplements as a starting point.
But let us be aware that normal dosages may
be ineffective in some individuals. For example
a deficiency of vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
alone may present symptoms of chronic fatigue,
irritability, memory loss, personality
changes (such as aggression), insomnia, anxiety,
restlessness, night terrors, appetite loss,
sensitivity to noise, numbness and tingling in
hands and feet, and circulation problems for
those requiring higher doses.

Another example is, the finding that many
schizophrenic patients lack hydrochloric acid
in the stomach, which is a protective barrier
against diseases further down the digestive
tract. Consequently, proteins are partially broken
down into polypeptides setting up autoimmune
reactions which result in ‘schizophrenic’
symptoms. Thus it may pay for patients
to take digestive enzymes; such as betaine
hydrochloride, Papain, probiotics (acidophilus),
dandelion root, gentian, Goldenseal,
Milk thistle, Yarrow, chamomile. A
Heidelberg analysis can tell if the stomach
acid level is within normal range.”

“Results suggest that some, but not all,
people with schizophrenia may benefit from a
gluten-free/dairy-free diet and the best way is
to have this tested by your doctor or by trial
and error. (See “Finding your Allergies” at the
Hypoglycemic Health Association of Australia”
web site).

There has been several studies showing
that schizophrenics have elevated copper levels,
although this has been disputed by others.
When copper levels are high, the levels of
vitamin C and zinc drop.”

Nevertheless, the role of vitamin B6 in
psychotic disorder can not be underestimated.
It is required for the conversion of glutamine
to GABA. Pfeiffer claims that when the blood
circulation shows elevated amounts of
“kryptopyroles”, it binds with both B6 (pyridoxine)
and zinc, which are then excreted in
the urine thereby causing their

“Zinc deficiency can also block
omega-6 essential fatty acid metabolism into
gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and
dihomogamma-linolenic acid (DGLA).
(Cunnane SC et al.) As in diabetes, patients
may have dysfunctional desaturases (enzymes)
causing a blockage in the conversion of essential
fatty acids into GLA or EPA. A natural
forerunner of essential fatty acids, both omega-
6 and omega-3 is flaxseed oil or walnut oil. In
any case, supplementation with essential fatty
acids in the form of GLA (found in Evening
Primrose Oil) and fishoil (Max EPA) have
been shown to improve symptoms, including
side effects of anti-psychotic medication.”

Full document (go to page 7 for this full article):

Here’s another site link, also provided by Mr. Plesman in his website:


“Today I take amino acids and I use natural progesterone religiously. I take a vitamin B complex. I take omegas (oils like in fish oil), vitamin E and other things. From a person who couldn’t get out of bed and would go between not getting out of bed and committing suicide to becoming very violent, I am a high functioning person today and the thing I am very excited and passionate about is sharing the message with other people and especially adolescents. So thanks Safe Harbor for what you are doing.”

Nutrientscure – a CZ member has written extensively about mental illness and aminoacids, it may be worth searching out his posts to see if anything makes sense for you.

Here’s what google turned up on a quick search:


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