The Relationship Between Nutrition and Neurocognitive Function in Schizophrenia



The risk of developing major health problems such as coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and diabetes is significantly higher for people with schizophrenia than it is for the general population. People with schizophrenia are likely to die 10 years younger than other people because of their physical health. Diet, lifestyle, and psychiatric treatment contribute significantly to these risks. Anthropological studies have found a relationship between wheat consumption and hospitalization for schizophrenia. Supportive evidence from biological studies have found gluten and gliadin antibodies to be more prevalent in people with schizophrenia than their relatives. Clinical studies have shown that a gluten-free/reduced diet can provide beneficial outcomes in terms of a reduction in the positive symptoms of schizophrenia and reduced risks of hospitalization. A high ratio of saturated fatty acids to polyunsaturated fatty acids in the national diet and the consumption of refined sugar and dairy products have been linked to poorer outcomes in schizophrenia. Clinical trials that have used polyunsaturated fatty acid supplements for people with schizophrenia show positive changes to schizophrenia symptom outcome when given along with or without antipsychotic medication. This chapter will review the evidence that supports these issues relating to diet for people who have schizophrenia.


Celiac Disease Antipsychotic Medication MTHFR Gene Physical Health Outcome Atypical Antipsychotic Medication 



Coronary heart disease


Claudin 5


Deoxyribonucleic acid


DQ beta1


Essential fatty acids


Eicosapentaeconoic acid


Immunoglobulin A


Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase


Positive and negative syndrome scale


Polyunsaturated fatty acids


Single nucleotide polymorphism


Tissue transglutaminase 2


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Health, Nursing and MidwiferyUniversity of the West of ScotlandBeech GroveUK

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