Over the years, researchers have pointed to a potential link between vitamin D deficiency and neuropsychiatric illness, including major depressive disorder and schizophrenia. A new report provides further evidence that confirms the association between low vitamin D and bipolar disorder. A group of Dutch researchers published their findings in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology.
It is estimated that 1 billion people have insufficient levels of vitamin D due to poor diet and a lack of exposure to sunlight. Also, increased prevalence of vitamin D deficiency has been reported in individuals who suffer from serious, chronic psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and depression. Until now, however, the evidence of vitamin D deficiency among patients who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder is limited.
For the current cross-sectional study, researchers recruited 118 adults from an outpatient clinical for bipolar disorder. They also included patients diagnosed with schizophrenia (n=149) or schizoaffective disorder (n=53). Their main aim was to assess whether low vitamin D levels were more prevalent among outpatients with psychiatric conditions than among the general Dutch population, and to compare the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency between outpatients with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or schizoaffective disorder.