People who experience psychosis (a precursor to developing schizophrenia) could greatly benefit from B-group vitamin supplements as it helps improve their concentration skills, a new study has found.
For the study, conducted over a span of 12 weeks, 100 young patients with psychosis had to take B12, B6, and folic acid (vitamin B9) or a placebo tablet.
Researchers found a noticeable improvement in patients that were given B vitamins when it came to cognitive function - memory, attention and learning abilities. The team believe it could also prevent these skills from declining.
"This indicates the B-vitamins could have a neuroprotective effect," Kelly Allott from Orygen, an Australia-based research centre for youth mental health, told a news portal.
Researchers of this study wanted to investigate previous research that showed B vitamins could improve symptoms of people with schizophrenia. These vitamins were able to decrease patients' levels of homocysteine, an amino acid. Elevated levels of homocysteine have been found to make a patient's symptoms more severe.
"The results support a more personalised approach to vitamin supplementation in first episode of psychosis, suggesting those with elevated homocysteine are likely to benefit most." Allott further explained.
Further research is needed to better understand how nutrients can improve mental health. Schizophrenia affects close to one percent of the population around the world. Data reveals men are the most affected by this mental health condition. Hallucinations and delusions are among the common symptoms of the condition.