Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Clin Cases. Oct 6, 2021; 9(28): 8295-8311
Published online Oct 6, 2021. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v9.i28.8295
Nutrition, nutritional deficiencies, and schizophrenia: An association worthy of constant reassessment
Olakunle James Onaolapo, Adejoke Yetunde Onaolapo
Olakunle James Onaolapo, Behavioural Neuroscience/Neuropharmacology Unit, Department of Pharmacology, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Osun State 234, Nigeria
Adejoke Yetunde Onaolapo, Department of Anatomy, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Osun State 234, Nigeria
Author contributions: Both authors contributed equally to the writing of this manuscript.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare that there is no any conflicts of interest.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Adejoke Yetunde Onaolapo, MBBS, MSc, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Department of Anatomy, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Osun State 234, Nigeria.
Received: February 28, 2021
Peer-review started: February 28, 2021
First decision: April 20, 2021
Revised: May 4, 2021
Accepted: August 10, 2021
Article in press: August 10, 2021
Published online: October 6, 2021

Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder that occurs worldwide, cutting across cultures, socioeconomic groups, and geographical barriers. Understanding the details of the neurochemical basis of schizophrenia, factors that contribute to it and possible measures for intervention are areas of ongoing research. However, what has become more evident is the fact that in targeting the neurochemical imbalances that may underlie schizophrenia, the type of response seen with currently available phamacotherapeutic agents does not provide all the answers that are needed. Therefore, the possible contribution of non-pharmacological approaches to schizophrenia management is worthy of consideration. In recent times, research is beginning to show nutrition may play a possibly significant role in schizophrenia, affecting its development, progression and management; however, while attempts had been made to examine this possible relationship from different angles, articles addressing it from a holistic point of view are not common. In this review, we examine existing scientific literature dealing with the possible relationship between nutrition and schizophrenia, with a view to elucidating the impact of diet, nutritional deficiencies and excesses on the aetiology, progression, management and outcome of schizophrenia. Secondly, the effect of nutritional supplements in prevention, as sole therapy, or adjuncts in schizophrenia management are examined.

Keywords: Diet, Brain, Mental health, Nutritional psychiatry, Psychosis, Schizophrenia spectrum disorders

Core Tip: Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder with a significant socioeconomic burden and a complex pathophysiology. As the relationships that potentially link nutrition to the expression of symptoms and the progression of schizophrenia are becoming more apparent, the role of nutrition in schizophrenia management is becoming more important than previously thought. However, despite our current knowledge of the possible links between nutrition and schizophrenia, and some tentative pathways for this relationship, the larger challenge remains how to get to the point where precision dietary manipulation becomes a widely-accepted approach to schizophrenia prevention and a day-to-day management strategy.