Dietary Supplement Offers Hope for Schizophrenia Prevention

Perinatal supplementation of the essential nutrient choline may lead to a lower risk of children developing schizophrenia, new research suggests.

The randomized controlled trial included 93 healthy pregnant women, half of whom received choline supplementation during their last 2 trimesters of pregnancy. Their newborns also received choline soon after delivery. Results showed that the offspring who received choline perinatally had a significantly lower rate of a physiologic risk factor for schizophrenia at the age of 33 days compared with their counterparts who had received matching placebo.

In addition, the supplements were found to be safely tolerated by all mothers and infants.

“We thought that if we could get a good intervention prenatally or early postnatally, we could decrease risk for the disorder,” lead author Randy Ross, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, told Medscape Medical News. “This is really a first step towards trying to develop a prevention strategy,” explained Dr. Ross. He added that his takeaway message from the study is that finding ways to prevent a disease “may be much more effective than treating it after it comes on.”

by Deborah Brauser, Medscape

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