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Coeliac disease: is it a cause of schizophrenia?
About the author: 

It's amazing the number of cases of 'mental illness' that have a nutritional basis

It's amazing the number of cases of 'mental illness' that have a nutritional basis. The latest example of this to catch our eye is the likelihood that coeliac disease, an allergic reaction to gluten, can cause schizophrenia.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore followed up earlier studies that found that a cereal-free diet helped remission levels among schizophrenic patients.

They tested the theory on a group of 7,997 patients who were admitted to a Danish psychiatric unit for schizophrenia.

Even before beginning their tests, they found that four patients, five mothers of patients and three fathers of patients were already being treated for coeliac disease. They also tested for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, which have been linked to schizophrenia.

They discovered that those suffering from coeliac disease were over three times more likely to suffer schizophrenia than someone who didn't have the disease, while the risk associated with Crohn's is lower at 1.4 times, and lower still for ulcerative colitis.

(Source: British Medical Journal, 2004; 328: 438-9).


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