Assessment of dietary intake and blood fatty acid composition in patients with schizophrenia

Shih Yi Huang, Sia Shan Wu, Chih Chiang Chiu, Chian Jue Kuo, Kuan Pin Su, Mong Liang Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to evaluate the dietary intake and blood fatty acid composition of patients with schizophrenia. A dietary assessment and blood fatty acids analysis of medicated day care schizophrenic patients (n = 20) were measured and compared with a healthy control group (n = 20). The results showed that BMI and calorie intake of patients were significantly higher than those of control subjects (p <0.05). For the adjusted nutrient intake, there were no significant differences in protein, fats and carbohydrate intakes between patients and control subjects. Oleic acid, linoleic acid, α-linolenic acid, and total unsaturated fatty acid intake of patients were significant higher (p <0.05). However, intake of other unsaturated fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), were lower in patients than in control subjects. Percentage of plasma DHA and erythrocytic arachidonic acid (AA) in patients were significant lower than control subjects (p <0.05). A lower composition of both EPA and DHA in erythrocytes was also found in schizophrenic patients (p = 0.064 and p = 0.197), unfortunately, there were no significant difference. We concluded that the difference in dietary intake of patients could affect blood fatty acid composition. Since the specific polyunsaturated fatty acids as AA, EPA or DHA might play an important role in the psychopathology of schizophrenia in some studies; the symptoms of schizophrenia may be improved by education and nutritional intervention in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-30
Number of pages10
JournalNutritional Sciences Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004


  • Dietary intake
  • N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science


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