Food and Behaviour Research

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Vitamin B12, folic acid, homocysteine and vitamin D levels in children and adolescents with obsessive compulsive disorder

Esnafoğlu E, Yaman E (2017) Psychiatry Res.  2017 Aug;254: 232-237. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2017.04.032. Epub 2017 Apr 21. 

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Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a complex disorder with a poorly understood aetiopathogenesis. One carbon metabolism that includes vitamin B12, folic acid and homocysteine has been investigated in many psychiatric disorders like OCD.

In recent years, vitamin D has also been considered to contribute to many of these psychiatric disorders. In this study we investigated whether vitamin B12, homocysteine and vitamin D play a role in the aetiology of paediatric OCD.

With this aim we compared 52 children and adolescent OCD patients with 30 healthy controls. The participants were tested for vitamin B12, folic acid, homocysteine and vitamin D levels and were evaluated with a sociodemographic form, state-trait anxiety inventory 1 and 2, Kovacs Depression Inventory and Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS).

As a result we found significantly lower levels of vitamin B12 and vitamin D and higher levels of homocysteine in the patient group compared to control group (p values for all three scores were <0.001), whereas there was no significant difference between groups in terms of folate levels (p=0.083). This demonstrates that one carbon metabolism and vitamin D deficiency can play a role in the aetiology of OCD.