The British Journal of Psychiatry
Thiamine, riboflavin and pyridoxine deficiency in psychiatric in-patients.
M W Carney, A Ravindran, M G Rinsler, D G Williams


One hundred and seventy-two successive admissions to a district general hospital psychiatric unit were examined. Routine psychiatric, drug and dietary histories were taken and signs of avitaminosis B specifically noted. Red cell transketolase (for thiamine deficiency), glutathione reductase (for riboflavin deficiency) and aspartate transaminase (for pyridoxine deficiency) were measured. Of the patients, 53 per cent were deficient in at least one vitamin, 12 per cent in more than one (30 per cent in thiamine, 27 per cent in riboflavin and 9 per cent in pyridoxine). Schizophrenics and alcoholics were significantly over-represent in those patients low in thiamine and in more than one vitamin. Patients with an affective disorder had low riboflavin and low pyridoxine. It is suggested that affective changes are characteristic of riboflavin and pyridoxine deficiency.