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July 1963

Hippuric Acid Excretion, Coffee, and Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

Present address: Neuropathology Unit of the Indian Council of Medical Research, Post-Graduate Research Laboratories, J.J. Group of Hospitals, Byculla, Bombay-8, India (Dr. Dastur); Adult Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health (Dr. Pollin). Laboratory of Clinical Science, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health (Dr. Mann).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;9(1):79-82. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720130081009

Urinary excretion of hippuric acid in man has at times been associated with the emotional state. Thus, institutionalized schizophrenic patients are reported to excrete abnormally low amounts of this acid, after administration of benzoic acid (Quastel and Wales, 1938; Strom-Olsen et al, 1938; and Wong, 1945), while anxiety states are believed to result in an increased excretion of hippurate (Persky et al, 1950, 1952, and Basowitz et al, 1954). The present report details an elevation of hippuric acid excretion which seemed at first related to schizophrenia, but was found to be correlated to an increased intake of coffee.

Material and Methods  Two populations, one schizophrenic and one normal, were maintained, in separate but identical wards, receiving a similar and planned hospital diet (McDonald et al, 1958) and had ad lib access to a variety of beverages including tea and coffee. They were all in good

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