Dr. Abram Hoffer on the Treatment of Schizophrenia

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Dr. Abram Hoffer, MD (Medical Doctor), PhD (Doctor of Philosophy), RNCP (Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner), founder of The Orthomolecular Vitamin Information Centre.

I have a PhD from the University of Minnesota, a Medical Degree from Toronto. I’m a Fellow Neuropharmacology Physician in Canada. I became Director of Psychiatric Research in the Province of Saskatchewan of the Department of Public Health in 1950 until 1967. I was Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Saskatchewan; at that time I was in charge of very large research programs and we became known for our work in psychedelic drugs.

Orthomolecular Treatment for Schizophrenia. COMBAT SCHIZOPHRENIA WITH THE MEGAVITAMIN AND NUTRITIONAL STRATEGIES OF ORTHOMOLECULAR PSYCHIATRY - Schizophrenia is a disease and syndrome with biochemical origins that has the hallmarks of debilitating perceptual disorders and thought disturbances. Orthomolecular psychiatry, a treatment strategy that uses megadoses of vitamins B-3 and C in conjunction with correct nutrition, yields a 90 percent recovery rate in acute cases and up to 50 percent in chronic patients. This guide by the cofounder of orthomolecular therapy offers a step-by-step approach so that patients and their families will get the maximum benefits from treatment.

From the Publisher
THE MAGIC OF ORTHOMOLECULAR TREATMENT - Orthomolecular treatment of schizophrenia is a comprehensive approach that includes megavitamin therapy, nutrition, and counseling of both patient and family members. This guide, written by a cofounder of orthomolecular psychiatry, outlines the strategies you will need to get an informed diagnosis, proper treatment, and appropriate, flexible follow-up for the schizophrenic patient.

In fact, there’s a film called Psychedelic Pioneers, which on the first 10 years of our research, when we made our major discoveries about Schizophrenia and about the use of vitamins as a potentially good treatment.

In 1967, I resigned from my two jobs. They were nice cushy jobs. I didn’t have to do anything. I could have stayed there forever until I retired when I turned 65, but I didn’t want to. I wanted to help patients.

I opened a private practice in Saskatoon, moved to Victoria in 1976. At the end of that year, I surrendered my medical license for many reasons. I opened up a new business, The Orthomolecular Vitamin Information Centre. That year I was sitting in the office of OVIC (Orthomolecular Vitamin Information Centre).

Can you explain what orthomolecular is?

It was a term developed by Dr. Linus Pauling who was a good friend of mine. “Ortho” means correct. Molecule, molecule, we know what that is. [ Molecule: The smallest particle of a substance that retains the chemical and physical properties of the substance and is composed of two or more atoms; a group of like or different atoms held together by chemical forces. ]

Dr. Linus Pauling implied that the human body would function normally as long as it was able to obtain the right natural molecules that it needed in order to survive. As long as the body had the right number of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, hormones, and all these other things [nutrients], it was okay. Orthomolecular Medicine meant that we would emphasize the use of these natural components to provide treatment on the assumption that in most cases there was something wrong in these different elements [vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids, hormones, enzymes, etc.].

Dr. Linus Pauling published the term “Orthomolecular Medicine” in 1968 in an article in Science Magazine. It was a very major article. The term, Orthomolecular Medicine, was accepted with hostility, fantastic hostility and the medical community became extremely hostile to Dr. Pauling. They hadn’t heard about me so I didn’t get any of that hostility. But Dr. Pauling was a double Nobel Prize winner so he stuck his foot out. They said he was a mere PhD, in fact he had 48 of them. He also had many DSEs, Doctor of Science. But they [the medical community] said he ought not to be making any statements about the use of vitamins. In fact, it was Dr. Linus Pauling’s work with the structure of molecules and the reactions of molecules within the body that created the basis for modern medicine today.

Orthomolecular Medicine means we emphasize proper nutrition; the use of vitamins in adequate quantities, which may mean large or small. Minerals, we use everything we can to help our patients get well. We are not against drugs. We are against the ways in which drugs are used today. We are in favour of the proper use of drugs. That is, in minor quantities and get the patient off as soon as you can. So, that’s Orthomolecular Medicine.

What sort of results have you found using orthomolecular medicine?

The main difference is that our patients get well. Now, the term “cure” does not exist in psychiatry. You didn’t know that, did you? If you look in the standard psychiatric dictionary, the word “cure” has been deleted because the average psychiatric point of view is that you cannot cure anyone. You cannot cure them, you can help them. You can relieve them of some of the symptoms but you cannot cure them. So that’s why they are contend ??? with some of the schizophrenic patients, who are placed on heavy medication so he’s no longer hallucinating, he’s not longer hearing voices, and seeing visions. The fact now that he can’t function; he’s sitting at home salivating and watching television all day, psychiatrists think that’s great. After all, that’s all they’re expected to do, they’re expected to merely get them out of the hospital so they can stay at home and let their family worry about them.

On the other hand, we don’t have that view. My friends and I, in the field of orthomolecular psychiatry, we are aiming at recovery. A young patient I saw in 1973, I think it was, when he was 15 or 16, he was schizophrenic. I started him on the orthomolecular approach which meant paying attention to the right nutrition. Getting him off junk food, getting him on the right vitamins which in his case was vitamin B3, niacin. I think it was niacin. I only saw him once or twice because at that time I left Saskatoon to come here [Victoria, B.C.], so I couldn’t see him anymore. Today he is on the Professorial Staff at Oxford University in England. He’s normal, he’s been normal ever since.

I’ve seen over 5,000 schizophrenic patients. I know 17 men who were Schizophrenic in their teens, who recovered and became doctors. One today heads up a Pediatric clinic; he’s a graduate of Harvard University. One today is the head of a large psychiatric department in an American University. The third one became the head of the Canadian Psychiatric Association; he had been a patient of mine. These were young men who were seriously sick and who became doctors and who were able to practice.

[With orthomolecular medicine] We are aiming toward recovery. We can’t always get there, but we try. There are 4 things you have to do to help people get well.

1. You have to give them shelter. You never get the homeless well. You cannot treat the homeless and half the homeless are schizophrenic. They’ve been very shabbly treated. There are no shelter.

2. Secondly, you have to have good food. You have to have really good food, as we all agree with that.

3. They have to be treated with civility; they have to be treated with respect. They have to be treated as humans. Today, unfortunately, in psychiatry, too often the patients are not treated that way at all. They’re badly treated, mistreated. They’re forced to take injections against their will, even though that’s against the law in Canada.

4. The fourth aspect of treatment is what I call orthomolecular. They have to be given the right combination of nutrition, vitamins, minerals, and medication if necessary. But the medication has to be used carefully and all to make sure the medication is not damaged in that process.

The main message has to be that we have to change the system. The system is sick and corrupt. We have to change the system. Eventually we have to make the medical profession accountable. Someone has to ask the medical professional, “Why do you tolerate this?” We have to ask them that. What we need in Canada is an independent commission headed by a Judge, broad-sweeping commission to actually examine the whole issue, “Why is the medical profession not being held accountable?”

If you blame anyone, who do you blame? You blame the drug companies? You blame the hospitals? You blame the government for not putting enough money in the system? You blame the food supply? Have you ever heard of anyone saying to the medical profession, “How come you don’t do a better job?” Have you ever heard that? Well, I think this has to be examined.

If you go to a hospital and you say, “Why don’t you do better job?” They’ll say I will, give me more money, give me more staff, more doctors, more nurses. They don’t give a damn. You can give them 10 times more doctors. If you have the wrong treatment, the patients still won’t get well.

Big Pharma controls medicine today. They give huge grants to the medical schools. Often times, these medical schools don’t have time to do any other studies. They just obediently work for the drug companies. Big Pharma controls everything. In the United States alone, in [2006] they spent $19 billion dollars, $19 billion dollars a year advertising to doctors. They claim the advertising doesn’t persuade doctors, which is kind of funny. If the advertising didn’t persuade doctors, why would Big Pharma spend $19 billion trying to do that? They control the journals. Any medical journal today that you pick up, at least half the pages are drug ads. You’ll never find an ad for good food, you won’ find an ad for vitamins, you won’t find an ad for holistic health. You won’t find an ad for these things.

We are really in a terrible situation. The system is really sick. You can quote me literally. I think the system is absolutely sick and it has to be changed. I’m not the only one who says that. The Province of Ontario said the same thing. The latest Senate Committee by Senator Kirby said the same thing. If you read his report, he says [the healthcare system] is dysfunctional. He called the Canadian Health Care system dysfunctional. That means it’s sick. All these people who have looked at it, studied it, written books about it, all maintain that the healthcare system is sick. And I agree. We have to do something about it.

What do you think we should do?

We have to do what you’re doing. We have to inform the public. We have to let the public know exactly what is happening. Because right now, they don’t know.

ORTHOMOLECULAR VITAMIN INFORMATION CENTRE Inc.
2717 Roseberry Avenue, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8R 3V1
Telephone 250-386-8756 Fax 250-590-8757
ffuller@islandnet.com
http://www.orthomolecularvitamincentre.com/

EDITED TRASNCRIPT

Natural Cure for Depression, Bipolar, ADHD, Schizophrenia..
I am Dr. Abram Hoffer, MD (Medical Doctor), PhD (Doctor of Philosophy), RNCP
(Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner), founder of The
Orthomolecular Vitamin Information Centre.

I have a PhD from the University of Minnesota, a Medical Degree from Toronto.
I’m a Fellow Neuropharmacology Physician in Canada. I became Director of
Psychiatric Research in the Province of Saskatchewan of the Department of
Public Health in 1950 until 1967. I was Associate Professor of Psychiatry at
the University of Saskatchewan; at that time I was in charge of very large
research programs and we became known for our work with psychedelic drugs.
In fact, there’s a film called Psychedelic Pioneers, on the first 10 years
of our research, when we made our major discoveries about Schizophrenia and
about the use of vitamins as a potentially good treatment.

In 1967, I resigned from my two jobs. They were nice cushy jobs. I didn’t
have to do anything. I could have stayed there forever until I retired when I
retired at 65, but I didn’t want to. I wanted to help patients.

I opened a private practice in Saskatoon, moved to Victoria in 1976. At the
end of last year, I surrendered my medical license for many reasons. I opened
up a new business, The Orthomolecular Vitamin Information Centre. You are now
sitting in the office of OVIC (Orthomolecular Vitamin Information Centre).
Can you explain what orthomolecular is?

It was a term developed by Dr. Linus Pauling who was a good friend of mine.
“Ortho” means correct. Molecule – molecule, we know what that is. [
editorial note – Molecule: The smallest particle of a substance that
retains the chemical and physical properties of the substance and is composed
of two or more atoms; a group of like or different atoms held together by
chemical forces. ]

So, Dr. Pauling implied that the human body would function normally as long
as it was able to obtain the right natural molecules that it needed in order
to survive. As long as the body had the right number of amino acids,
vitamins, minerals, hormones, and all these other things [nutrients], it was
okay. Orthomolecular Medicine meant that we would emphasize the use of these
natural components to provide treatment on the assumption that in most cases
there was something wrong in these different elements [vitamins, minerals,
amino acids and fatty acids, hormones, enzymes, etc.].

Dr. Linus Pauling published the term “Orthomolecular Medicine” in 1968 in
an article in Science Magazine. It was a very major article. The term,
Orthomolecular Medicine, was accepted with hostility, fantastic hostility and
the medical profession became extremely hostile to Dr. Pauling. They hadn’t
heard about me so I didn’t get any of that hostility. But Dr. Pauling was a
double Nobel Prize winner so he stuck his foot out. They said he was a mere
PhD, in fact he had 38 of them. He also had many DSEs, Doctors of Science.
But they [the medical community] said he ought not to be making any
statements about the use of vitamins. In fact, it was his work with the
structure of the molecules and the reactions of molecules within the body
that created the basis for modern medicine today.

Orthomolecular Medicine means we emphasize proper nutrition; the use of
vitamins in adequate quantities, which may mean large or small. Minerals, we
use everything we can to help our patients get well. We are not against
drugs. But we are against the ways in which they are being used today. We are
in favour of the proper use of drugs. That is, in minor quantities and get
the patient off as soon as you possibly can. So, that’s Orthomolecular
Medicine.

What sort of results have you found using orthomolecular medicine?
The main difference is that our patients get well. Now, the term “cure”
does not exist in psychiatry. You didn’t know that, did you? If you look in
the standard psychiatric dictionary, the word “cure” has been deleted
because the average psychiatric point of view is that you cannot cure anyone.
You cannot cure them, you can help them. You can relieve them of some of the
symptoms but you cannot cure them. So that’s why they are content if they
get a schizophrenic patient, who is placed on heavy medication and he’s no
longer hallucinating, he’s no longer hearing voices, and seeing visions.
The fact now that he is not able to function; he’s sitting at home
salivating and watching TV all day, they think that’s great, because after
all, that’s all they’re expected to do, they aren’t expected to cure
anyone. They’re expected merely to get them out of the hospital so they can
stay at home and let their family worry about them.

On the other hand, we don’t have that view. My friends and I, in the field
of orthomolecular psychiatry, we are aiming at recovery – and I’ll give
you an example. A young patient I saw in 1973, I think it was, when he was 15
or 16, he was schizophrenic. I started him on the orthomolecular treatment
approach which meant paying attention to the right nutrition. Getting him off
junk food, putting him on the right vitamins which in his case was mostly
vitamin B3, niacin. I think it was niacin. I only saw him once or twice
because at that time I left Saskatoon to come here [Victoria, B.C.], and so I
couldn’t see him anymore. Today he is on the Professorial Staff at Oxford
University in England. He’s normal, he’s been normal ever since.

I’ve seen over 5,000 schizophrenic patients. I know 17 men who were
Schizophrenic in their teens, who recovered, took medicine and became
doctors. One today heads up a large Pediatric clinic; he’s a graduate of
Harvard University. One today is the head of a large psychiatric department
in an American University (they don’t know of his history). The third one
became the head of the Canadian Psychiatric Association – they don’t know
of his history, either; he had been a patient of mine. These were young men
who were seriously sick and who became doctors and who were able to practice.
So, we are aiming toward recovery. We can’t always get there, but we try.
Now, basically there are 4 things you have to do to help people get well.

1. You have to give them shelter. You never get the homeless well. You cannot
treat homeless people, and half the homeless are schizophrenic. They’ve
been very shabbily treated. There are no shelters.

2. Secondly, you have to have good food. You have to have really good food,
as we all agree with that.

3. They have to be treated with civility; they have to be treated with
respect. They have to be treated as humans. Today, unfortunately, in
psychiatry, too often the patients are not treated that way at all. They’re
badly treated, mistreated. They’re forced to take injections against their
will, even though that’s against the law in Canada.

4. The fourth aspect of treatment is what I call orthomolecular. They have to
be given the right combination of nutrition, vitamins, minerals, and
medication if necessary. But it has to be used carefully and always to make
sure the patient is not damaged in that process.

The main message has to be that we have to change the system. The system is
sick and corrupt. We have to change the system. Eventually we have to make
the medical profession accountable. Someone has to ask the medical
professional, “Why do you tolerate this?” We have to ask them that. What
we need in Canada is an independent commission headed by a Judge,
broad-sweeping commission to actually examine the whole issue, “Why is the
medical profession not being held accountable?”

No one ever – if you blame anyone, who do you blame? You blame the drug
companies? You blame the hospitals? You blame the government for not putting
enough money in the system? You blame the food supply? Have you ever heard of
anyone saying to the medical profession, “How come you don’t do a better
job?” Have you ever heard that? Well, I think this has to be examined.
If you go to a hospital and you say, “Why don’t you do better job?”

They’ll say I will, give me more money, I need more staff, more doctors,
more nurses. They don’t give a damn. You can give them 10 times more
doctors. If you have the wrong treatment, they still won’t get well.
Big Pharma controls medicine today. They give huge grants to the medical
schools, and often times these medical schools don’t have time to do any
other studies. They’re just obediently working for the drug companies. Big
Pharma controls almost everything. They advertise – in the United States
alone, [in 2006] they spent $19 billion dollars, $19 billion dollars a year
in advertising to doctors. They claim the advertising doesn’t persuade
doctors, which is kind of funny. If it didn’t persuade doctors, why would
they spend $19 billion trying to do that? They control the journals. Any
medical journal today that you pick up, at least half the pages are drug ads.
You’ll never find an ad for good food, you won’t find an ad for vitamins,
you won’t find an ad for folic acid. You won’t find an ad for these
things.

So, we are really in a terrible situation. The system is really sick. You can
quote me literally. I think the system is absolutely sick and it has to be
changed. And I’m not the only one who says that. The Province of Ontario
said the same thing. The latest Senate Committee by Senator Kirby said the
same thing. If you read his report, he says it’s dysfunctional – well,
what does that mean? He called the Canadian Health Care system dysfunctional.
That means it’s sick. I certainly agree with all these people who have
looked at it – famous editors, writers who have written books about this,
and they all maintain that the system is sick. And I agree. We have to do
something about it.

What do you think we should do?

We have to do what you’re doing. We have to notify the public. We have to
let the public know exactly what is happening. Because right now, they
don’t know.

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