Dr. Abram Hoffer, PhD

Schizophrenia, Depression & Orthomolecular Medicine
by Jocelan Caldwell



Just as was customary at the previous conferences of the International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine, Dr. Abram Hoffer was the last speaker and the most honored and prominent specialist to address the audience of mainly medical practitioners. Dr. Hoffer and Dr. Humphry Osmond, were the first physicians to reverse mental illness (and other diseases) with orthomolecular medicine more than 50 years ago, at a time when they were both considered mavericks in medicine and their research was ignored.

Dr. Hoffer announced that beginning January 1st of 2006, he would no longer be a psychiatrist and medical doctor and would use his PhD. ¡°I am now a nutritionist. I have experienced a terrible and prolonged antagonism from the medical establishment. I am writing a book called The Chronic Ethically Sick Medical-Industrial Complex.¡±


A famous pathologist, Dr. Virchow, declared, ¡°No disease was ever caused by a deficiency of anything.¡± He believed that only infections caused disease. His view was a major factor in preventing the new concept that more nutrients than merely fats, carbs and protein were essential. By 1930 the vitamin concept was well established in medicine and over the next ten years major discoveries were made about how to synthesize these vitamins, why they were needed, and how to use them to prevent the known major deficiency diseases. This first paradigm of vitamin use enshrined the belief that vitamins, which were needed in very small amounts, were required merely to prevent these diseases from occurring. It is called the vitamins-as-prevention paradigm. These deficiency diseases were beriberi, pellagra, scurvy, rickets and xerophthalmia and they were prevented by making sure the food contained enough of the vitamins thiamin (B-1), niacin (B-3), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), vitamin D and vitamin A. It followed that these nutrients were never needed for any other conditions and never in amounts more than would be normally present in our food. By 1950 this paradigm was as well established as The Commandments written in stone. One result was that the medical profession fell for the hypothesis that anyone eating a good diet would never need to take any extra vitamins. This is still an article of faith in the healing professions and especially in the holy Recommended Daily Allowances pushed and enforced by governments worldwide. So Dr. Hoffer asked: ¡°What would you call starvation?¡±


¡°In the 1800¡¯s, negative changes to our diets started with the removing of nutrients from flour to make it white and giving the rest of the nutrients to the peasants. That was the beginning of losing the B vitamin content in our basic food supply. There was a major pandemic from 1850 to 1942 when one third of patients admitted to mental hospitals in the southeastern U.S. were ill due to a heavy diet of corn and salt pork and they called it pellagra. (If they had had a better diet, it would have been called schizophrenia.)¡± Dr. Joseph Goldberger, by his discovery that pellagra was caused by a deficiency of food which did not provide enough vitamin B-3, prevented more mental disease than the whole profession of psychiatry ever has. As a result of his findings the United States government made the brilliant decision to mandate the addition of niacinamide to white flour.


Dr. Hoffer referred back to cases in the 1950¡¯s, when it was a life sentence to be admitted to a mental institution. ¡°In 1950, we had 50 different psychoses and now the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition) has over 300. Psychiatry does not look for causes now. This is not done today. In modern psychiatry, each diagnostic term is merely a description and has little value in directing treatment. In 1952, as the Director of Psychiatric Research for Saskatchewan, Dr. Hoffer had a patient with catatonic schizophrenia who had been given electric shock treatment and was in an insulin coma which made him even more ill.

The patient was in a coma, dying and could not swallow. He was given niacin and vitamin C using a stomach tube. The next day, he sat up and was able to drink the solution and one month later was normal and went home. This was the first mentally ill person Dr. Hoffer was aware of being given mega doses of vitamins.


Also, in the 1960s, Dr. Hoffer had suggested giving niacin to a 12 year old schizophrenic boy, who had been declared permanently and hopelessly mentally ill. His father, a physician, acting on information from Dr Hoffer, obtained niacin in 500 milligram tablets. But his son¡¯s psychiatrist refused to give it to him, telling him that the niacin would ¡°fry his brain¡± and that they had tried it and it did not work.  www.orthomolecular.org & www.orthomed.org


These were both lies. However, the boy was a sugar junkie and every day his father secretly fed him sandwiches of white bread, jam and niacin. That institutionalized young man became well, grew up and became a doctor himself and it was all due to niacin! The oldest Canadian of 112 years, (not having been mentally ill in her later years), died recently. Dr. Hoffer treated her many years ago with niacin. And she, too, became completely well. (¡°With niacin,¡± he added, ¡°there is also the need to add selenium and vitamin B6.¡±) ¡°At one time, one percent of the population was thought to have schizophrenia,¡± said Dr. Hoffer, ¡°but the real figure is probably closer to two percent, as it is becoming more common. Why are we having so many people with schizophrenia today? The schizophrenic genes, which are good genes, must be fed properly, which means giving them the right B vitamins. At this rate, in 1 million years, we will all be schizophrenic and no one will be sick because the proper B vitamins will be added to our food (hypothetically).¡± Dr. Hoffer stated that 90 percent of schizophrenia patients who have been sick less than two years, can become normal with orthomolecular vitamin therapy. He suggested that adding more niacinamide to our food would in a few decades greatly reduce the incidence of schizophrenia, as it did for pellagra in 1942. All we have to do is what was done in 1942 in the U.S., which is to add niacinamide to flour at the cost of mere pennies. ¡°Let¡¯s drop the name schizophrenia. It is wrong. It has social stigma. It has no scientific merit. It does not indicate the cause and never indicates the correct treatment. It is really one of the forms of pellagra - call it pellagra.¡± Notes for under the pictures on page 7. first: Jocelan Caldwell, writer, researcher, organizer and Reiki practitioner second: Dr. Hoffer, PhD and Frances Fuller, RNCP at their Orthomolecular Vitamin Information Centre, Victoria, 1-250-386-8756, www.orthomolecularvitamincentre.com.


Both are ¡°Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioners¡±. third: Dr. Hoffer with Dr. Steven Carter, of International Schizophrenia Foundation (ISF)


And below this: from: www.doctoryourself.com ¡°Schizophrenia Cured,¡± Ursuline Sister Theresa Feist has presented all who wish to know with the way out of schizophrenia. Until I read her book, I had never seen an appreciation of orthomolecular medicine illustrated with prayerful line drawings and Biblical quotes. May I say that I like the presentation very much. Here is the testimony of a woman who has chosen a life of selfless service. In the early 1970¡¯s, she experiences the depths of mental distress. Then, after a no-sugar diet and niacin supplementation three times a day, she experiences cure in 19 days flat. She publishes her story and then proceeds to write a second book, ¡°Spirituality and Holistic Living.¡± Then she goes on to found and operate a residential facility which, in the good Quaker tradition that Dr Abram Hoffer has often mentioned, offers compassionate care and good food to those most in need. It is called the Flaman-Morris Home, Inc. and is located in Lebret, Saskatchewan. With a small but dedicated staff, it offers up to eight people at a time, nutrition for body, mind and spirit. Think of it as an orthomolecular retreat house. Dr. Abram Hoffer wrote, ¡°The ¡°Sister Teresa Feists¡± of the world are the people who move mankind.¡± Sister writes directly to the heart, saying: ¡°There is no reason why information should be withheld from the public. There is no reason why government support should not be swift in coming. There is no reason why I should not tell my story. Read it, please and pass it on.¡± Resources & reading at: www.orthomolecularvitamincentre.