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Nutrition and Mental Illness: An Orthomolecular Approach to Balancing Body Chemistry Paperback – April 1, 1988

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Healing Arts Press (April 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892812265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892812264
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A proper biochemical balance is necessary to mental as well as physical health. In Nutrition and Mental Illness, Pfeiffer details how deficiencies (and excesses) of various nutrients can lead to imbalances that result in mood swings, manic-depressive states, schizophrenia and antisocial behavior. Pfeiffer also explains how these conditions are treated with nutrients rather than drugs; he calls the latter 'a door that leads nowhere." (Health Foods Business)

"Many of the chapters outline possible causes and nutritional treatment for different mental disorders-from depression to senility. His methods may be a valuable adjunct to traditional therapies, and may offer hope to those who have had no success with those therapies." (Let's Live)

"Nutrition and Mental Illness is very readable for physician and patient, presenting itself almost as a cookbook for approaching mental illness and most chronic physical illnesses." (Jonathan Collin, M.D., Townsend Letter for Doctors)

About the Author

Carl C. Pfeiffer Ph.D., M.D. was the Director of the Brain Bio Center in Princeton, New Jersey. 

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Customer Reviews

This book is the perfect introduction to his findings for lay readers.
lector avidus
This book has some very good insight into areas of emotional / mental challenges that are not usually considered.
Take Time to Heal
Pfeiffer's work was foundational to the advance of orthomolecular treatment for mental illness and schiophrenia.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 76 people found the following review helpful By R. Eye on November 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
Dr. Carl Pfeiffer is deceased (probably why the clinic is no more) but his research lives on. I believe a colleague took over and started a new center with a different name. Dr. Pfeiffer called the condition pyroluria, however, I believe his successors call it zinc and magnesium deficiency. A neighbor sought treatment for her daughter from the Pfeiffer Treatment Center, (when it existed) which at that time also offered temporary satellite facilities so people didn't need to travel to NJ. Her daughter improved so drastically it was amazing. Diagnosed with mental illness, as long as she stayed on the supplements, she was functional. Pfeiffer took hair samples from all the serial killers on death row and found one unifying trait - these vitamin deficiencies. I first saw Dr. Pfeiffer on the Phil Donohoe years ago. I wrote down his name and the term for the condition and then in college did a research paper on the Biochemistry of Crime, using Dr Pfeiffer's research as part of my assertion. All I can say, is don't knock it unless you've tried it. I have seen living proof that his research premise is sound.

After all, we already know that the food we eat does not actually provide the nutrients that the FDA claims they do since 40 years ago an orange offered more vitamin C than it has in it today. The beef today is more marbled with fat than 40 years ago since cattle used to be free range and so had more muscle and less fat in their tissue. And how does every living mammal (including humans) deal with toxins? They are stored in the fat cells. So if you eat beef marbled with more fat than 40 years ago, you are consuming more toxins (from the cattle) too. With digestive problems fast becoming an explosive problem in the U.S., is it any wonder that whatever is consumed may not be absorbed even if it provided the nutrients it was supposed to?
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114 of 119 people found the following review helpful By lector avidus on November 17, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author of this book, Carl Curt Pfeiffer, MD, PhD, was the Chair of the Pharmacology Department at the Emory University, which is known for its superb psychiatric research. At some point in his career, the State of New Jersey tasked him with investigating the causes of the more serious mental illness such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Not only do these illnesses cause huge disruptions to the lives of those so afflicted, but also are a significant burden to the taxpayer.

After doing all sorts of tests - examining patients' blood and urine for unusual substances and characteristics, looking at hair mineral contents and much, much, more Dr. Pfeiffer, (and some coworkers) announced that they had made a number of breakthroughs. 30 some percent of this patient population, they announced, had a previously unknown form of Wilson's disease, a disease in which toxic copper accumulates in the brain. Another 30 some percent had a disorder in their body's ability to synthesize hemoglobin, which caused the depletion of vitamins crucial to a well-tempered brain. Another 10 or so percent had very unusual blood chemistries, yet another 10 percent or so suffered under food allergies that went undiagnosed because they only affected the brain. Dr. Pfeiffer attributed the last 10 percent to various rare or unknown causes. Even more dramatically, Pfeiffer found that all of the conditions he had discovered could be treated with nutritional supplements instead of expensive and side-effect laden medications. Interestingly enough, Ashley Bush, a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, is reporting that some forms of Alzheimer's most likely are caused by the same tendency to accumulate copper that Dr. Pfeiffer identified.
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58 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Fineas T. Dogsnatch on August 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
Some of the reviewers below apparently have not done much homework, but are willing to shoot from the hip. Who cares if the former Brain-Bio Center was only near Princeton and now has a new name? Life goes on and Ignorance is Bliss, but millions of Americans and many more worldwide are finding out that nutrients are medicine: fundamental, curative, and supportive/restorative in nature, far superior treatments to antagonistic prescription meds in most cases. It's case dependent.

I have been taking a megavitamin/mineral/fatty acid and very good nutritional regimen for 2 1/2 years. Basically, I'm a different person: much healthier, more energetic, confident, more productive, creative, enthused, and able to help others, and loving it~! This field of orthomolecular medicine and psychiatry is the preeminent methodology for effectively, naturally, and inexpensively improving body, brain, and behavioral health.

Overall, it is the safest and most cost-effective therapeutic regime by far. It needs to be taught, learned, applied, researched, and ramified throughout our failing health care system to revitalize it with life-giving elements that are in our food to begin with!

The results of orthomolecular doctors such as Hoffer, Cass, Holford, Gambee, Riordan, and dozens of others are in a different category than conventional medical providers. It is like trying to compare a natural orange and some strange orange-flavored candy (orthomolecular medicine vs. drug-based therapy).

Most doctors recognize the strategic limits and theoretical & practical problems with their trade--it is allopathic, relying on powerful unnatural agents to suppress, stimulate, or knock out disease, while other problems break out elsewhere from the effects of the same drug.
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