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Orthomolecular Treatment for Schizophrenia Spiral-bound – April 11, 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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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.

About the Author

McGraw-Hill authors represent the leading experts in their fields and are dedicated to improving the lives, careers, and interests of readers worldwide
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Product Details

  • Series: Good Health Guides
  • Spiral-bound: 64 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (April 11, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879839104
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879839109
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Spiral-bound
This was the first and only encouraging book of the many books I read when my son was diagnosed with schizophrenia. It was a simple little booklet, but it immediately gave me hope. All the "mainstream" psychiatrists we consulted said that my son would just have to learn to live with his condition, psychiatric drugs to the point of stupor and hospitalizations. WRONG! This is a great introduction to Dr. Abram Hoffer's work. He has been successfully treating mental illnesses and even ADD, OCD, etc. with a nutritional and vitamin approach since the mid-1960's. Because of this booklet we were actually inspired to fly all the way to Victoria, Canada to see Dr. Hoffer. We're so glad we did. Dr. Hoffer brought my son back to the point where he is now working every day, perfectly lucid and intelligent and will be resuming his interrupted education this fall. Read ALL of Dr. Hoffer's books. Each one has exceedingly valuable information for everyone, not just those with mental illness. He is a great humanitarian who gives hope where others offer none.
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Format: Spiral-bound
The fundamental bias in both medicine and dietetics rises darkly from the swamp when you even hint of a therapeutic validity for megavitamin doses. Why such resistance to such a useful nutritional tool? Perhaps because niacin therapy is really, really cheap?

Fortunately there are physicians like Dr. Hoffer who still look to the patient, and not the test tube, for their answers. A patient's therapeutic response is the highest of all guiding principles in medicine. If it works, do it.

"Pellagra" is the classic niacin deficiency disease. It was once common in the rural South where the poor had little else to eat except tryptophan-poor foods like milled corn. The symptoms are the "Three D's": diarrhea, dermatitis, and dementia. More specific pellagra symptoms include weakness, anorexia, lassitude, indigestion, skin eruptions, skin scaling, neuritis, nervous system destruction, confusion, apathy, disorientation, and insanity.

Does this sound a bit like schizophrenia?

A few physicians thought so, too. In studying mental illness, tryptophan and niacin deficits, and pellagra, some doctors noticed that psychotics and other mentally ill persons frequently have assorted pellagra-like symptoms in addition to their nervous problems. From about 1900 to the mid 1930's, perhaps up to half of persons in psychiatric hospitals had pellagra. It makes one wonder: could many forms of mental illness actually be caused by a deficiency of niacin?

In the 1950's, an insightful young psychiatrist named Abram Hoffer began clinical trials to find out. He used very high doses of niacin, with very good results. But the success, convenience and relentless advertising of later (c. 1960) "wonder drugs" diminished niacin's popularity.
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Format: Spiral-bound
Dr. Hoffer is a brilliant and extensively published author in both journals and books. His writing is very clear and he doesn't hide complexities. This book is no exception. My only complaint is that his writing does not divide topics very well for easy digestion. His mind is full of facts, and he types what he thinks.

The primary orthomolecular approach to schizophrenia is niacin or niacinamide (vitamin B3) in > 2 g/d doeses. In double-blind trials, 3 grams of niacin daily resulted in a doubling in recovery rate and a 50% reduction in hospitalization. Later double-blind trials did not reproduce the positive results, but Hoffer contends these trials were poorly designed. Subsequent research has been too meager to quote.

There are several complexities to niacin therapy. It must be at least 3,000 mg per day in divided doses. It must not be "time release" forms made by pharmaceutical companies that are dangerous and the root cause of the irrational fears of niacin. There are several forms of niacin. Make sure you follow Dr. Hoffer's guidelines. It's most effective if the patient's schizophrenia is a fairly recent development. Ignoring these issues is probably why some studies are negative.

Please keep in mind there are websites dedicated to trashing megavitamin therapy. They modify other's writings from 1998, change the wording a little, and pretend it's their own recent writing. They then copy and paste the same negative plagerism under several of Hoffer's books. On their web site they reference journal articles "disproving" megavitamin therapy but when you take a closer look at the journal articles, they are often not related to the issue at hand.
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Format: Spiral-bound
The study Chiko references is the 1973 APA report, one which was highly misleading, poorly designed and flawed. It used the wrong vitamins on the wrong patients, for all intents and purposes. To see a better explanation of why the 1973 report is misleading read Abram Hoffers retort to it 'megavitamin therapy'. it used niacin alone on chronic schizophrneics, bipolar patients & schizoaffective patients to prove that niacin & vitamin C (vitamin C reduces adrenochrome and is integral to treatment) doesn't work to treat acute schizohprenics. Using the wrong medications on the wrong patients usually doesn't work. Abram Hoffer claims in his 128 page retort to the 1973 report that nobody has recreated his studies (as of the mid 70s), all studies have been small and/or poorly designed, if not intentionally misleading like the 1973 studies. In fact, after one of the 1973 authors realized his study was poorly designed he created a well designed study and found benefits to niacin therapy. At the moment the US government is conducting a legitimate, unbiased, fair study of vitamin therapy for schizophrenia and the results should be ready by 2009. Anyone who wants to read Abram Hoffer's retort to the 1973 report should click on citation #13 under 'abram hoffer' in wikipedia. Understanding all sides of a story is necessary to making a good decision. I urge everyone here to read HOffers books, the 1973 report and HOffers 128 page retort to the 1973 retort. And always think critically while you are doing it, don't just accept one or the other at face value, always ask questions and ask for evidence.

Several recent research projects have also shown that the gene coding for the enzyme glutathione transferase, an enzyme that metabolizes adrenochrome, is defective in many acute schizophrneics.
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