The Right Molecules for Living Well

People forget about the molecules of life. We take our chemistry for granted until we get sick. Then we hope for a quick fix by using prescription molecules; there are thousands of life-saving medications. We tend to forget that over millennia of evolution, nature adapted the human body to use essential molecules, taken as nutrients.

In the 1950’s, psychiatrist Dr. Abram Hoffer and his colleagues wondered how schizophrenics could normalize their brain function. Dr. Hoffer and Dr. Osmond researched the biochemistry of schizophrenia, developed an adrenochrome hypothesis and proposed a restorative treatment using an optimum dose of natural molecules. To test their theory, the doctors did the first double blind experiments in psychiatry, using vitamins B3 (niacin) and C (ascorbic acid). Even difficult patients recovered and went back to work!

Conventional psychiatrists remained skeptical and their patients stayed at home. For over 50 years, Dr. Hoffer continued his life’s work - helping thousands of patients live well! He developed the ORTHO-M principle of orthomolecular medicine by applying the life science of biochemistry to the art of psychiatry. He was fascinated to learn that vitamins, trace minerals, amino acids, energy and enzyme co-factors can treat a range of illnesses which involve biochemical imbalances.

Dr. Hoffer wrote Vitamin B3 and Schizophrenia to explain his research methods and share clinical success stories. He treated schizophrenics with daily divided doses: 3,000 mg of vitamin B3 with 3,000 mg. of vitamin C. Many recovered. The book Finding Care for Depression - Mental Episodes & Brain Disorders has a chapter by Dr. Hoffer which explains that the lethal dose of vitamin B3 would be 300,000 mg. There is no lethal dose for vitamin C.

Dr. Hoffer does not claim to have all the answers for schizophrenia, blue moods like depression, anxiety, bipolar manic-depression, attention deficits or autistic spectrum disorders. When his patients get sick, Dr. Abram Hoffer encourages them to take therapeutic molecules. He tailors individual regimens of vital amines with other molecules to moderate their symptoms. His expert knowledge and clinical experience helps many patients recover and live well. For reasons of biochemical individuality, each patient responds best to a customized regimen: different supplements for different individuals, depending on their diagnosis, history, medical condition and genetics.

Since vitamins are part of a nutritious diet, few psychiatrists prescribe vital amines. Family doctors know about supplements because they routinely treat biochemical disorders like diabetes. Type 1 diabetics can maintain normal blood sugar levels as long as they get a daily dose of insulin, eat low-sugar diets and exercise regularly. Diabetics use the principle of restorative biochemistry by taking insulin supplements to keep well.

In his practice as an orthomolecular psychiatrist, Dr. Hoffer does not object to psychiatric medications. He knows how to prescribe low doses of drugs along with optimal supplement regimens. He helps patients restore normal brain function and live well. His patients have fewer problems with negative side effects than patients who take higher doses of powerful medications.

In May 2001, Dr. Hoffer received a standing ovation from 300 people attending a fund raiser for the Canadian Schizophrenia Foundation, in Toronto. He won an award of excellence for helping patients restore their destinies. FOR•OM Friends of Restorative Orthomolecular Medicine may not understand restorative biochemistry as well as Abram Hoffer, but they heard the proof that his ORTHO-M principle works when many happy families clapped to show their appreciation. Well done Dr. Hoffer!

by R Sealey, BSc, CA
author of Finding Care for Depression - Mental Episodes & Brain Disorders
founder of FOROM : Friends of Restorative Orthomolecular Medicine (a network of friends: patients, survivors, consumers, family and caregivers - people who want to live well with depression, bipolar, anxiety, schizophrenia, autistic and attention deficit disorders)

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