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Reviews of Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone

“Thanks to the information that I read in your book, Orthomolecular Medicine For Everyone, plus the information I found on your website (and some others) I was able to do the impossible: cure my son of schizoaffective disorder. My son is now completely off his medication (Risperdal and Adivan), and is back in high school, taking advanced placement courses. He’s playing soccer and basketball, playing trumpet and trombone, and he’s got a part time job.

“Two months ago, during a “family session” at the hospital, a psychologist asked me “how it felt to have a son with a major mental illness.”  He also commented that my son would probably need to take medication for the rest of his life. A psychiatrist at the same hospital told me that they didn’t make such a diagnosis “lightly”.

“A month after his discharge I was in the psychiatrist’s office with my son, holding your book in my hand. You will be happy to know that the psychiatrist was absolutely thrilled with my boy’s progress, and asked to borrow your book. I gladly handed it to her. I hope that she will be able to help many more others the way you helped us.

“By the way, I also started taking vitamin supplements and eating healthier. I am now no longer taking anti-depressants, my thinning hair is growing back in, my varicose veins are disappearing, I’m losing weight, and I feel great!”
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Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone:
Megavitamin Therapeutics for Families and Physicians
by Abram Hoffer, PhD, MD, and Andrew Saul, PhD

Reviewed by Robert Sealey www.searpubl.ca . Reprinted with permission.

Megavitamin therapeutics? Whazzat? Do vital amines have health-restoring capabilities? In this book, two highly-qualified authors, Abram Hoffer, PhD, MD and Andrew Saul, PhD explain how orthomolecular medicine can help people feel better and live longer. In Part One, Dr. Hoffer (biochemist, physician and psychiatrist-retired) and Dr. Saul (health educator) teach us that: (1) vitamins and minerals are important to human health; (2) nutritional deficiencies can cause health problems; (3) many patients can restore their health by taking supplements; and (4) healing with nutrients only happens if each patient receives optimal doses (much higher than anti-starvation levels). After introducing the concepts of nutritional deficiencies and dependencies and biochemical individuality, the authors outline the healing capabilities of vitamins, starting with B-3, an essential nutrient which has three names – nicotinic acid, niacin and niacinamide. Then Hoffer and Saul explain how orthomolecular doctors treat chronic illnesses and maintain health by prescribing regimens of vitamins A, B, C, D and E with trace minerals and other nutrients.

Part Two details safe, effective and restorative orthomolecular treatments for nine health problems: (1) gastrointestinal disorders, (2) cardiovascular disease, (3) arthritis, (4) cancer, (5) the aging brain, (6) psychiatric and behavioral disorders,  (7) epilepsy and Huntington’s disease, (8) allergies, infections, toxic reactions, trauma, lupus and multiple sclerosis and (9) skin problems.

Will a poor diet drain our vitality? If we get sick, can nutrients restore our health? Consider mental illness: most psychiatrists quickly label patients, prescribe combinations of meds (antidepressants, antipsychotics and anticonvulsants etc.) and talk to their psychoses. Non-responsive patients get electric shocks. Early in his career, Dr. Hoffer saw very few recoveries after patients got labels, meds, talks or shocks. He wondered whether psychotic patients might have metabolic disorders rather than neuroleptic deficiencies. Most doctors don’t pay any mind if patients eat junk food or self-medicate with alcohol, oblivious to the reality that brain cells need decent food. Certain nutrients are essential. Psychiatrists don’t often consider nutrition but Abram Hoffer went to the old school which taught doctors to assess root causes and contributing factors before making a differential diagnosis. As Hoffer evaluated biochemical and nutritional factors underlying psychosis, he discovered that foods and nutrients can affect mental health. Over his long and distinguished career, Dr. Hoffer fine-tuned patients’ diets and prescribed regimens of vital amines, trace minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, energy and enzyme cofactors. These treatments helped many of his patients to stop hallucinating, rejoin their communities, work, pay taxes and live well. Impossible, you say?

Initially, Dr. Hoffer networked with a small team of scientists and health professionals who cooperated to research and develop restorative treatments for schizophrenia. Linus Pauling, PhD read Hoffer’s book, Niacin Therapy, which reported the first patients who responded to niacin for acute schizophrenia. Pauling named it “orthomolecular psychiatry” (Science, 1968). Dr. Hoffer explains the restorative dimension of care: “The practice of orthomolecular medicine recognizes that diseases are due to a metabolic fault that is correctable in most patients by good nutrition, including the use of vitamins and mineral supplements.”

Megavitamin therapeutics proved safe and effective. Many of Hoffer’s acute schizophrenia patients recovered taking optimum doses of a methyl acceptor (B-3, niacin or niacinamide) with an antioxidant (C, ascorbic acid). For more than fifty years, while researching and developing regimens of nutrients to heal psychosis and other mental disorders, Hoffer reported clinical progress and success by improving diets and giving medicinal doses of vitamins B-3, B-6, C, zinc and manganese. Thousands of patients recovered.

Most psychiatrists ignored Hoffer’s double-blind placebo-controlled gold-standard research. Without studying his ideas, experiments, data or findings, ‘modern’ psychiatrists dismissed Hoffer’s reports of a 75% recovery rate for acute schizophrenia. They did not interview his recovered patients. Believing that thousands of patients and their trusting families could benefit from complementary vitamins and minerals, Abram Hoffer somehow found the time to write more than 30 books and 600 medical journal articles and editorials. For decades, he wrote about the biochemistry of schizophrenia, described the healing capabilities of vitamins and other nutrients, recommended healthy diets and introduced orthomolecular medicine to patients, families, caregivers and health professionals. Hoffer’s books include The Chemical Basis of Clinical Psychiatry (1960), Niacin Therapy in Psychiatry (1962), How to Live with Schizophrenia (1966), The Hallucinogens (1967), Smart Nutrients (1980) Orthomolecular Medicine for Physicians (1989), and Adventures in Psychiatry (2005). This 2008 book, clear enough for every reader, is a classic example of Hoffer’s thorough research, detailed references, careful observations and thoughtful writing.

While prescribing vitamins for patients, Hoffer took the same daily doses of niacin and ascorbic acid himself (vitamins B-3 and C). How many psychiatrists self-test their treatments? He experienced the niacin flush with two brief side effects: warmth and redness. He had no side attacks or toxic effects while taking vitamins, only side benefits. Abram Hoffer’s decades-long personal experiment shows that the right doses of the right nutrients can help a doctor feel better and live longer. Will you live as long as Dr. Hoffer if you take vitamins B-3 and C? Maybe you will; note that Dr. Hoffer wrote this book in his 91st year.

Anyone can read about the decades of research, study the references and consider the regimens which Dr. Abram Hoffer and his colleagues developed, tested, healed thousands of patients with, took themselves and wrote clinical success stories about, since the 1950s. Abram Hoffer and Andrew Saul wrote this informative, insightful, helpful and hopeful book to educate the public how we can restore our health, get proper medical care, adjust our diets and take supplements. Hoffer and Saul encourage us to eat foods that we can metabolize and supplement with nutrients (vitamins, minerals and amino acids, antioxidants, energy and enzyme co-factors and essential fatty acids). If we suffer from metabolic problems, deficiencies or dependencies, we can ask our health professionals to complement standard treatments with nutritional regimens. If our doctors don’t know about restorative care, we can ask for second opinions.

As you read this fascinating book, you will learn how to restore health and live well by eating nutritious foods and asking health professionals to recommend nutritional supplements. Ortho-molecular medicine has helped thousands of patients, for decades. Optimum doses of essential nutrients tested safe and effective. You can help yourself recover, feel better and live longer; then tell your friends and families!

 

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Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone
by Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD, and Andrew W. Saul, PhD.
Basic Health Publications, Inc., 2008. 376 pages.

Reviewed by Irene Alleger in the Townsend Letter, No 315, October 2009, p 95. www.townsendletter.com Reprinted with permission.

“Anyone who wishes to become familiar with orthomolecular medicine, may do so by simply beginning with a whole foods, sugar­free diet and a few vitamins. Even with this simple approach, people report success.”

If the government is serious about making health care affordable for everyone, they need look no further than this book. Unfortunately, many doctors continue to discourage their patients from taking vitamins and other supplements, often stating that their benefits have not been proven. They are “toeing the party line,” obscuring the fact that they know little or nothing about nutrition, whether in the form of food or supplements.

The authors of Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone, however, are experts in the field of nutrition, with many years of experience between them, and their book is an authoritative guide to the use of megavitamin treatments for a wide range of conditions. The 30 pages of scientific references disprove the “party line,” offering evidence that megavitamin treatments are effective and safe.

Orthomolecular psychiatry began after the two forms of vitamin B3 were identified as niacin and niacinamide back in 1938, with notable results; and other clinical studies were done on diseases such as arthritis, showing that treatment with niacinamide reversed the disease. However, with the era of “wonder” drugs beginning, these nutritional studies were ignored, both in curricula and practice.

Over the past several decades, there is evidence that the public is showing much more interest in clinical nutrition than the medical community. Almost everyone takes a few vitamins, and the interest in so-called alternative medicine has increased greatly. The word orthomolecular was coined in 1968 by Linus Pauling to describe the use of nutrients in optimum amounts as the main treatment. This is in contrast to the amounts recommended in the government’s “food guide pyramid” and dietary allowances, which are considered the minimum needed to forestall frank disease. With our current American diet, the need for scientific nutritional information is great; the average person remains confused about what constitutes a healthy diet.

Drs. Hoffer and Saul not only explain how food supplements are used to treat many conditions, with extensive chapters on niacin, vitamin C, vitamin E, other B vitamins, and A and D; they also write specifically of treating gastrointestinal disorders, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, cancer, and the aging brain. What this book does very well is to make nutrition and its effects on health understandable. For example, in discussing why the kinds of foods we eat is important, the authors write: “Animals in their native state eat whole foods … the advantage of whole foods is that they contain all the nutrients needed to keep life going.” The growing problem of obesity is addressed as “caused by excessive consumption of sugar.” The term “sugar metabolic syndrome” is used to describe the enormous increase in the consumption of refined or processed foods, especially sugar and white flour. Studies show the harm from refining of carbohydrates as removing fiber from our diet, which affects the gastrointestinal system, from the teeth to the colon. It also causes overconsumption of calories, obesity, and diabetes, and it removes protein, which is required to neutralize hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone is full of illuminating advice, such as: “On the orthomolecular diet, there is no need to be concerned about getting too much fat. This becomes possible only when processed foods … are used. In addition, with a good diet one need not be concerned about the ratio of saturated fat to unsaturated fat, as a blend of animal and vegetable foods will ensure that neither too little nor too much of either fat is consumed.

Many Americans will be surprised to learn the real causes of atherosclerosis, too. Rather than a pharmaceutical drug deficiency, one of the main causes is the sugar metabolic syndrome diet. The relation among cholesterol, fat, and protein is complex, but clearly explained by the authors.

Much of the confusion and lack of information on nutrition is due to the political power of Big Pharma. Every opportunity is taken to disparage and deny any positive results from vitamins, as the orthomolecular approach to treating disease could compete in the marketplace for the billions of dollars now generated by drug treatment. The authors state unequivocally that “restoring health must be done nutritionally, not pharmacologically.”
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For information about Andrew Saul’s other books:

 

FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy is reviewed at

http://www.doctoryourself.com/review.html

 

DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works is reviewed at

http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulbooks.html

http://www.doctoryourself.com/orthomolecular.html

 

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