The Discovery of Megavitamin TherapyAbram Hoffer, MD, PhD, founded Megavitamin Therapy, now called Orthomolecular Psychiatry. He began this research in a hospital in Saskatchewan, Canada, in the early 1950's, with a half dozen double blinds investigating megadose niacin and vitamin C for schizophrenia. These studies introduced double blinds to the field of psychiatry.
One of the early patients was a young boy, who had become catatonic, unable to speak or use the bathroom. He had eventually lapsed into a coma and his doctors, judging him to be dying from his schizophrenia, had placed him on a terminal care list. Hoffer gave him 5 gm vitamin C and 10 gm niacin, divided doses, and the next day he was out of the coma. After two weeks, he was completely recovered. Twelve years later, he was still taking vitamins, still well, and an active member of his community.
Many others in these initial trials showed similarly marked improvement. Hoffer has commented that God must be smiling down on researchers, to give such encouraging results at the early stages of research, steering them in the right direction. (Usually patients who are so ill take a lot longer to improve, with initial improvement not so clearly discernible.)
Orthomolecular psychiatry gathered momentum, with the contributions of hundreds of physicians and researchers. Treatment came to rely on a panoply of nutrients and herbs and, often, differentiation into biotypes, as well as attention to allergies, Candida, toxins, and other health factors. Laboratory testing helped distinguish unique individual needs.
The late and great Dr. Hoffer, for more than half a century, and up til the end of his life, nourished, expanded, and fought for this nascent medical field of orthomolecular psychiatry.
The following series of posts will focus on histapenia, the most prevalent biotype in schizophrenia. Hoffer's original niacin/C therapy is probably essential for virtually all patients who experience voices, but is particularly critical for the histapenia biotype.
For details on niacin, C, other vitamins, and biotypes, see my compendium on nutrient-based approaches for schizophrenia, Natural Healing for Schizophrenia.
You may also be interested in Natural Healing for Bipolar Disorder.
This information is presented for educational purposes only, and is not intended for diagnostic or treatment purposes. If you need treatment for schizophrenia or any other medical condition, please consult a knowledgeable physician.