Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Nutritional Approaches for Schizophrenia: Overview

For an overview of orthomolecular (vitamin) approaches to the treatment of schizophrenia,
See Natural Healing for Schizophrenia: Nutritional Approaches, at the Borage Books website.

But note, this is only an overview. For more comprehensive descriptions, and for lab tests, contraindications, studies, etc., see my book, Natural Healing for Schizophrenia. 
You can buy it here.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Major schizophrenia nutrients: Vitamin B3 and Vitamin C

Megavitamin Therapy (which evolved into Orthomolecular Psychiatry) began with the Hoffer/Osmond research into niacin (a form of vitamin B3) and vitamin C. See my post at: http://naturalhealingforschizophrenia.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-did-orthomolecular-psychiatry-begin.html

Over the next half century, although other supportive nutrients have been discovered, orthomolecular physicians and researchers have continued to find megadose vitamin B3 and megadose vitamin C to be major therapeutic agents for most adult psychoses. This applies to all biotypes, even histadelia (more on biotypes later). 

That is, niacin and C, within the context of a complex of indicated nutrients, health therapies, and other treatments, as per individual biochemical requirements, including contraindications.

For references, consult the literature, and see Natural Healing for Schizophrenia

Caution: My blog entries are solely educational. If you need treatment, consult a knowledgeable physician.

* Some exceptions: for pyrolurics and for young people, B6 or B6 plus B3, may often be more effective than B3 alone.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Food as Medicine

Foods (and herbs) are the raw biochemicals of which our cells are ultimately composed, the most elemental means to fix, revitalize, and balance our biochemistry and health. Moreover, benefits tend to steadily increase as cells get repleted, and multiple nutrients generally tend to be synergistic rather than detrimental.

So why are nutrients not the first line of defense in mainstream psychiatry and medicine?

For more info, see my book, Natural Healing for Schizophrenia

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nutritional Therapies for Schizophrenia and Biochemical Individuality

Therapeutic choices ultimately resolve down to the individual's unique biochemical needs.
Everyone is different, has different genetics, and different environmental experiences, and so has different therapeutic requirements.

The task of the physician is to look deep, and ferret out each individual's specific needs (e.g.,  by attention to symptoms, individual and family history, biochemical and physiological labs, and response to treatment, etc.)

Thus, the statements in this blog cannot help but be generalizations, and will not apply to everyone. As they say:  One man's meat is another man's poison.
Hence, keep in mind, that my purpose in this blog is certainly not prescriptive, but solely educational.

And, if you need treatment for schizophrenia, or any other medical condition, please seek the services of a knowledgeable physician. 

 See the introduction, by Jeffrey Bland, PhD, to the classic on the subject, Biochemical Individuality, by Roger Williams, PhD.

 For more on bipolar,  see Natural Healing for Bipolar Disorder

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Great source of info on the development of orthomolecular psychiatry

For insight into the development of nutritional treatments for schizophrenia, and of orthomolecular psychiatry, in general, see:
The issues from 1967-1985 focus almost exclusively or orthomolecular psychiatry.
From 1986 on, the focus expands to orthomolecular (nutritional) medicine.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Research Supporting Orthomolecular Approaches to Schizophrenia

Research and clinical data supporting the therapeutic use of nutrients for schizophrenia includes:

Hoffer’s original double blinds introducing nutritional psychiatry
Dr. Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD, introduced double blinds to psychiatric research with his early niacin  studies in the sixties. But, as a physician pledged to do no harm, he eventually decided not to deprive controls (patients) of treatments which he had  observed to work, so as not to place them at risk of permanent deterioration, or death.
Hoffer’s clinical results with 10,000 schizophrenic patients
Over the next half century, Hoffer practiced orthomolecular psychiatry, eventually treating 10,000 schizophrenic patients, most of whom recovered to a degree not expected with conventional treatments.

Walsh/Pfeiffer biotype outcome studies and biochemical assessments
Virtually all the 20,000 schizophrenics treated under the auspices of Dr. Carl C. Pfeiffer, MD, PhD, in New Jersey, and the additional 20,000 under Dr. William J. Walsh, PhD, in Illinois, were given a battery of biochemical tests when first seen, and then additional testing to track progress.  Walsh reports at least 90 separate tests for most patients, measuring nutrient levels, biotype, allergic reactivity, and other pertinent biochemical parameters.
As stated in my March 3rd post on outcome (below), approximately 85% of their 40,000 patients achieved great improvement or recovery within several years. Clinical improvement corresponded with the normalizing of key biochemical parameters, as measured by these tests.
Subset with ABA experimental design pattern
Among such patients were a significant number who at some point decided they were well,  stopped taking nutrients, and deteriorated; later resumed the nutrient protocol, and got better again; providing an ABA (on-off-on) experimental design in which patients incidentally served as their own controls.

Other studies and clinical results
Other double blinds, controlled studies, and clinical data from diverse researchers and practitioners, worldwide. For sources, see my book, Natural Healing for Schizophrenia.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Outcome with Orthomolecular Treatment of Schizophrenia

Dr. Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD, Father of Orthomolecular Psychiatry
"Patients get well to a degree not seen by [mainstream] therapists, [many of whom] believe that orthomolecular therapists are prone to exaggeration. Those [who actually see] the results are astonished." - Dr. Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD
Dr. Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD, defined recovery as: no signs and symptoms; able to resume work or schooling at the same skill level as before becoming ill (and, in most cases, paying income tax); social participation; and reasonable interactions with family members.
In his practice in Western Canada, which ultimately included about 10,000 schizophrenic patients, Dr. Hoffer found:
    Acute patients, ill two years or less, 90% recover or are much improved within two years, with good results for most of the remaining 10%.
   In patients ill twenty to thirty years, with a history of long-term medication and repeated hospitals stays, the rate is approximately 50%, with some improvement in others.
   On average, overall, recovery or great improvement can be expected in 75-85% of patients, within approximately one third the length of time they had been ill.

Dr. Carl C Pfeiffer, MD, PhD
Dr. Carl C Pfeiffer, MD, PhD, practicing in New Jersey up through 1988, supervised treatment of over 20,000 schizophrenic patients. Biotype-related imbalances were diagnosed in 95%. Pfeiffer found that corresponding nutrient-based treatment eventually produced a great improvement/recovery rate of 90% (for a total over all patients, of 85%).

Dr. William J Walsh, PhD
Since then, Dr. William J Walsh, PhD, working in Illinois, further substantiated this outcome, with another 20,000 patients.

Other Orthomolecular Practitioners
Such outcomes have been repeated in the individual practices of hundreds of orthomolecular psychiatrists, worldwide.

For more information, see my book at: naturalhealingforschizophrenia.com

Sunday, February 14, 2010

How did orthomolecular psychiatry begin?

The existence of vitamins (substances in food which are vital to life) was established in the first half of the last century. Some of the discoveries: Vitamin C cures scurvy (previously known to respond to citrus); and vitamin B3 reverses pellagra.

Both these nutrient-deficiency illnesses had a psychiatric component: depression, anxiety and, in more severe cases, psychosis.

In some regions of the US, half the patients hospitalized for mental illness were actually pellagrins, and recovered in a few weeks of vitamin B3.

Research into moderate doses B vitamins, C, and E for “mental” illness continued until interrupted by World War II.

Nutritional research resumed in the fifties with the schizophrenia studies of Dr Abram Hoffer and Dr Humphrey Osmond. They had seen that oxidized adrenalin can create a short psychosis (e.g., when asthmatic inhalers contain pink (oxidized) adrenalin). This suggested potential benefits of vitamin B3 (to limit adrenalin formation), and vitamin C (to prevent its oxidation). Furthermore they knew that these vitamins countered the psychosis of pellagra and scurvy, respectively.

To increase effectiveness, they chose relatively high doses, for the first trials: 10 grams of niacin (vitamin B3) and 5 grams of  C; both in divided doses.

In the hospital in which they worked, a youth was steadily deteriorating, despite all mainstream medical efforts. He had become catatonic, unable to speak or use the bathroom, and finally lapsed into a coma. His doctors believed he would soon die, due to his schizophrenia.

This youth became one of the first patients to receive the niacin/vitamin C treatments. The next day, the coma ended. After two weeks on the nutrients, he was pronounced normal. Twelve years later, he remained well and was an active member of his community.

The remarkable improvement in patients like this marked the beginnings of nutrient-based psychiatry, then called Megavitamin Therapy.

Twenty years later, Linus Pauling, two-time Nobel laureate, in a seminal article in Science, renamed it  Orthomolecular Medicine, i.e., a medicine which sought to optimize substances naturally occurring in brain and body (required and missing nutrients), by providing optimal doses of ortho (right) molecules, and eliminating toxins.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Why nutrients should be considered the first line of defense

1. The brain is physically made of and runs on nutrients. So nutrients have a profound influence on its function.
2 Our soils are so depleted, the  environment so toxic, addiction and junk food so prevalent, and nature so devastated, that our brains can no longer get sufficient nourishment. Some of us are especially vulnerable.
3 Mental illness is generally less pronounced and ends sooner in regions where people eat indigenous foods and are not given psychiatric drugs.
4 Mental symptoms in certain vitamin deficiency diseases are medically established to respond to supplements.  (For instance, the depression, anxiety, and psychosis of  pellagra are healed by vitamin B3 and tryptophan; similar symptoms in scurvy are healed by vitamin C; alcoholic psychosis responds to vitamin B1.)
5 Orthomolecular (nutritional) research and practice, developed across the world over the past half century, shows 75-85% recovery or great improvement in schizophrenia when caught within the first few years of illness (recovery to the extent that people are able to go back to what they were doing before they became ill); and good improvement in people ill for a substantial time. Similar results are emerging with mood disorders, behavior disorders, hyperactivity, and others.
Note: If on psychiatric drugs, they cannot be suddenly stopped, but usually can be gradually weaned, under medical supervision, in relation to nutrient-based improvement.