Schizophrenia

DR. PHILLIP HODES

Orthomolecular medicine and psychiatry—nutrition and psychology—are now over a quarter of a century old. In 1968, Dr. Linus Pauling published an article called "Orthomolecular Psychiatry" in Science Magazine. "Orthomolecular" means the right amount of the right nutrients. Thanks to Dr. Roger Williams's concept of biochemical individuality and Dr. Bernard Rimley's concept of toxi-molecular brains, we found that many people with so-called mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, autism, depression, and mood swings, can be helped, in a majority of cases, if they clean the toxins out of the brain and then provide the brain with the right amounts of the right nutrients.

Each person is biochemically individual, so that the government standards for the minimum daily requirements of various nutrients actually have no application to any particular human being. What seems to be a mega-amount for one person is the precise amount necessary to keep another person healthy and sane.

In the field of schizophrenia, in the 1950s there were three pioneers in orthomolecular psychiatry: Dr. Abram Hoffer, Dr. Humphrey Osmond, and Dr. John Smithies, who used large amounts of niacinamide, vitamin C, and some of the other B vitamins, to help their schizophrenic patients recover. In the 1970s, Dr. Alan Cott went to Russia and brought back the practice of fasting, and helped to detoxify many of the brains of schizophrenics who had not responded to any other kind of treatment. He helped them clear their brains so that they became rational and normal.

Today we live in a state of environmental pollution. There are over 100,000 chemicals in the environment that we ingest through what we eat, drink, and breathe. Contaminants are in the soil, water, air, and food supply. The particles that are toxic in time penetrate and leak through the blood brain barrier and get into the brain. This process also happens with several of the heavy toxic metals, such as lead, copper, and aluminum. These chemicals and heavy metals, by affecting brain chemistry, affect the mind and behavior, so they must be removed. They need to be chelated out.

In the Science Section of The New York Times, on April 27, 1993, an article says, "New suspect in bacterial resistance, amalgam. The mercury in dental fillings may spur resistance to antibiotics." Dr. Hal Huggins has shown that the silver mercury dental amalgams are very harmful; when you chew, the mercury is released, causing your brain to be poisoned. Many of the people that have developed so-called "mental illnesses" are suffering from things like mercury, lead, copper, iron, and aluminum poisonings. These heavy toxic metals affect one's thinking and behavior. People can develop bizarre behavior and distorted thinking, along with warped perceptions, as a result of these heavy toxic metals. Add to this toxic stew all the insecticides, pesticides, and herbicides that we ingest daily.

The orthomolecular approach to schizophrenics is to detoxify them, change their diets, and remove foods that are chemically treated, or that contain a lot of sugar and refined carbohydrates, or that have been laced with pesticides. Then these patients are placed on the optimal doses of nutrients for their individual bodies. The nutrients used include vitamin B complex--especially thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, and B12.

Dr. Hank Nubold showed that many of his schizophrenic psychiatric patients were suffering from a vitamin B12 deficiency and that they needed large amounts to feel well and sane again. Then as the years went by, orthomolecular doctors discovered that the essential minerals—macro minerals such as calcium and magnesium, as well as the trace elements zinc, manganese, chromium, and selenium--also helped balance schizophrenics. Dr. Patricia Schleagal published her research in a book, Up From Depression, showing the important role of amino acids in the brain, and in the treatment of schizophrenics.

You also have to look at the water supply. Many water supplies contain chemicals, such as iron, silicone, aluminum, fluoride, and chlorine. We ingest all of these things and once they hit the blood stream, they are rushed to all of the 64 to 67 trillion cells in the body. These toxins block out the opportunity for the vital nutrients to be absorbed.

The human body is composed of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, oxygen, enzymes, nucleic acids, water, and electro- and biomagnetic energy forms. If any of these are missing, and there are nutritional deficiencies, different conditions and diseases show up. Our diet is not really a healthy diet: the soil our food is grown in has been overworked; there have been artificial fertilizers put in; and the foods are refined, processed, and sprayed with all kinds of chemicals and inundated with all kinds of food coloring and dyes. When we eat these foods we become both malnourished and toxic. In answer to the group that says, "Oh, you don't need vitamins. Just eat a well-balanced diet": You can't get a well-balanced diet and you do need extra nutrients to help stave off the deleterious effects of all the chemical pollutants in the environment that we come in contact with. With orthomolecular therapy, many people feel a lot better when they get more nutrients than their diet gives them.

DR. ABRAM HOFFER

The orthomolecular treatment of schizophrenia was started in Saskatchewan in 1951 when we ran the first double-blind controlled experiments in North American medicine and also the first in worldwide psychiatry. On the basis of these experiments, where we compared the effect of vitamin B3 against a placebo, we found that the addition of the vitamin to the standard treatment of that day, which was only electroconvulsant therapy, doubled the two-year recovery rate from 35 percent to 70 percent. That was the beginning.

After that we ran another three double-blind controlled experiments. Since that time we have accumulated massive clinical experience; I myself have seen many thousands of schizophrenic patients.

The treatment for the schizophrenic patient is really relatively simple. It's a combination of the best of modern psychiatry, which includes the proper use of either tranquilizers or antidepressants or other drugs, with proper attention to diet and the use of nutrients.

The main nutrient is vitamin B3, which has to be given in large quantities. It's not enough to give the tiny amount present in food. One will have to give many thousands of times as much in the standard dose. For the patients I work with, I give 3000 mg per day of either nicotinic acid or nicotinamide, which are both forms of vitamin B3.

I also use vitamin C at the same dose level and sometimes a lot more because vitamin C is a very good water-soluble antioxidant. It is considered the foremost, the most active water-soluble antioxidant present in the human body. That's extremely important.

In many cases we use vitamin B6 as well for a particular group of schizophrenic patients. This is combined with an overall nutritional approach that may also include the use of a very important mineral, zinc. Zinc and B6 function together and are extremely important.

Finally we use manganese to protect our patients against developing tardive dyskinesia. This is a condition which afflicts chronic schizophrenic patients who are placed upon large quantities of tranquilizers. According to Dr. Richard Kunyon from San Francisco, when you take tranquilizers for a long period of time you take manganese out of the body, which is the reason patients develop tardive dyskinesia. When you give them back the manganese this condition goes away in most cases.

I put them on a diet that is junk-free. I exclude any of the prepared foods that contain additives, including sugar. I also pay attention to patients' allergies, because 50 or 60 percent of all schizophrenics have major food allergies. If these are not detected and eliminated, the patients are not going to get any better.

This is essentially the treatment for schizophrenia, although there is one more important variable-the patients. You have to take a lot of time dealing with schizophrenic patients. I will just briefly review what I have done recently. I have re-examined 27 of my chronic schizophrenic patients who have been working with me for at least ten years. They had been sick an average of seven years before they came to see me. They had all failed to respond to any of the standard treatments—drugs, tranquilizers, or shock treatments. They had not been given any vitamins.

I did a survey of what happened to them after being with me for ten years. Of the 27 really chronic patients, 17 today are normal. They really are well. They're paying taxes. As an example, one man from eastern Canada was very paranoid schizophrenic. He was in and out of the Ontario mental hospital system. He was so sick that his wife divorced him and his family disowned him. He moved out west to Victoria and was one of the street people for awhile.

He came under my care and remained on the vitamins, to my surprise. Three or four years ago he got his degree at the local university here and the last time I saw him he was looking for a job. I think this is quite an accomplishment for this very sick patient.

Another patient was a woman who, in a psychotic frenzy, burned down her house. She now runs her own business and supervises 12 people. These are examples of some of the recoveries we've had.

The other ten are not well yet. Some may never be well because they've been sick for too long, but they're certainly an awful lot better. They're now comfortable. They're able to live with any hallucinations or delusions they still have.

This is a very chronic group of patients, the kind that normally don't respond. The important thing--going back to the view that you have to be patient--is that it took five to seven years of continuous treatment before they reached this stage of improvement.

Acute patients, patients who have only been sick for a year, do a lot better of course. I fully suspect that if I see 100 schizophrenic patients who have been sick a year or two or less, after two years of this kind of treatment 95 percent of them will be well. In fact, I know personally 17 young men and women who became schizophrenic in their teens. They were placed upon vitamin treatment in various parts of Canada and the United States and made complete recoveries.

These 17 young men and women all went into medicine. Today they are practicing psychiatry. One went to Harvard Medical School and is now a doctor in Boston. One became a president of a major psychiatric association in North America. The other members did not know that he had a history of having been psychotic at one time. That's a pretty good record.

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