Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.
Hall of Fame 2006
In the documentary film, Masks of Madness: Science of Healing, Abram Hoffer says: "Mental illness is usually biochemical illness. Schizophrenia is niacin dependency." Plain-spoken statements such as these have ignited a revolution in psychiatry. The person who would forever change the course of medicine was born on a Saskatchewan farm and educated in a one-room schoolhouse. In 1952, just completing his residency, he had demonstrated, with the first double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in the history of psychiatry, that vitamin B3 could cure schizophrenia. But in a medical profession that "knows" vitamins do not cure "real" diseases, the young director of psychiatric research was a dissenter. For over half a century Dr. Hoffer has dissented. Harold Foster, PhD writes: "Fathering a new paradigm does not promote popularity. Fortunately, Dr. Hoffer is not just highly intelligent; he has consistently proven to be able to stand up for the truth, regardless of personal cost."
"If patients look up 'schizophrenia' in the old textbooks," says Dr. Hoffer, "they'll die of frustration and fear. That is why I wrote my first book, How to Live with Schizophrenia. Linus Pauling was 65 and planning to retire. He chanced to see this book on a friend'l;s coffee table. Pauling did not go to bed the first night he read this book. He decided not to retire because of it."
Dr. Hoffer has written two dozen books and over 500 papers. He created the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine and has been editor-in-chief for four decades. Having treated thousands of patients, he has only just retired at 88, wryly saying that "Everyone should have a career change every 55 years." He has seen therapeutic fads come and go. What he sees now is what he's always seen: that very sick people get well on vitamin B3.