"I have lived a full, interesting and creative life supported by my family and many friends and irritated and spurred on by the hostile criticisms of a group of psychiatrists representing APA and NIMH. Since they did not know me personally I never took it personally although I must admit I would have preferred had they been supportive. I give my critics full credit for having delayed the full introduction of orthomolecular medicine into the medical world and for having denied life, health and happiness for innumerable patients. Supporters of old paradigms never realize how much damage they do by their remarkable rigidity and adherence to old theories." Dr. Abram Hoffer (2008)Â
Â Hoffer is the George Burns of medicine. The above quotation was published on the website orthomolecular.org, which is one of my favorite websites.
"I was born on a farm in Southern Saskatchewan in 1917, completed High School in a rural school, my PhD at University of Minnesota and Medical degree at University of Toronto. By the time I got my first job I was 33 years old, had three children and was totally fed up with being a student. The last thing in the world I wanted to do was to become a psychiatrist, then the lowest branch of medicine."
Dr. Abram HofferÂ
|Books by Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD, FRCP(C)|
What Hoffer has to Offer
Â Hoffer feels that a toxic factor in the blood called "taraxein" causes schizophrenia. He feels that the active ingredient of taraxein is adrenochrome. My views are similar except that I feel that the active ingredient is DMPEA. Both adrenochrome and DMPEA are toxic. There are a lot of substances that are toxic to the brain. Bergen's work supports DMPEA as being the active factor. Friedhoff & van Winkle's work also support the DMPEA theory.
Â A 1952 paper in the Journal of Mental Science, a prestigious British psychiatry journal, by Osmond & Smythies supports the DMPEA theory.Â They proposed abnormal methylation of a catecholamine causing a mescaline-like substance. DMPEA is very similar to mescaline (TMPEA).
Â Hoffer invented "megavitamin" treatment of schizophrenia. His idea was to use niacin as a methyl acceptor to cut down on the toxic methylated poison. The idea of using a methyl acceptor is a good one. However, I feel that he picked the wrong methyl acceptor. Polyphenols inhibit COMT, an enzyme used by the brain in producing DMPEA from dopamine.Â Guaiacols inhibit GOMT, another enzyme used to make DMPEA. Therefore I suggest polyphenols and guaiacols as methyl acceptors. Gingerol is a guaiacol found in ginger.
Â Another approach is to destroy the DMPEA. Another approach is to conjugate it with sulfate or glucuronide. That helps the body excrete it.
Â "In 1967, I happened to read a number of papers published by two psychiatrists in Saskatchewan, Canada. Dr. Abram Hoffer and Dr. Humphry Osmond. (T)here was something extraordinary about their work. They were giving very large amounts of niacin to the schizophrenic patients, as much as 17,000 milligrams per day, which is 1,000 times the RDA. I was astonished that niacin and ascorbate, with the striking physiological property, when given in very small amounts, of preventing death from pellagra and scurvy, should be so lacking in toxicity that 1,000 times the effective daily intake could be taken by a person without harm. This meant that these substances were quite different from drugs, which are usually given to patients in amounts not much smaller than the lethal dosages." Linus Pauling
Â Whereas theÂ APA attacked Hoffer, Osmond, Pauling, and myself defended him. However, people refused to publish my articles. I tried to publish them in DMH publications. The DMH does not allow new ideas unless they are new drugs. It is very much like a dogmatic religion. Unfortunately Osmond died in 2004. Pauling died in 1994.
Â I may discuss Hoffer further in a new article I am working on which will be called "The Blood in Schizophrenia". Hoffer is over 90 years old and is still lucid and working hard! I have to give him credit. Although I don't agree with him on everything, the idea of megavitamin treatment is a good one. I am contemplating megavitamin efforts with bioflavonoids and polyphenols.Â I will try these on myself first to make sure they are safe, much as Hoffer did with niacin. I would not recommend this to others until I have established that they are safe.
Â My own theories are explained in the last items of the bibliography.
1.Â Osmond, H & Smythies, J (1952) Schizophrenia: a new approach. Journal of Mental Science. 98(411):309-315, April.Â
2.Â Hoffer, Abram & Osmond, Humphry (1952) Paper to Dementia Praecox Committee, Scottish Rites Masons, New York. Given at the Canada Room, The Waldorf Astoria, New York. (Hoffer and Osmond's first report on the adrenochrome hypothesis.)Â
3.Â Hoffer A, Osmond H & Smythies J (1954) Schizophrenia: a new approach. II. Results of a year's research.Â J Ment Science 100(418):29-45.Â
4. Hoffer A. Adrenochrome and adrenolutin and their relationship to mental disease. Psychotropic Drugs. Eds. Garattini S & Ghetti V. Elsevier Press, London, 10-20, 1957.