Orthomolecular medicine, according to two-time Nobel prizewinner Dr. Linus Pauling, is the process of preserving good health and preventing disease by varying the concentration of substances in the body at the molecular level, such as minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. One branch of orthomolecular medicine, orthomolecular psychiatry, rejects the standard psychiatric model and instead focuses on biochemical causes of mental disorders.

The first studies into orthomolecular psychiatry were conducted in the 1940s by Drs. Abram Hoffer and Humphry Osmond. At that time, it was already known that the urine and blood of people with schizophrenia contained a substance known as adrenochrome. Hoffer and Osmond injected themselves with this substance to test its effects. Dr. Osmond reported disturbing hallucinations and antisocial tendencies after the injection. The effect eventually wore off. Osmond realized that he had experienced the typical characteristics of this disorder reported by the schizophrenics he interviewed.

After continued research and experimentation with other hallucinogens such as LSD and mescaline, which were unregulated at the time, Drs. Hoffer and Osmond discovered that niacin, also known as vitamin B3, was helpful in diminishing the effects of hallucinogenic drugs. Shortly thereafter, they found that niacin was also effective in alleviating some of the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Orthomolecular psychiatry holds that mental disorders can also be caused by allergic reactions. Dr. Marshall Mandell, one of the world’s leading allergists and a consultant at the Centre for Neurological Rehabilitation in Pennsylvania, demonstrated that numerous cases of mental illness were in reality allergic reactions to such substances as gasoline fumes, cleaning fluid, wheat, corn, and dairy products.

In his experiments, Dr. Mandell was able to trigger thousands of mental and behavioral reactions to these substances. He frequently recorded his patients in motion pictures after injecting them with small amounts of these everyday substances. One of Mandell’s cases was a young boy who repeatedly went into uncontrollable fits of rage and beat his mother up. After putting the boy on a fast for a number of days, Mandell then began giving the boy small doses of potential allergens, and after injecting him with a small amount of egg protein, the boy became so violent he had to be restrained. Dr. Mandell was thus able to eliminate the violent behavior.

Dr. Roger J. Williams, a biochemist, nutritionist, and former President of the American Chemical Society, has demonstrated that each individual has a different internal chemistry, what he calls “biochemical individuality.” This is why some people are more susceptible to specific deficiencies and allergic reactions than others. For example, in the past sailors were forced to subsist on diets that were deficient in vitamin C. Some of the sailors became mildly ill with scurvy, a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency. Others died from the disease. However, other sailors experienced no symptoms whatsoever. This is why it is necessary for some people to supplement with huge doses of vitamins and minerals. Others can be deficient in any number of important substances and experience little or no symptoms. Even so, all of us are malnourished and must supplement our diets in order to be healthy.

Another common factor found in schizophrenic patients is hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Dr. Jack Ward, a psychiatrist in Trenton, New Jersey, reported that sixty percent of his patients with schizophrenia had low blood sugar, and around eighty percent of his manic-depressive patients had the same condition. Other researchers have reported that childhood schizophrenia is often linked to overconsumption of sugar, a precursor to blood sugar imbalances. Excessive amounts of sugar in the diet can lead to either high blood sugar or low blood sugar.

According to Junius Adams, a reporter for Cosmopolitan and author of a 1977 article entitled Orthomolecular Psychiatry, the orthomolecular approach to treating mental illness would involve the patient first filling out a long, detailed questionnaire. Next, the patient is asked to give urine and blood samples, and in some cases the patient’s hair will be tested for minerals. The patient may also have an EEG and a glucose tolerance test taken.

A psychiatrist would begin asking the patient questions, taking down a detailed medical history. After the interview is completed, the practitioner would prescribe several minerals and vitamins, to be taken with a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet, When the lab tests are later completed, the patient would return for a more definitive prescription that is designed to correct any deficiencies or imbalances noted in the test results. The doctor would check up on the patient after two to three months, and make any corrections to the prescription if necessary. If the patient was severely psychotic, they would get closer attention during the first visit, and would receive counseling on subsequent visits, or perhaps be sent to a halfway house until they are recovered enough to go home.

Dr. David R. Hawkins, a former Director of the North Nassau Mental Health Center in New York, has demonstrated that orthomolecular treatments for schizophrenia are far more effective than traditional psychiatric treatments. Before 1966, Hawkins’s clinic primarily practiced orthodox psychiatry. The average patient with schizophrenia was required to visit the clinic around 150 times a year. After the clinic switched over to the orthomolecular approach in 1966, the schizophrenic patients required much less attention, with the average patient visiting only 15 times a year. There was also a dramatic improvement in recovery rates. Over 75 percent of patients got better compared to less than 40 percent when the clinic practiced orthodox psychiatry. The patients also suffered fewer relapses.

There are more than a hundred other doctors in the United States and Canada who have reported similar results. There is no doubt that orthomolecular psychiatry is able to greatly benefit schizophrenic patients.

According to the FDA, the antipsychotic drugs commonly prescribed to schizophrenic patients can cause a wide range of dangerous side effects, including a potentially fatal condition known as neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), a condition known as tardive dyskinesia, characterized by irreversible, involuntary movements, as well as hyperglycemia and diabetes mellitus. All the components of orthomolecular medicine are food. There are no known side effects from mineral and vitamin supplements, and they have certainly never caused a death.

Author's Bio: 

Michael Locklear is the cofounder of The Global Peace Project, and has served as its President since 1986. He is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Total Health, and he has conducted more than thirty years of research into the science of the mind, health and nutrition, human behavior, and emotional well-being. He exposes the lies propagated by the government, medical professionals, the food industry, and the media and unveils the truth about what it takes to break the hypnotic trances that block our ability to achieve total health, wealth, and happiness.

For information on Michael’s research, visit his site, Natural-Remedies-for-Total-Health.com, which provides well-researched and scientifically supported advice on how to achieve a balance of the mind, brain, and body, resulting in total health.