Orthomolecular Treatment of Psychosis with Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Wikipedia describes psychosis as follows:

“Psychosis refers to an abnormal condition of the mind, and is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a “loss of contact with reality”. People suffering from psychosis are described as psychotic.”

In a 1996 article in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine entitled “How to Live Longer and Feel Better, Even With Cancer”, Dr. Abram Hoffer, Ph.D., M.D. reports on a study of 134 cancer patients undergoing standard cancer care who were given nutritional therapy.  In this article Dr. Hoffer describes a patient who was suffering from psychosis that he treated with vitamin B3.  The patient was “mentally normal” in four days.

In the following passage Dr. Hoffer describes the patient and the nutritional therapy he prescribed for him.

“I then recalled two earlier patients, a retired professor who developed inoperable bronchiogenic cancer of the lung, for which he was given cobalt bomb radiation. He became psychotic. After two months with no improvement I started him on niacin, 3 g daily and ascorbic acid, 3 g daily. This was my standard treatment for this type of psychosis. He was mentally normal in four days.

The entire text of this article is available here.

In an article entitled ‘Psychosis, Schizophrenia, and Nutritional Therapy‘ by Andrew Saul PhD, the author describes a 21 year old man named Jim who “was a diagnosed schizophrenic.  He was so violent that he had been – get this – kicked out of the State Hospital and sent home to his parents.”

This man “threatened his parents’ lives on a daily basis and was punching holes in the walls. He slept one hour per night, and roamed the city streets the other seven or eight.”

The article mentions that “since the early 1950’s, Dr. [Abram] Hoffer [MD, PhD] had cured a vast number of psychotic patients with megadoses of niacin and vitamin C.”

Jim decided to take niacin.

About two weeks after Jim started taking niacin his father called the author with the following story:


“Let me tell you what happened,” he began. “You know Jim only sleeps maybe an hour a night? Well, the first night on the niacin, he slept 18 hours.  He’s been sleeping about 7 hours a night since.”

 “That’s terrific,” I said.

 “That’s not all,” he said.  “Last Friday morning, for the first time in I don’t know how many years, Jim came down for breakfast.  He walked into the dining room and said ‘Good morning, Dad.'”

 Even on the phone I could hear the tears in the man’s voice. It was wonderful.”

The entire text of this article is available here.

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