Il Dottor Hoffer è affiliato
all'Istituto per le ricerche biosociali Huxley, ed è
l'editore del Giornale della Psichiatria Ortomolecolare (Journal
of Orthomolecular Psychiatry)
La Psichiatria Ortomolecolare è una delle due branche della
psichiatria che utilizza terapie chimiche per la schizofrenia.
L'altro ramo si chiama psichiatria tossicomolecolare. Ci sono
vaste differenze concettuali tra le due correnti e grandi
differenze d'efficacia per il paziente. La psichiatria
tossicomolecolare permette l'utilizzo di dosi sub-letali di
sostanze che normalmente non si trovano nel corpo umano. L'uso
di queste sostanze non ha dato risultati apprezzabilmente
migliori di quelli riscontrati normalmente, cioè senza alcun
trattamento. Dall'altra parte però le conseguenze per i pazienti
in termini di perdita della loro capacità lavorativa e di danni
irreversibili dovuti alla tossicità dei medicinali sono enormi.
Alcuni farmaci vengono utilizzati per trattare la schizofrenia e
altri farmaci ancora servono per trattare gli effetti
collaterali dei primi. Con questo metodo, un farmaco viene
promosso e richiesto per il mantenimento dei pazienti. La
psichiatria moderna, generalmente utilizza in modo esclusivo
questo approccio farmacologico.
La psichiatria ortomolecolare, d'altro canto, utilizza un vero e
proprio sistema di trattamento, senza fissarsi su di un farmaco
o su di una sostanza chimica. Al paziente schizofrenico viene
dato una quantità ottimale di sostanze necessarie per la
nutrizione e il funzionamento ottimale - vitamine, minerali,
grassi, carboidrati e aminoacidi. Il programma ortomolecolare
richiede la piena partecipazione del paziente nel cambiare il
suo stile di vita e l'abbandono di abitudini alimentari
sbagliate. Questi principi di nutrizione sana sono inerenti al
programma, incluso una dieta che fornisca alti valori nutritivi
ad ogni individuo, evitando comunque l'assunzione di cibi
allergenici. In molti casi, sono necessari alti dosaggi di
fattori essenziali, ed infine i pazienti vengono mantenuti in un
normale stato con l'aiuto della sola terapia nutrizionale.
Questi pazienti hanno una buona resistenza alle ricadute, molto
superiore a quella dei pazienti trattati con i soli farmaci.
Il trattamento ortomolecolare in teoria
L'efficacia di qualsiasi trattamento non è più alta perché uno
ne capisca l'esatto meccanismo del funzionamento. Spesso non c'è
correlazione tra la spiegazione esatta e l'efficacia. Certamente
un trattamento viene accettato molto più volentieri dai medici
quando c'è una spiegazione, anche se questa poi si rivela
sbagliata. Per questa ragione, credo sia giusto cercare le
spiegazioni, ma questo non ha la stessa importanza della prova
Le basi della psichiatria ortomolecolare sono le seguenti:
Quando il cervello è disturbato nel suo equilibrio biochimico,
anche la mente risulta disturbata.
I bisogni biochimici e i processi metabolici differiscono
moltissimo da un individuo all'altro.
I bisogni per alcune delle sostanze nutritive, specialmente le
vitamine, possono variare fino a cento volte tra diversi
Le persone che riescono a
mantenersi in salute assumendo livelli medi dei
nutrienti importanti potrebbero incorrere in problemi se
si verificassero carenze nella loro dieta o se avessero
difficoltà di assorbimento. Altri che hanno bisogno di
grandi quantità di vitamine svilupperanno una dipendenza
e necessiteranno di una costante supplementazione.
Malattie da carenza possono risultare da un apporto
insufficiente oppure da una dipendenza nei riguardi di
un particolare nutriente. Per esempio, la carenza della
vitamina B3 può causare la pellagra. Però le persone che
hanno dei problemi perché necessitano alti livelli di
vitamina B3 diventeranno dipendenti dalla vitamina e,
secondo me, constituiscono la più alta percentuale di
pazienti con schizofrenia acuta e subacuta. Una
malnutrizione prolungata, come quella nei campi di
concentramento durante la seconda guerra mondiale,
produrrà dipendenza. La dipendenza può svilupparsi ad
ogni età durante l'arco della vita. Sia l'ambiente
biofisico (cibo, aria, acqua etc.) che quello
psicosociale sono importanti. Un'ambiente biofisico
normale assicura la giusta interazione con l'ambiente
psicosociale. Un certo numero di sindromi schizofreniche
sono causate da differenti problemi biochimici che
richiedono trattamenti specifici. I tranquillanti, come
i sedativi, non sono specifici. Permettono alcune forme
di controllo per le varie schizofrenie, ma non aiutano a
determinarne le cause. Ovviemente, nessun paziente
schizofrenico soffre della deficienza di nessun tipo di
Il trattamento ortomolecolare in pratica
In generale, il "modello medico" della psichiatria
ortomolecolare è la base per la diagnosi e il
trattamento. Le prognosi sono anche state discusse in
articoli pubblicati nel passato.
In natura, i cibi non esistono come singole proteine,
aminoacidi, grassi, carboidrati, vitamine e minerali
cosi' come vengono descritte in chimica. Tutti i cibi
sono un complesso di materiale vivente. Durante la
digestione, i singoli componenti nutrizionali contenuti
nel cibo, vengono rilasciati. I cibi con il valore
nutritivo piu' alto sono quelli meno raffinati.
Purtroppo ben l'80% dei cibi che oggi si consumano sono
raffinati. Questi "noncibi" sono stati privati di tutti
i nutrienti essenziali. Per essere metabolizzati, devono
"rubare" alcuni nutrienti - proteine, grassi, vitamine e
minerali - dagli altri cibi. Per questo motivo le
sostanze che contengono "calorie vuote" sono così
dannose per la qualità di qualsiasi dieta della quale
Queste sostanze svuotate vengono considerante
"spazzatura" e sono assolutamente da evitare. Quindi la
prima regola nella terapia nutrizionale (cioè
ortomolecolare) è: non mangiare cibo "spazzatura" al
quale sia stato aggiunto dello zucchero. Questa regola
elimina dalla propria alimentazione i dolci, le
caramelle, la cioccolata, bevande gassate, gelati e
farine di cereali raffinati. La maggior parte delle
persone perderà l'abitudine e il desiderio dello
zucchero. Seguire una dieta "senza spazzatura" assicura
che vengano mangiati cibi più nutrienti (frutta fresca,
verdura, pesce, carne etc) e che l'alimentazione sia
molto più sana.
La seconda regola è: eliminare i cibi ai quali si è
allergici. Questo include l'evitare i cibi dei quali
siamo particolarmente bramosi (il desiderio può essere
incentivato dall'allergia) e quelli che ci fanno star
male in maniera evidente.
La terza regola è stata studiata per minimizzare le
reazioni allergiche: variare il più possibile la
tipologia dei cibi per non dipendere da pochi tipi di
Treatment of Cancer -
Between 1978 and March, 1999 I have seen over 1040 patients suffering
from cancer who came to me for nutritional and psychiatric counseling.
This is no longer a surprising combination as it was when I first started
to practice psychiatry in 1952. I attended my first annual meeting of the
American Psychiatric Association in Los Angeles, in 1952. I did not meet
another psychiatrist there with a PhD in Biochemistry. Since then many
more scientists with the double degrees have become active in this field
but of these very few actively pursue this particular combination.
Orthomolecular theory and practice drives these two together. I have
retained my interest in the biochemistry and clinical aspects of nutrition
combining this with my education in medicine and later in psychiatry. The
recovery of my first patient in 1960 from terminal bronchiogenic cancer of
the lung arose from this coalescence of these two disciplines.
By 1960 my research group in Saskatchewan had discovered the first
biochemical substance that was clearly related to the schizophrenias. Not
knowing its structure we called it the mauve factor until it was later
identified as kryptopyrrole. We tested thousands of patients and found
that over 75% of all schizophrenic patients excreted this substance in
their urine. It was also present in about 25% of other psychiatric groups,
in about 10% of severely stressed physically ill patients and in about 5%
of normal people but they were mostly first order relatives of
It disappeared with recovery of the patients no
matter how they were treated. I was particularly interested in the fact
that out of eight patients with cancer of the lung this factor was present
In 1960 a retired psychotic professor was admitted to our psychiatric
department at University Hospital in Saskatoon. He had a bronchiogenic
carcinoma of the lung and when he became psychotic it was concluded he had
secondaries in his brain. He was placed on terminal care, expected to die
in a month or so. Earlier he had been discharged to the care of his wife
and a nurse but after several weeks had to be readmitted since they could
not cope with his behavior.
As soon as I discovered he was on our ward I
had his urine collected and we tested it for the factor. He excreted
copious quantities which we were able to use to help us identify the
I then advised his resident to start him on niacin 1 gram after
each meal and on ascorbic acid 1 gram after each meal. By then I knew that
this combination of vitamins used in megadoses was very helpful in
treating any patient with this factor in their urine no matter what they
were diagnosed. Fortunately for this patient the resident accepted my
advice (the patient was not under my care but I was Director of
Psychiatric Research at the hospital). He was started on the two vitamins
on Friday afernoon and he was mentally normal by the following Monday.
I knew this patient before he became ill as I had treated his wife. After
he had recovered I advised him to remain on these two vitamins. In 1960
our research unit was the only one in Canada, and perhaps in the world,
where 500 mg tablets of these vitamins were available. They were specially
made for us. If smaller tablets were used in these large doses they would
make our patients sick because they contained so much filler. I told him
that if he would pick up a supply each month I would give it to him free.
This meant he had to see me each month and this gave me the opportunity of
assessing his psychiatric state. I did not expect he would recover from
his cancer. He had been told of his dismal prognosis and I did not
contradict that. To my surprise he kept on coming back. About 12 months
later I had lunch with the Director of the Cancer Clinic which had been
following his case. He told me that the tumor had become less and less
visable with each X ray every three months and that it was now no longer
present. He lived about 30 months after he was diagnosed terminal. I had
hoped that when he died he would be autopsied at University Hospital.
Unfortunately he died at another hospital and I did not hear this until
several days later.
He did not die from his cancer.
Two years later a woman I had treated for depression several years
earlier consulted me again.
This time she was depressed because her
16-year-old daughter had Ewings tumor (a highly malignant sarcoma) in one
arm and she was slated for surgery to amputate her arm.
This was the
standard treatment. I told her about the previous patient and his recovery
and suggested that although there was no evidence it would help it could
do no harm and might possibly be of some value. Her daughter agreed to
take niacinamide 1 gram after each meal and ascorbic acid 1 gram after
each meal. Her surgeon agreed to postpone surgery for a month.
recovered and the last time I heard from her family she was married and
leading a normal productive life, with both arms.
I concluded that vitamin
B-3 was the most important component and that the vitamin C was helpful.
In Saskatchewan under my direction we did the first double blind
controlled therapeutic trials in Psychiatry, completing six by 1960.
Therefore I was aware of the powerful influence of placebo. However when
two terminal patients recovered on the vitamins it became powerful
evidence that there was more than placebo at work.
I did not see any more cancer patients until 1977 after I had established
my practice in Victoria, BC. In British Columbia specialists will not
accept patients until they have been referred by their general
practitioners. As a psychiatrist I saw patients referred with psychiatric
problems but in most cases the referring physicians would not indicate why
the referral had been made and I would only discover the reason when I
finally saw my patient.
A.S.An elderly woman appeared and when I asked her why she had come she
replied that she had cancer of the head of the pancrease. She had
developed jaundice. Her surgeon discovered she had a large tumor in the
head of the pancreas which occluded her bile duct. He promptly closed,
created a by-pass, and when she recovered from the anesthesia advised her
that she had about 3 to 6 months to live. She worked in a book store. She
had read Norman Cousins book Anatomy of an Illness and thought that if he
was able to take so much vitamin C with safety she could too and she began
to take 10 grams each day. The next time she consulted her doctor she told
him what she was doing. He referred her to me since he was familiar with
my interest in megadoses of vitamins. I reviewed her program and increased
her vitamin C to 4o grams daily trying to reach the sublaxative level. I
had been using multi nutrients for my schizophrenic patients for many
years and since I had no idea which, if any, of these vitamins might help
I reasoned that she would have a much better chance if she also were to
take more than one nutrient. I then added vitamin B-3, selenium, and zinc
sulfate. Six months later she called me at home in great excitement. She
had just had a CT scan. No tumor was visible. The CT scan was repeated by
the incredulous radiologist. Her original bile duct had reopened and now
she had two. She remained alive and well until she died February 19, 1999,
nearly 22 years after she was told she would die.
Rarely patients make a major contribution to medicine by their interest
in a disease and their willingness to try innovative approaches. A.S's
recovery changed my professional career and I believe will make a major
contribution to the complementary treatment of all cancer patients.
year at a public meeting I thanked her publicly when I discussed her case
before a meeting of Cancer Victors. She added that I had changed her life
as well. She has also changed the life of hundreds of cancer patients who
became victors, not victims.
By telling her friends, relatives and customers about her recovery she
changed the nature of my practice. That first year another five patients
were referred. The second case was a man with a sarcoma of the prostate
which was invading his pelvic bone. He was advised no treatment was
available. His doctor referred him to me and I started him on a similar
program. But he was only able to take about 10 grams of vitamin C daily. I
asked his doctor if he would mind injecting him with 10 grams of vitamin C
twice weekly. After six months his doctor wanted to know how much longer
would he need to receive his vitamin C. He told me that the tumor was gone.
He stopped the injection. He lived another 9 years and died at age 80, but
not from his cancer.
More patients were referred to me each year. At first almost all of them
were patient-generated and often it took remarkable persuasive powers for
the patient to obtain the necessary referral. After assessing their
physical and mental state I would talk to them about the therapeutic
regimen. I outlined the program in detail describing each nutrient and why
I thought they might be helpful. I added that there was no guarantee that
the vitamins would be helpful but gave them hope by describing the cases
who had had a dramatic response. I added that the vitamin mineral program
would decrease the toxicity of the xenobiotic treatment and would increase
the efficacy of the xenobiotic program. If they needed surgery they would
heal faster afterwards.
If they needed chemotherapy the program would make
it more tolerable and less painful and if they needed radiation the
program would decrease the intensity of the side effects of the radiation
and increase its efficacy. These comments were based on the literature
which was developing rapidly.
The program was designed to assist the body
in controlling the cancer and was not a direct assault on the tumor. The
attack on the tumor was carried out by the other physicians including
their family doctor, the surgeons, the radiologist and oncologists. The
diagnosis of the cancer and the xenobiotic treatment used was left
entirely to the patient and their other doctors. I did not advise them
whether or not they should take any other treatment. Very few did not
receive xenobiotic therapy. After describing the program I would arrange
to see them once more unless they were very depressed and anxious, in
which case I would see them more often.
A few of the patients had been
under my care before they developed their cancer and I continued to see
them. I then sent a consultation report to each referring physician. After
the second interview they were returned to the care of their family
physicians. I had not planned on doing any follow up but after several
years when I had treated about 50 patients I became aware that the
patients who had followed the regimen consistently for at least two months
lived much longer than the patients who did not start the program or did
not take it for at least two months.
About this time I went to a Festchrift for Dr. Arthur Sackler at Woods
Hole, Mass. We met in 1951 when I was starting our research program. He
and his brothers were practicing in mid-Manhatten. They were probably the
first orthomolecular psychiatrists in the United States. They were
treating schizophrenic patients by injecting them with histamine. After I
returnd home I repeated their studies and found that their observations
were correct. Out of twelve patients I treated using their regimen 8
became normal. The treatment was difficult since they had to be given
increasing amounts of subcutaneous histamine until their diastolic
pressure decreased to 0. It was amazing to see how comfortable they could
be with that low blood pressure.
Treatments were givern daily on week days
until the series was completed. I did not continue this series because by
this time I was using megadoses of vitamin B-3 which was much easier to
administer and equally effective.
The histamine flush was identical with
the niacin flush. At that meeting Dr. Linus Pauling delivered a vigorous
and careful critique of the Mayo Clinic's attempt to repeat the studies he
had done with Dr. Ewan Cameron in Scotland. The Mayo group claimed they
had exactly repeated these studies but it was clear on reading their paper
that they had not. Dr. Pauling did not object to their negatives findings.
He objected to their statement that their conclusions resulting from a
different method of administering the vitamin C were used to condemn his
and Camerons findings. In other words no scientist can claim to confirm or
deny any study unless they really have repeated the original work as
described by the original authors.
The next morning, after breakfast, I visited Linus Pauling who was
staying in the room next to mine. When I walked in he was busy with a hand
calculator. He told me he was working out the electron orbitals saying
that he did not understand them unless he did the calculations himself.
told him that on the basis of my fifty patients I had concluded that he
and Cameron were right, that vitamin C in large doses did improve
enormously the outcome of treatment for cancer.
Linus asked me if I
intended to publish the data. I replied that I did not. I added that in my
opinion there was little point in trying to do so since it wold be
impossible to gain entry into any medical journal, that they would not
accept any paper that dealt favorably with megadose vitamin therapy. The
New England Journal of Medicine, which had published the Mayo Clinic
attack on Pauling, refused to publish his rebuttal. Linus urged me to do a
complete follow up study of every patient I had treated. I was flattered
and agreed that I would. He said that he would see that the material would
be published. But when I returned home I decided not to do the follow up.
It would have meant an enormous amount of work.
I thought tht Dr. Pauling
was being kind to me. Two years later I received a letter from Linus in
which he said bluntly "Abram where is the study". I decided that
he was serious about it.
By then I had seen 134 patients. I apologized and
promised to start the follow up immediately.
I traced every patient and
determined whether they were alive, where they were, and what had happened
to their lives. I contacted the patients, their famlies, their doctors,
the cancer clinic where nearly all of them had been seen and treated. The
Cancer Clinic in Victoria did a good job of investigation, diagnosis and
treatment using only xenobiotic therapies.
Dr. Pauling developed an elegant method for determining the probable
outcome of treatment using cohorts of patients who were or were not
treated. After I had completed the follow up I sent the case histories,
with identification of each patient removed, and the follow up study.
decided to use the duration of life as the only variable. This began when
they first saw me and ended with the day of their death. There is
increasing evidence that this hard measure of success is much more useful
than trying to decide whether the tumor is slightly smaller or not. For
patients have lived for a long time with slowly growing tumors. We agreed
to publish as coauthors. I suggested that the first paper would be by
Pauling and Hoffer. This was because it was his original idea to use
megadoses of vitamin C and the work I had done was merely to test his
conclusions. He was very firm that he would not consider this and insisted
it would appear as Hoffer and Pauling. I think he felt that as a clinician
who had done the clinical work I should be the senior author. He did not
have an MD. Linus Pauling, in my opinion, was the most brilliant
humanitarian scientist that ever lived.
Over his life time in addition to
his two Noble Prizes, he was awarded nearly 40 Honorary degrees, PHD's and
DSc's. I am sorry he was never given an Honorary MD. His contribution to
human health has surpassed that of most physicians. We wrote the paper
using his method for analyzing the data and my clinical material. But the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences refused to accept the
paper. One of the criticisms of our paper came from some rumour which had
reached the critic that I had solicited patients to come to be seen
implying I had selected only the best prognostic patients. On the contrary
I had nothing to do with the selection and I included every patient who
had been referred. Eventually we published in the Journal of
I am the editor and I could not refuse to accept
our work. That original paper was reprinted in the book by Ewan Cameron
and Linus Pauling Cancer and Vitamin C. Updated and Expanded.
Inc, P.O. Box 59026, Philadelphia, PA 19102. 1993. Appendix IX is this
We began to write a book. My case load was building very quickly and I
published a second paper with Dr. Pauling and several more after that on
my own. We finshed most of the book except for much of the detailed
clinical material but we could not find a publisher in the United States
willing to publish it. The topic was still too controversial. I found a
Canadian Publisher, Quarry Press, Kingston, ONT. A few months ago I sent
him the completed manuscript.
This contains all the original material Dr.
Pauling had written dealing with each type of cancer and a presentation of
my data based on nearly 800 patients. We concluded in our manuscript that
the optimum treatment for cancer today is a combination of xenobiotic and
orthomolecular therapy and that treatment must be started as soon as
possible. This book will be available in about one year. Here are the
Hoffer A & Pauling L: Hardin Jones biostatistical analysis of
mortality data for cohorts of cancer patients with a large fraction
surviving at the termination of the study and a comparison of survival
times of cancer patients receiving large regular oral doses of vitamin C
and other nutrients with similar patients not receiving those doses. J
Orthomolecular Medicine 5:143-154, 1990.
Reprinted in, Cancer and Vitamin
C, Updated and Expanded E Cameron and L Pauling, Camino Books, Inc. P.O.
Box 59026, Phil. PA, 19102, 1993.
Hoffer A & Pauling L: Hardin Jones biostatistical analysis of
mortality data for a second set of cohorts of cancer patients with a large
fraction surviving at the termination of the study and a comparison of
survival times of cancer patients receiving large regular oral doses of
vitamin C and other nutrients with similar patients not receiving these
doses. J of Orthomolecular Medicine, 8:1547-167, 1993.
Hoffer A: Orthomolecular Oncology. In, Adjuvant Nutrition in Cancer
Treatment, Ed. P Quillin & RM Williams. 1992 Symposium Proceedings,
Sponsored by Cancer Treatment Research Foundation and American College of
Nutrition. Cancer Treatment Research Foundation, 3455 Salt Creek Lane,
Suite 200, Arlington Heights, IL 60005-1090, 331-362, 1994.
Hoffer,A. Orthomolecular Treatment of Cancer. In Nutrients in Cancer
Prevention and Treatment. Ed. Prasad,KN, Santamaria,L & Williams RM.
Pages 373-391, 1995, Humana Press, Totowa, New Jersey.
Patient's Recovery From Lymphoma. Townsend Letter for Doctors and
Patients. #160 , 50-51, 1996
A new book just arrived by Burton Goldberg, edited by W.John Diamond,
W.Lee Cowden with Burton Goldberg, Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide
to Cancer. Future Medicine Publishing, Inc. Tiburon, California.1997.In
this valuable book 37 physicians including myself, describe the
alternative methods they use with clinical descriptions of some of the
results they have obtained.
I prefer the term complementary to alternative
and expect that soon all medicine will be complmentary and that physicians
using only xenobiotic methods will be the exception.
Review of Previous Reports and Present
The use of large doses of nutrients for the treatment of cancer has not
yet entered the mainstream of medicine, not in the Universities, nor in
the medical journals, or in the wards, halls and corridors of hospitals.
But it is beginning to do so, largely due to the persistance and
dedication of Professor Linus Pauling. He needed forums in which to
outline his views and these were provided for him by the physicians and
other interested individuals. The Canadian Schizophrenia Foundation was
honored to host Linus Pauling on three separate occasions, in Toronto and
About the same time the National Cancer Institute held a
meeting in September 1990.
This was not a clinical meeting. No one
presented clinical data showing what nutrients might do.
At this meeting
Dr. Linus Pauling and two associates presented their findings. Dr. Pauling
commented at that meeting "It is very interesting to be here since,
for some ten years or so, you have refused every request of mine for
research grants on vitamin C". The Proceedings, National Academy of
Sciences (US) refused to publish any clinical papers authored by Dr. Linus
Pauling. The first paper, by Hoffer and Pauling, was rejected.
During May 10-12, (1991) Jay Patrick, President, Alacer Corporation,
hosted a meeting- the Second World Congress on Vitamin C and The Immune
System, in San Diego, Bahia Resort Hotel. He had hosted the First World
Congress on Vitamin C in 1978 in Palm Springs. That one was addressed by
Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi who won the Noble Prize for his work on vitamin C and
intermediary metabolism, by Dr. Linus Pauling, and by Dr. Fred Klenner,
the first physician to use megadoses of vitamin C. The Second World
Congress brought together a distinguished group of vitamin researchers and
clinicians including Dr. E. Cheraskin, Dr. C.A.B. Clemetson, Dr. E. Ginter,
Dr. J. Priestly, and others. Their papers were published in the Journal of
Orthomolecular Medicine Volume 6, 1991. I also presented a report on the
clinical procedures I was then using in treating the terminally ill cancer
patients with Vitamin C. Dr. Linus Pauling presented an excellent outline
of his research into vitamin C and Cancer but his presentation was not
published. Dr. Pauling was an excellent speaker, very honest, and very
The following quotation from his paper will convey some of the
flavour of his presentations.
"When Irvine Stone wrote to me in 1965,
after having heard me give a talk in which I said that I would like to
live 25 years longer in order to enjoy reading about the new discoveries
about the nature of the world that no doubt would be made by scientists
during these 25 years and said if I were to take three grams a day of
Vitamin C, I would perhaps not only live the 25 years but even 50 years.
And that was when I increased my uptake ot ascorbate fifty fold to 3,000
milligrams a day, then later to a hundredfold, 6000, then to two
hundredfold, then to three hundredfold and I'm still not sure what the
optimum intake is. There is a practical reason why I stopped at three
hundredfold at 18,000. Well, I think that's pretty important. I read a
statement by physicians that they should tell their patients not to worry
about being constipated. I think they should worry about being constipated,
its so harmful to carry waste toxic materials around an unnecessarily long
period of time. So,it was Irwin Stone that got me interested in Vitamin C
and of course, it was that scoundrel Victor Herbert who was responsible
for my having begun writing books about vitamins". So the other day I
got a book published by the National Academy of Sciences on control of
diseases. It mentions practically nothing about vitamins and their
usefullness but it does have something about common colds. A statement
that 16 control trials have been turned out, every one of which showed
that Vitamin C has no value in controlling the common cold, preventing or
controlling the common cold. They didn't listen, but I'm sure they're the
16 control trials that I discuss in my books, where I give the amount of
decrease in illness. Every one of these shows that Vitamin C has value,
not that it doesn't have value. That's perhaps a minor misrepresentation.
A couple of years ago, I got two or three letters from people who sent me
clippings from a magazine. One of them said he had stopped taking his
Vitamin C because of the statement in this magazine. It was a quotation
from the Professor of Medicine at Yale University Medical School.
mentioned, three or four weeks ago, while speaking in Yale University
Medical School, his statement that you shouldn't take as much as even one
gram of Vitamin C per day because it will damage the liver. So I wrote to
him and said that I read the literature on Vitamin C to the extent that I
can, and there are a couple of thousand new papers published every year
about Vitamin C, but I missed the meal. Would you please send me the
references to the work done on the damage done to the liver. Well, he was
a gentleman, which you'd expect at Yale Medical School and often when I
write letters like that I don't get an answer from them. He wrote back
saying oh, that was just a mistake. That was the end of that. So far as I
know he didn't write to the magazine and say that was a mistake, but he
did say it to me. And there are lots of mistakes of this sort about
vitamins that perhaps sometimes intentionally misrepresent the facts.
some perhaps there is a reason an economic, financial reason, that there
is so msuch opposition in the medical establishment against improving your
health by taking vitamins."
This first symposium which included laboratory and medical scientists was
one of the first with this mix of clinical and preclinical data. The
number attending was not very large but they made up in quality for the
lack of numbers. There I met Dr. Patrick Quillin, Vice President of
Nutrition, Cancer Treatment Centers of America. He was thinking about
organizing a conference to consider the connection between nutrition and
cancer. I thought it was an excelllent idea and encouraged him to do so.
The first symposium was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, November 6 to 8, 1992.
The title of the meeting was Adjuvent Nutrition in Cancer Treatment. Over
300 physicians and others attended. Participating were seven Universities,
more than 6 cancer institutes.
The last half day of the symposium was
taken up by clinical studies including my report, and a report from Prof
Rudy Falk, University of Toronto Medical School. This was the first
meeting were both the academic physicians and orthomolecular physicians
met in an amicable and interesting exchange of information. The meeting
was co- sponsored by the Cancer Treatment Research Foundation and the
American College of Nutrition, and published as a proceedings.
In my presentation at the Tulsa Conference I described how I became
involved in the treatment of patients with cancer. My preliminary data
indicated that the addition of vitamin C in mega doses improved the
outcome of treatment substantially. I described these findings to Linus
He urged me to follow up carefully every patient I had seen and
offered to analyze the follow up data using the method he had developed.
In our two recent studies, Hoffer and Pauling3 concluded that the addition
of vitamin C improved the outcome of treatment for cancer significantly
and substantially. In the first study 134 patients seen between August
1977 and March 1988 were followed until December 31, 1989. We concluded
that orthomolecular treatment given to female related cancers had improved
life expectancy about 20 times compared to our non random controls and 12
times for other cancers. In our second paper a second cohort of 170
patients seen between April 1988 to December 31, 1989 was followed to
December 31, 1992. These results were about the same as those we had
published earlier. We concluded that while vitamin C alone led to about 10
% excellent responders the addition of the other nutrients increased this
to about 40 %.
Orthomolecular treatment improves the quality of life. It also decreases
the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy. The program is palatable.
The only patients who could not follow it were those who were getting
chemotherapy and suffered severe nausea and vomiting or patients who could
not swallow because of lesions in their throat. Orthomolecular therapy
provides a step forward in the battle against cancer and must be fully
explored. There can be no logical reason today why most of the research
funds should go only toward the examination of more chemotherapy and more
ways of giving radiation. There must be a major expansion into the use of
orthomolecular therapy to sort out the variables and to determine how to
improve the therapeutic outcome of treatment.
Hoffer A: Orthomolecular Medicine for Physicians. Keats Publising, New
Canaan, CT, 1989.
Pauling,L: Biostatistical analysis of mortality data for cohorts of
cancer patients. Proceedings National Academy Sciences, USA
Pauling, L and Herman, Z: Criteria for the validity of clinical trials of
treatments of cohorts of cancer patients based on the Hardin Jones
principle. Proceedings National Academy Science, USA 86:6835-6837,1989.
Anti Cancer Nutrition
A large number of special diets ranging from fasting (water only) to
juice fasts to low fat and sugar free diets are used. Every one of the
special diets have proponents who think they are very helpful, and
patients who have been helped by them but no one has ever conducted an
experiment to compare all the diets to determine which is the best.
Perhaps there will never be a "best".
Because of the
individuality of people it may turn out that each person will have to
determine what is their own best diet. In my book Hoffer"s Laws of
Natural Nutrition Quarry Press,P.O.Box 1061, Kingston, Ontario K7L 4Y5.
Almost all the diets used by complementary therapists are lower in animal
proteins, much more vegetarian, with emphasis on vegetables rich in
bioflavonoids and fruits.
I advise my patients to obey three rules (1) To
eliminate all junk food i.e,. food containing any added simple sugars like
table sugar or glucose as in corn syrup. This simple rule, comprehensible
even to children, will eliminate nearly 90% of the additives commonly
added to processed foods.
2) To reduce fat levels, I think that dairy
products are the chief villains. Nearly every study internationally has
shown that countries with lower fat intake have fewer cases of cancer,
particulary breast cancer. Milk is very rich in estrogens from the cow and
in phytoestrogens from the grass that they eat.(3) To eliminate all foods
they know they are allergic to. These rules allow the diet to be varied,
palatable and interesting.
No one should take any supplements until they have become familiar with
their properties and how to use them. It is advisable always to work with
a knowledgeable physician. But if they can not find any physician or
orthomolecular nutritionist they should go ahead on their own using the
information now readily available on nutrition and vitamin supplements.
They should advise their doctors what they are doing and which supplements
they are using. By listing the vitamins and dose ranges I am not
suggesting that every person need to take them all. This is an individual
matter based on discussions with their doctor. The vitamin and mineral
supplements are compatible with medication and with the diet.
Vitamin C. The dose range is anywhere from 3 to 40 grams daily in three
divided doses. If the dose is too high it will not be absorbed by the
intestines, will stay in the bowel and act like a laxative causing loose
stools and gas. It is a good laxative. The best dose does not act like a
laxative. Forms of vitamin C include the pure ascorbic acid (hydrogen
ascorbate), and the mineral salts such as sodium ascorbate (slightly salty
in taste), calcium ascorbate (slightly bitter), and other salts often
found in combinations of the mineral ascorbates, In large doses it is best
used as the powder dissolved in water or one of the juices. Do not use
commercial grade vitamin C crystals of powders. Use CP grades as is found
in drug stores or health food stores.
Contrary to false rumours issued by
some hostile critics of megadose vitamin use it does not cause kidney
stones, does not cause pernicious anemia, does not cause sterility. A
recent suggestion in a letter, to Nature, published in England concluded
that more than 500 milligrams of vitamin C daily could cause DNA damage.
This was based on one of a possible 20 markers that could have been used
which showed no damage and a 21st marker which is seriously questioned.
Some of the key scientists in this field criticized these conclusions. My
only comment is that if they were correct why do my patients who take
large doses of vitamin C live so much longer.
Vitamin B-3. There are two forms. Niacin lowers cholesterol, elevates
high density lipoprotein cholesterol and reduces the ravages of heart
disease, but causes flushing when it is first taken.
The flushing reaction
dissipates in time and in most cases is gone or very minor within a matter
of weeks. Niacinamide, the other form, has no effect on blood fats (lipids)
but is not a vasodilator. There have been 7 international conferences on
the theme niacin and cancer.
This vitamin is an essential component of the
enzyme systems that repair broken DNA molecules. The dose ranges from 100
milligrams three times daily to 1000 milligrams three times daily.
studies in Detroit have found that the response rate of cancer around the
head and neck was 10% on radiation alone but increased to 80% when
patients were given large doses of niacinamide. Very rarely niacin will
cause obstructive jaundice which clears when the niacin is stopped. For
details see my book Orthomolecular Medicine for Physicians.
Vitamin E (d alpha tocopherol
succinate). This water soluble form has
the greated efficacy in controlling cancer cell growth in the test tube
and is the one I recommend should be used.
The dose ranges from 400 to
1200 International Units daily. Vitamin E is the major fat soluble anti-
oxidant in the body and plays a role by decreasing the concentration of
free radicals which are thought to be involved in the creation of the
cancer. It also decreases the risk of heart disease, thus confirming what
was found over fifty years in Ontario by Drs. Wilfrid and Evan Shute.
Carotenoids. Most people have heard of beta carotene but this is only
one of a large number of carotenoids which are present in colored
vegetables and fruits such as carrots, beets, tomatos and greens. The
evidence is very powerful that these mixed carotenoids as found in these
foods will decrease the incidence of cancer but there is a question about
the efficacy of the pure beta carotene. There is still a vigorous debate
about this. I prefer carrot juice to the beta carotene. Generally it is
better to have a large variety of these natural anti cancer factors.
carotene is very safe. The only question is whether it is the best form.
Only a small portion is converted into vitamin A.
Folic acid. Several studies have found this important vitamin has anti
cancer properties, for cancer of the cervix and of the lung in lung
smokers. This does not mean it is safe to smoke.
It does mean that smokers
should take it and immediately start their campaign to stop smoking. Women
should take ample amounts to prevent neural tube disorders such as spina
The US government plans to add it to flour. Canada is still
thinking about it.
The dose range is from 1 to 30 milligrams daily. It can
be taken only on prescription.
Coenzyme Q 10. Dr. Karl Folkers discovered this substance, also called
ubiquinone; toward the end of his long and distinguished career he
regretted that he had not called it a vitamin.
It is an odd vitamin since
young people are able to make enough from the lower numbered ubiquinones
such as Q 6 or Q 8 whereas older people and anyone ill is not able to make
enough. It thus becomes a vitamin later in llife and when onc becomes ill.
A few clinical studies have shown that in large doses it has anticancer
properties especially for breast cancer. These range from 300 milligrams
to 600 milligrams daily.
Selenium. The presence or absense of this trace element has the clearest
relationship to the presence of cancer. People living on soils that are
rich in selenium have a lower incidence.
I recommend between 200 to 1000
micrograms daily. One of my patients took 2000 with no side effects.
Calcium and magnesium. These are generally very useful to take to
maintain calcium levels in bones and blood. They have been found helpful
in cases of bowel cancer. Women should receive 1500 milligrams of calcium
daily from their food and supplements and half as much magnesium. There
are several forms of these minerals available. Usually a person will
absorb into their body anywhere between 25 and 50% of the calcium.
Zinc and copper. There is a reciprocal connection between these two. If
blood zinc levels are too high the copper levels will be too low. Because
zinc can shrnik enlarged prostate glands and may be helpful in the
treatment of this cancer. I have been using it routinely. Also, people in
Victoria tend to be low in zinc levels because our water is soft, and
dissolves copper more easily from copper plumbing.
Other Substances Found in Plants.
A large number of these preparations are being used for the treatment of
They include bioflavonoids, preparations from soy bean, and from
mushrooms. Vaccines are also being used. Coley's vaccine originated over
100 years ago. I will not discuss these, nor other treatments such as
714-X, Ukrain, Iscador, Cartilage, Carnivora, Amygdalin (Laetril), Esiac,
and many herbs.
These are described in the book by Diamond, Cowden and
Most of the speakers at the 26th Annual International Conference on
Nutritional Medicine Today, Toronto, April 1997, discussed various topics
dealing with the principlea and pracice of orthomolecular medicine. Dr.
C.Simone spoke on "Breast Cancer: Nutritional and Lifestyle
Modification to Augment Oncology Care". Dr. Somone is well known for
his work in researching complementary treatment of cancer.. He is an
Internist, Medical Oncologist, Immunologist and Radiation Oncologist and
has published several valuable books including Cancer and Nutrition and A
Ten Point Plan to Reduce Your Risk of Getting Cancer. Optimum nutrition,
avoiding toxic substances in food and water, and other lifestyle changes
will materially reduce the risk of developing cancer.
Here is his ten point plan (1) Nutrition: calories slightly below average
to maintain a weight just below the average weight. Should be high in
fiber, rich in fish, fruits, and vegetables and with vitamin and mineral
suplements. Eliminate additives and salt. (2) Avoid tobacco.
alcohol (one drink per week allowed). (4) Avoid radiation. Take X-ray only
when necessary and avoid excessive exposure to sun. (5) Keep environment,
air, water,and work place clean.
(6) Avoid promiscuity, hormones and any
unnecessary drugs.(7). Learn early warning signs like a lump in the breast.
(8) Exercise and relax regularly. (9) Take a yearly physical. (10) Read
his book for a self test of risk factors and symptoms that may indicate
cancer or heart disease.
See the report by Esteve,J. et all. Diet and
cancers of the larynx and hypopharynx: the IARC multi-center study in
southwestern Europe. In Cancer Causes and Control 7:240-252,1996.
These ten points should be part of every treatment program as well. The
main difference is that in treatment the first point becomes even more
important and the doses of supplements are much greater. The sicker a
person is the more nutrients are needed in optimum doses to help the
bodies reparative mechanisms. Treatment must be started as soon as the
diagnosis is suspected and made, and should be concurrent with any other
treatment recommended by oncologists and cancer specialists. Eventually
all cancer specialists will be using these orthomolecular techniques.
Supplements must be maintained while chemotherapy or radiation are being
Studies have shown that these supplements enhance the toxic effect
of the treatment on the lesion and decrease the toxic effects on the body.
Patients do not suffer as much from the side effects and recover much more
quickly when the treatment series is completed. They enhance the quality
of life during and after treatment.
In Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where I conducted my research which helped
lead to orthomolecular oncology, Tyrell Dueck, age 13, was forced to
undergo chemotherapy for an osteogenic sarcoma of his leg and amputation
of that leg. Neither Tyrell nor his parents wanted him to undergo this
treatment and instead, having already had two sessions of chemotherapy,
Tyrell wanted to get alternative treatment from a clinic outside of
Canada. The problem was that Tyrell ass not an adult. If he were, there
would be no problem and no one could force him to receive treatment he did
not want. His pediatric oncologist testified that the cancer could be
spreading and that if chemotherapy did not start soon surgical options
would be limited. He added that he would accept Tyrells wishes if he were
certain that Tyrell had all the available information. Three
professionals, one a psychiatrist, testified that Tyrell was competent to
make such a decision.
The judge ruled that, even so, Tyrell had been
unduly swayed by his parents and that he had not been given the necessary
The keywords are "necessary information" so that all the legal
requirements for informed consent were met. I would be surprised if Tyrell
had not been informed what might happen to him with or without standard
treatment. The outlook for this lesion is dismal and even amputation of
the leg would not ensure that other limbs might not have to be amputated
later. I think Tyrell was informed about the possible benefits and risks
of alternative treatment as well. Most patients study their options very
carefully before they make these very serious decisions. But I also am
convinced that the pediatric oncologist and the judge and the government
department that ordered the treatment against Tyrell's wishes were the
most ill informed. Treatment with high doses ascorbic acid either by mouth
or intravenously or both carries no risk and does provide substantial
advantages over chemotherapy and surgery used as the sole treatment.
Between 1980 and 1995 four patients with sarcoma followed my treatment
protocol (a combination of orthodox and orthomolecular treatment). The
first seen in Victoria, had a prostate sarcoma invading his pelvic bones.
The cancer clinic could not treat him and he was declared untreatable. He
responded to the regimen and died 9 years later at age 80 clear of cancer.
One is alive after ten years. One is still alive after five years.
last one, an abdominal liposarcoma died in his sixth year. Counting the
first young patient I saw in 1962 who was still well several years ago,
five of six responded either to the vitamin regimen alone or to the
I think there is a misunderstanding on both parties of this dispute.
There is no reason in the world why any oncologist should not allow
vitamin treatment in combination with chemotherapy.
This would enhance the
therapeutic effect of the chemotherapy and decrease its toxicity.
possibly have saved this young boys leg and his life. He died soon after
On the other side, if the oncologist had been more open
Tyrell might have agreed to more chemotherapy if he were assured he could
also take the vitamins by mouth or by intravenous administration. There
were doctors in Saskatoon willing to use orthomolecular treatment.
knowledge and more comon sense could have avoided this terrible dilemma
forced on Tyrell and to a lesser degree on the physicians who advised
Tyrell and his family. The family appealed the decision to the superior
court and enforced chemotherapy was put on hold. March 20. 1999
The final solution is that every one
lost. Tyrell has metastases to his lungs and was therefore no longer
treatable by the cancer clinic. They no longer objected to Tyrell
receiving vitamin therapy.
He did go to Mexico. Tyrell also lost months in
obtaining orthomolecular treatment which may have destroyed his chance for
The court lost because the decision
was repellant and will generate massive controversy. December 26, 1999.
This is a Canadian Web site. It's
content is intended only for residents in Canada.
Come Portale segnaliamo vari personaggi che hanno avuto
contrasti con le autorita' mediche, e per
essere precisi, affermiamo che
NON condividiamo in toto
le loro terapie (quelle monoterapeutiche), in
quanto per noi, seguaci della
(cancro compreso) e'
NESSUN prodotto puo', da solo, guarire dalla
malattia della quale si e' malati !