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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Where are the Niacin Studies for Schizophrenia?

from November 2009, timely today in regard to the discussion about psychiatry currently in the news.

UPDATE 12/21 - Food Sources of Niacin (B3)

UPDATE: 12/18 - If you have been a proponent of natural mental health you would already have known that omega 3 EFAs have been an effective help to many who live with several mental health issues.
BETHESDA, Md., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Deficiencies in omega-3 fatty acids may be a factor in mental illnesses, U.S. researchers suggest.

The study, published in Behavioral Neuroscience, named two omega-3 fatty acids -- docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid -- as key to maintaining a nervous system capable of avoiding sensory overload.

The researchers suggest low omega-3 may be linked to the information-processing problems found in people with afflictions of the nervous system including schizophrenia and bipolar, obsessive-compulsive, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders.

The researchers looked at nervous system function in the offspring of four groups of pregnant mice that had been fed different diets with no or varying types and amounts of omega-3s. Only the mice raised on the two omega-3 fatty acids showed normal, adaptive sensorimotor nervous responses that did not result in the animals being perpetually startled and easily overwhelmed by sensory stimuli.

"It is an uphill battle now to reverse the message that 'fats are bad,' and to increase omega-3 fats in our diet," study leader Norman Salem Jr. of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in Bethesda said in a statement.
Travelling back some 50 or more years ago there were some members of the medical profession who took a totally different look at mental health issues.  Instead of fluoride based anti-psychotics, these courageous fellows relied on nutritional supplementation and effectively treated thousands of people diagnosed as schizophrenic.

And to make it all the more respectable, numerous scientific reports were issued on this care that came to be known as orthomolecular medicine.

And you might wonder why PubMed fails to include the orthomolecular journal so you might be more able to find related data.

Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorders
Double blind controlled therapeutic trials in Saskatchewan in 1952 showed that adding vitamin B-3 to the treatment then available, which was electro convulsive therapy, doubled the recovery rate. From this start, and corroborated by a large number of clinical studies and by one double blind corroborative study that was sponsored by National Institute of Mental Health, Washington, this early treatment has been refined and expanded. There are no negative studies. It now includes examination of the diet for possible food allergies; includes using optimum doses of vitamin B-3, which range from 3 to 12 or more grams daily; includes the use of vitamin C as an important antioxidant and other vitamins if needed, plus the best medication. As patients respond, the doses of medication and the nutrients are adjusted until the optimum doses of all nutrients and drugs is achieved. This treatment should be under medical control.

Nutrients Most Commonly Used For Schizophrenia and Schizo-Affective Disorders (under medical supervision):

* Vitamin B-3

* Vitamin C

* Vitamin B-6

* Zinc

* Vitamin B complex

* Selenium

Mood Disorders: Anxiety, Bipolar or Depression -
The following nutrients are helpful in controlling mood disorders (under medical supervision):

* Niacinamide

* B complex

* Vitamin C

* Folic acid

* Vitamin D

* Vitamin B-6
* Zinc citrate

* Essential fatty acids

In contrast to anti depressant medication I have not yet seen the type of warning issued by Professor Lana Watkins PhD, Duke University, who told the Annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society held in Denver, March 4, 2006, that current anti depressants increased the risk of dying from heart disease by 55 percent.

"Orthomolecular treatment does not lend itself to rapid drug-like control of symptoms, but patients get well to a degree not seen by tranquilizer therapists who believe orthomolecular therapists are prone to exaggeration. Those who've seen the results are astonished." 
---Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., 1917-2009


FDA Okays New Antipsychotic for Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder
By Cole Petrochko, Staff Writer, MedPage Today, August 14, 2009
WASHINGTON -- The FDA approved the atypical antipsychotic asenapine (Saphris) for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults, making it the first psychotropic drug to gain initial approval for both conditions.

The drug is indicated for first-line use in acute treatment of schizophrenia and of manic or mixed episodes in bipolar I disorder, with or without psychotic features.

FDA approval was based on data from more than 3,000 patients showing statistically significant efficacy versus placebo in acute schizophrenia trials and statistically significant reduction of bipolar mania symptoms versus placebo.

The drug showed signs of treating negative schizophrenia symptoms better than risperidone (Risperdal) in early clinical trials, but the advantage was not subsequently confirmed against olanzapine (Zyprexa, Zydis). (See APA: New Drug No Better for Negative Schizophrenia Symptoms)

Like other atypical antipsychotics, asenapine's side effects include sedation, weight gain, tardive dyskinesia, and diabetes risks. However, a clinical trial showed that asenapine's rate of weight gain was significantly lower than that experienced with olanzapine, a similar antipsychotic.

Atypical antipsychotics also show an increased likelihood of death in elderly patients treated for dementia-related psychosis.

The tablets are available in five and 10 mg doses and should be taken twice daily.

Manufacturer Schering-Plough said it plans to make the drug available in the fourth quarter of 2009.


pamella said...

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Chris said...

A schizophrenic relative of mine recently was slowly taken of his normal medication while also being dosed with Vitamin B3. The results were disastrous and he nearly ended up killing himself and my close relatives.

Unknown said...

Chris, I am sorry for your loss but one would have to know the issues specifically as to the type of drug and they amount of B3 being used and if vitamin C was being used with it as is the protocol. This has been benficial to thousands over the years.

Chris said...


Are you aware that since Hoffer did his original study, no-one has been able to re-create his results?

Studies have been done in Canada, the US, and Australia. They all failed to find any benefit.

Here are the links to the actual studies, i.e. the evidence :

I don't blame you for believing this clap trap, you are clearly not educated in the ways of science, this is not your fault. How are you to determine what studies are treatments are real and what are pure quackery? To do that you need to understand how to read scientific papers and appreciate what makes a good study and a bad study.


Unknown said...

Chris, Clearly you did not read the info about me or my education or my work experience. I have degrees in science and worked for many years in mental health. I have seen first hand the benefits of B3 in mental health. I also know that I would be slow to believe an AMA study or those from related sources because the studies are set up to discount non drug treatment. If Hoffer's work had not been successful then Carl Pfeiffer and others would not have continued his work and of course it would not still be in use to day which it is.

Chris said...

> I have seen first hand the benefits of B3 in mental health.

Unfortunately anecdotes mean very little in science. They are very low down on the things that matter.

I was hoping you'd be able to provide me with some double blind placebo controlled trials showing the effectiveness of Vitamin B3 with schizophrenia. Are there any that you know of? Surely you wouldn't be that irresponsible as to put this kind of information on the web without first checking that there was some decent and reliable evidence? You do realise that some people just accept this kind of non-sense without checking the sources right?

> If Hoffer's work had not been successful then Carl Pfeiffer and others would not have continued his work and of course it would not still be in use to day which it is.

This suggests that people only work on successful things. This is clearly not true.

> it would not still be in use to day which it is.

So are you a Homeopathy advocate too? What about black magic? What about any of the dangerous things still done in parts of Africa to little children? Anyone with even a simplistic knowledge of human history knows that the vast amount of things that we have done in the past, and for long periods, were completely ineffective and even dangerous. Do you know about bloodletting? One of the oldest medical traditions, even the Egyptians and ancient Greeks did it. We only stopped doing it until recently. We now know it's very dangerous and doesn't provide any benefit.

It's not like Hoffer hasn't done any good. He discovered that Niacin at high dosage can be used to treat high cholesterol and other dyslipidemias. Nobody covered this up. This was repeated by other studies and has been used to help people. But this isn't what we're discussing.

The web is a dangerous place, and it's dangerous in-part because of people like you.

Unknown said...

Chris, I am sorry that you blame everything about what went wrong with your relative on B3. You also do not seem to knw that double blind studies have been proven to be junque science and this has been known for years.
What drug was your relative taking and do you consider that damage from that drug and the nutritional defieciencies caused from that drug? If it was an SSRI or SNRI then you have - automatically- an issue with rage and homcidal maina thaty comes up in the w/d if that is improperly done.
I pray that you gain peace and that you stop attacking others falsely when you are angry.

Unknown said...

Chris, when you do not adhere to our policies by attacking comments that you do not like we cannot post your submission.