Canada loses medical icon; Dr. Abram Hoffer dies at age 91

    TORONTO, June 1 /CNW/ - Orthomolecular Health would like to express its
sadness at the loss of a Canadian medical icon who dedicated his life to the
research and development of alternative medical therapies for psychiatric
    Dr. Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD died in Victoria, British Columbia on May 27,
2009 at the age of 91 after a brief illness. In 2008, Dr. Hoffer was the
inaugural recipient of the Dr. Rogers Prize for Excellence in Complementary
and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for his work using nutrition and vitamins to
treat and prevent disease. He was loved by his many patients and close
colleagues who realized the importance of his decades of research and his
devotion to helping schizophrenic patients cope with their illness.
    Abram Hoffer became a pioneer of progress early on his career,
challenging the dominant view at the time that schizophrenia was the result of
poor mothering, and was instrumental in the authoring of research on the
genetics of this common mental illness with the renowned geneticist Ernst
    After co-discovering the first effective lipid-lowering agent, Vitamin B3
(niacin), the native of Saskatchewan became equally as instrumental in the
development and execution of the first controlled clinical trials in
psychiatry. This resulted in the creation of the then-controversial treatment
of acute schizophrenia through principles of respect, shelter, sound
nutrition, appropriate medication and the administration of large doses of
water-soluble vitamins. In particular, Dr. Hoffer identified through research
that large doses of Vitamin B3 (niacin) and Vitamin C could eliminate the
symptoms of schizophrenia and reduce relapses. He dedicated his life to
curing-not palliating-schizophrenia.
    Hoffer's critical research showed how the body's overall health could be
restored by replenishing it with vitamins and minerals natural to it and
eliminating toxic foods. He was also the first to implement this practice.
    His close relationship with Alcoholics Anonymous Founder Bill W. later in
his career led to the establishment of Schizophrenics Anonymous. In addition,
he worked closely with colleague and friend Linus Pauling, an American chemist
who championed the biochemical model for treating schizophrenia through large
doses of certain naturally occurring substances to favourably alter disordered
brain biochemistry, coining the term "orthomolecular psychiatry."
    From 1976 until his death, he practiced psychiatry in Victoria and became
a founding member and president of the Senior Physicians Association of
British Columbia. Though he is no longer with us, Abram Hoffer's spirit and
dedication to developing alternative therapies for psychiatric patients will
forever be remembered and will continue to be advanced by progressive medical
    Orthomolecular Health would like to offer its sincerest sympathies to Dr.
Hoffer's family and extend its best wishes to it during this difficult time.
    Additional information on Dr. Abram Hoffer and his accomplishments can be
found at along with a guest
book for those wishing to leave comments. A 6-minute film produced for his
90th Year Tribute Gala in April, 2007 can also be found at the site (please
scroll down for guest book and for movie).

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Lisa Gilbert, APEX Public Relations, (416)
924-4442 ext. 242,

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