General Interest => Feed Your Head => Topic started by: Paul on June 19, 2005, 03:39:00 PM

Title: Nutrition and Mental Illness : An Orthomolecular Approach to
Post by: Paul on June 19, 2005, 03:39:00 PM
Noticed on a post by Deborah here: ... orum=9&125 (

Amazon link: ... s&n=507846 (

Nutrition and Mental Illness : An Orthomolecular Approach to Balancing Body Chemistry
by Ph.D., M.D., Carl C. Pfeiffer
List Price:    $12.95
Price:            $10.36

Book Description
The distinguished founder of the Brain Bio Center at Princeton shows how the biochemical balance in the body is an important key in preventing and treating many forms of mental illness.

About the Author
Carl C. Pfeiffer Ph.D., M.D. was the Director of the Brain Bio Center in Princeton, New Jersey.
Product Details

* Paperback: 128 pages
* Publisher: Healing Arts Press (April 1, 1988)
* Language: English
* ISBN: 0892812265
* Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.3 x 0.4 inches  
* Shipping Weight: 6.6 ounces.  
* Sales Rank: #12,360 in Books

Seven reviews, as of June 18, 2005 ... e&n=507846 (

39 of 52 people found the following review helpful:
an outstanding work on the subject, February 19, 2000
Reviewer:   eyal - newman (tel-aviv, israel) - See all my reviews
as an orthomolecular- nutritionist,i must recommand this book, because of only one reason- it is work!, and i see it with my patients.a very organised and scientific book that explains the mental illnesses in the orthomolecular-way, and is very easy to understand and to follow. this is the real orthomolecular therapy for mental illness. buy this book today.


25 of 26 people found the following review helpful:
A great book for those with bipolar disorder & schizophrenia, November 17, 2004
Reviewer:   S. Chaney (USA) - See all my reviews
If you were to walk into a doctor's office today with scurvy, he or she would prescribe a vitamin to return you to health.

If you were to walk into a doctor's office today with pellagra (which can cause psychotic symptoms), he or she would prescribe a vitamin to return you to health.

But if you were to walk into a doctor's office today with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, he or she would have you take powerful medications that cause changes to the brain. Generally speaking, changes to the brain are described as brain damage.

What your doctor will not tell you, perhaps because he or she won't know about it, is that there is abundant evidence that some - to repeat myself, some but not all - cases of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are caused by vitamin deficiencies, and respond quite well to vitamin and mineral treatment.

Carl Pfeiffer was one of the doctors, who beginning in the 50s, looked for nutrional causes of psychotic disorders. And they did find that some syndromes such as pyroluria did deplete a crucial vitamin (B6) to a critical extent, and that supplementing this vitamin returned many to sanity.

By the time this was established however, the preferred treatment of such disorders were heavy medications, which had vested interests behind them. In 1973 studies were done, which Dr. Pfeiffer and others alledged didn't adequately reflect their treatment guidelines, that did not get any positive results, and the idea that vitamin and mineral deficiencies may play a role in psychotic disorders was declared to be "junk science." One of the five experts on the panel that investigated this treatment approach announced publically before the study that even if every other psychiatrist in the United States would adopt vitamins and minerals in their armamentarium of treatments for schizophrenia, he would refuse to believe they work or use them. One wonders whether the panel was unbiased.

As you may know, doctors that practice medicine based on "junk science" can have their license revoked, and thus this nutrient-based approach to psychiatry pretty much disappeared.

For some odd reason however, many people, more than 25,000 bipolars and schizophrenics have responded extremely well to this approach. A friend who has tried this approach for such a disorder is extremely pleased.

Dr. Pfeiffer was either a complete charlatan, or a man ahead of his time. I believe the latter to be true, as, in this book, published in 1987, he mentions that maintaining a sufficient intake of omega-3 fatty acids is another crucial factor to the well-being of bipolar and schizophrenic patients.

In 2002 a Harvard psychopharmacologist by the name of Stoll published a book called "The Omega-3 Connection: The Groundbreaking Antidepression Diet and Brain Program." Dr. Stoll had been derided by his peers for his belief that certain fatty acids usually found in fish were crucial to having a healthy brain, but when a study of his on the use of Omega-3s in bipolar disorder produced phenomenal results, the accolades began to flow in. describes Dr. Stoll's book as a "must read."

I feel that a book that said the same thing - and much, much more - 15 years earlier is another "must read."

Do not believe "Kinda fishy" review, it is incorrect, May 30, 2005
Reviewer:   B. Berry (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
I did some research on what this reviewer said and found a few things. Reviewers said the Brain Bio Center was supposed to be in Skillman, NJ, but it says on the back of the book it was in Princeton, NJ. Reviewer said it was not listed in the phonebook. It's not likely because it is no more. The Brain Bio Center operator from 1972 until the early 80's. That would also account for there not being a web page for it. Unlike reviewer says, the full name of the institution is not "The Princeton Brain Bio Center". It is just "The Brain Bio Center" and it happened to be in Princeton. Reviewer said it is not associated with Princeton University and neither did the bio claim to be. The bio says "it is sponsored by the Schizophrenia Foundation of New Jersey and the New Jersey Mental Health Research and Development Fund".

It seems the reviewer didn't do well enough research. Make sure your research is thorough. Be careful in believing the negative reviews on here. The reviewer lastly says megadoses of vitamins can be dangerous. Dr. Pfeiffer never mentions taking mega doses. He has exact amounts of each nutrient that should be taken.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Kind of Fishy, May 12, 2005
Reviewer:   R. Haeckler (West Chester, PA) - See all my reviews
Dr. Pfeiffer's book was very interesting, but there are some issues that cause me a bit of concern. First, the Brain Bio Center that is supposed to be in Skillman, NJ is not listed in the Skillman phone book. The phone number given in the back of the book got me a recording. They don't seem to have a web page. There are only two labs I found on an internet search that do testing for pyroluria, an interesting disorder mentioned in the book. The one in the US is called the Pfeiffer center. The full name of the Brain Bio Center is apparently the "Princeton Brain Bio Center" but is not affiliated with Princeton University, nor is it in Princeton. Most of the credible hits I got on the internet when searching for Pyroluria seemed to quote Dr. Pfeiffer or another doctor who is the head of the Pfeiffer Center. I could not find out how much the testing for pyroluria would cost.

I'm not saying he is a quack, but in one day I found a lot of things that just didn't add up. Be careful before believing too much of what's in the book or investing too much money into this, and remember that megadoses of vitamins can be dangerous.

Great Book, July 3, 2004
Reviewer: A reader
This book has really changed and helped my life, I have never been this happy, and the B6 causes the most pleasent dreams I have ever had. 20 years from now a ZMA(zinc and magnesium) supplement with B6 will be as common as taking your daily vitamin. No wonder so many women get their blues during their cycle, depletion of the most important trace metals the human body needs.

7 of 22 people found the following review helpful:
American article by Kay Redfield have most of her books, September 13, 2003
Reviewer:   Ellie (Los Angeles USA) - See all my reviews
I have lived with Manic Depressive illness for over half of my life. Her books were true to life as if she were talking to me. I have worked with mental illness as patients I have been a priviate nurse worked with Alzimers patients for 8 yrs. Kay"s book have given me hope and strength to face what I have to each and every day. I was taking the drug Lithium as she did.For 30 yr then it became infective resulting in an episode requireing 11 days in a locked up hospital mental unit it has been 2 yr and I still suffer sleepless nights and turn to her books for help. Her books are great I can't say enough.