Abram Hoffer, PhD, MD, became a pioneering psychiatrist over 50 years ago when he successfully applied the life science of biochemistry to the art of psychiatry. Not content with helping many of his patients recover from schizophrenia, he cooperated with colleagues to research and to develop treatments based on diagnosis, nutritional status and biochemical individuality. As he cared for his patients, Dr. Hoffer discovered a new dimension of restorative care which complemented the standard medications, talk and shock therapies. Over the span of his long and distinguished career, Dr. Hoffer inspired a paradigm shift: leading by example, he learned to resolve patients’ episodes, even psychoses, and restore mental health by correcting brain chemistry. This innovative and important work was welcomed by grateful patients but frowned upon by skeptical psychiatrists. After years of sharing his research and reporting positive progress in medical journals, Dr. Hoffer realized that most doctors either ignored or dismissed his ideas – without trying them. Believing that millions of mental patients deserved better quality care, Dr. Hoffer embarked on a campaign to educate the public…

Excerpt from the Special Commemorative Issue, Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. 2009, 24:(3-4)



Books published:

  1. Hoffer A & Osmond H. The Chemical Basis of Clinical Psychiatry. CC Thomas, Springfield, IL, 1960.
  2. Hoffer A. Niacin Therapy in Psychiatry. CC Thomas, Springfield, IL, 1962.
  3. Hoffer A & Osmond H. How to Live With Schizophrenia. University Books, New York, NY, 1966. Also published by Johnson, London, 1966. Written with Fannie Kahan. New and Revised Ed. Citadel Press, New York, NY, 1992. Revised Ed. Quarry Press, Kingston, ON 1999
  4. Hoffer A & Osmond H. New Hope For Alcoholics. University Books, New York, 1966. Written with Fannie Kahan.
  5. Kelm H, Hoffer A & Osmond H. Hoffer-Osmond Diagnostic Manual. Saskatoon, SK, 1967.
  6. Hoffer A. The Hallucinogens. Academic Press (June, 1967)
  7. Hoffer A, Kelm H & Osmond H. The Hoffer-Osmond Diagnostic Test. RE Krieger Pub. Co., Huntington, NY, 1975.
  8. Hoffer A. Megavitamin therapy: In reply to the American Psychiatric Association Task Force Report on Megavitamins and Orthomolecular Psychiatry. Canadian Schizophrenia Foundation (1976)
  9. Hoffer A & Walker M: Orthomolecular Nutrition. Keats Pub., New Canaan, CT, 1978.
  10. Hoffer A. Dr Abram Hoffer’s Guide to the Identification and Treatment of Schizophrenia. Keats Pub (June 1, 1980)
  11. Hoffer A & Walker M: Nutrients to Age Without Senility. Keats Pub Inc, New Canaan, CT, 1980.
  12. Hoffer A. Vitamin B3 (Niacin). McFarland & Company (August 1, 1982)
  13. Hoffer A. Common Questions on Schizophrenia and their Answers. Keats Pub (1987)
  14. Hoffer A. Nutrition for the General Practitioner. Keats Pub (November, 1988)
  15. Hoffer A. Orthomolecular Medicine for Physicians. Keats Pub., New Canaan, CT, 1989.
  16. Hoffer A. Vitamin B3: Niacin: Update. Keats Pub; Revised edition (April 1, 1990)
  17. Hoffer A, Walker M. Smart Nutrients – A Guide to Nutrients That Can Prevent and Reverse Senility. Avery Publishing Group, Garden City Park, NY, 1994. Updated Version: Smart Nutrients: Prevent and Treat Alzheimer’s, Enhance Brain Function
  18. Hoffer A. Hoffer’s Laws of Natural Nutrition: A Guide to Eating Well for Pure Health. Quarry Press, Kingston, ON, 1996.
  19. Hoffer A. Vitamin B-3 and Schizophrenia. Discovery, Recovery, Controversy. Quarry Press, Kingston,ON 1999.
  20. Hoffer A. Common Questions on Schizophrenia and Their Answers. Keats Pub, New Canaan, CT, 1988. Reprinted Quarry Press, Kingston, ON 1999
  21. Hoffer A, Walker M. Putting It All Together: The New Orthomolecular Nutrition. Keats Publishing Inc. New Canaan, Conn, 1996. Also: McGraw-Hill; 1998.
  22. Hoffer A. Hoffer’s A.B.C. of Natural Nutrition for Children. Quarry Press. Kingston, ON 1999.
  23. Hoffer A. Orthomolecular Treatment for Schizophrenia. Keats, Lincolnwood, Ill 60646; 1999
  24. Hoffer A. Vitamin C and Cancer: Discovery, Recovery, Controversy. Quarry Press, Kingston, ON 2000
  25. Hoffer A. Smart Nutrients (Dr. Morton Walker Health Book). Avery (May 1, 2000)
  26. Hoffer A, Walker M: Smart Nutrients: Prevent and Treat Alzheimer’s, Enhance Brain Function. Vital Health Publishing; 2nd Rev edition (April 19, 2002)
  27. Hoffer A. Healing Schizophrenia. Complementary Vitamin & Drug Treatments. CCNM Press (July 1, 2004)
  28. Hoffer A. Healing Children’s Attention & Behavior Disorders: Complementary Nutritional & Psychological Treatments. CCNM Press (July 1, 2004)
  29. Hoffer A, Pauling L. Healing Cancer: Complimentary Vitamin & Drug Treatments. CCNM Press (July 1, 2004)
  30. Hoffer A, Challem J. User’s Guide to Natural therapies for Cancer Prevention & Control: Learn How Diet and Supplements Can Help Prevent and Treat Cancer. Basic Health Publications (October, 2004)
  31. Hoffer A. Adventures in Psychiatry: The Scientific Memoirs of Dr. Abram Hoffer. Caledon, Ontario: KOS Publishing, 2005.
  32. Hoffer A, Prousky J. Naturopathic Nutrition: A Guide to Nutrient-rich Food & Nutritional Supplements for Optimum Health. CCNM Press, 2006.
  33. Hoffer A, Foster HD. Feel Better, Live Longer With Vitamin B-3: Nutrient Deficiency and Dependency. CCNM Press, 2007.
  34. Hoffer A, Saul AW. Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone. Basic Health Publications, 2008.
  35. Hoffer A, Saul AW. The Vitamin Cure for Alcoholism. Basic Health Publications, 2008.
  36. Hoffer A. Psychiatry Yesterday (1950) and Today (2007): From Despair to Hope with Orthomolecular Psychiatry. Trafford, 2009. ISBN-10: 1425155839; ISBN-13: 978-1425155834.

Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame

Inducted 2006

Abram Hoffer has made an important contribution to the health of human beings…through the study of the effects of large doses of vitamin C and other nutrients..” – Linus Pauling, PhD

In the documentary film, Masks of Madness: Science of Healing, Abram Hoffer says: “Mental illness is usually biochemical illness. Schizophrenia is niacin dependency.” Plain-spoken statements such as these have ignited a revolution in psychiatry. The person who would forever change the course of medicine was born on a Saskatchewan farm and educated in a one-room schoolhouse. In 1952, just completing his residency, he had demonstrated, with the first double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in the history of psychiatry, that vitamin B3 could cure schizophrenia. But in a medical profession that “knows” vitamins do not cure “real” diseases, the young director of psychiatric research was a dissenter. For over half a century Dr. Hoffer has dissented. Harold Foster, PhD writes: “Fathering a new paradigm does not promote popularity. Fortunately, Dr. Hoffer is not just highly intelligent; he has consistently proven to be able to stand up for the truth, regardless of personal cost.”

“If patients look up ‘schizophrenia’ in the old textbooks,” says Dr. Hoffer, “they’ll die of frustration and fear. That is why I wrote my first book, How to Live with Schizophrenia. Linus Pauling was 65 and planning to retire. He chanced to see this book on a friend’l;s coffee table. Pauling did not go to bed the first night he read this book. He decided not to retire because of it.”

Dr. Hoffer has written two dozen books and over 500 papers. He created the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine and has been editor-in-chief for four decades. Having treated thousands of patients, he has only just retired at 88, wryly saying that “Everyone should have a career change every 55 years.” He has seen therapeutic fads come and go. What he sees now is what he’s always seen: that very sick people get well on vitamin B3.