Leonard John Hoffer is a Professor of Medicine at McGill University and Associate Professor in McGill’s School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition. He is a full-time investigator in the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, and a Senior Physician in the Divisions of General Internal Medicine and Endocrinology in the JGH, where he serves on the nutritional support team.
Dr. Hoffer obtained his medical and subspecialty training in internal medicine at McGill, then a PhD in Human Nutrition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA, a clinical fellowship in nutritional support at Harvard Medical School, and a post-doctoral fellowship in biochemistry at Brandeis University, returning to McGill in 1984 as an assistant professor. Dr. Hoffer’s research and clinical interests focus on the relationship between disease and malnutrition, the metabolic adaptation to starvation, and micronutrient metabolism in disease. He authored the chapter on the metabolic features of human starvation in the last several editions of the clinical nutrition textbook, Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, and co-authored the chapter entitled “Enteral and parenteral nutrition therapy” in the 2015 edition of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, the world’s most prestigious medical textbook. In 2012 he was recipient of the Kursheed Jeejeebhoy Award and Plenary Lecture, Canadian Nutrition Society.
Orthomolecular Medicine in an Era of Misinformation and Disinformation
Orthomolecular medicine is the restoration and maintenance of health through the administration of optimal amounts of substances normally present in the body. In practice, it involves the administration of certain nutritional supplements and the consumption and avoidance of certain nutrients as guided by a person’s disease, genotype and biochemical phenotype.
Scientific views have recently been evolving, but it remains true that, in general, medical orthodoxy disdains orthomolecular medicine either as a trivial assertion of the obvious – hence irrelevant – or when not trivial, as disproven. The validity of this conclusion is undermined by academic medicine’s well-documented nutritional illiteracy and anti-nutrition bias. Conferences like this one aim to inform, educate and unite scientifically-minded people interested in applying sound nutritional and biochemical principles to disease prevention and amelioration. But there is now another complication: burgeoning science cynicism. How can orthomolecular medicine improve its scientific credibility in an era of growing scientific misinformation, confusion, and cynicism? This presentation provides some conceptual channels through the ice floe of academic disregard of nutrition and widespread popular ignorance, bias, misinformation and cynicism about science in general and orthomolecular medicine in particular.