March 9, 2009

Diet may be part of schizophrenia therapy

A Canadian researcher suggests that some with schizophrenia may be helped by looking at individual biochemistry, nutrient deficiency, diet and allergies.

Dr. Abram Hoffer, a psychiatrist in Toronto, said some studies have shown that the predisposition to schizophrenia is inherited, and although there is little one can do about genetic factors that might lead to the onset of schizophrenia, nutritional modifications might help to enhance quality of life and slow down the progression of the disease.

Many people with schizophrenia have low blood sugar -- hypoglycemia -- and allergies, Hoffer said. The most common food allergies found in individuals with schizophrenia are sugars, dairy products and wheat, Hoffer said.

Hoffer said he believes orthomolecular treatment is effective in 80 percent or more of schizophrenia patients and is the best treatment developed so far.

Orthomolecular practitioners use nutrition plans customized to the health needs of individuals to ensure a diet has the appropriate amount of vitamins and nutrients required to prevent the onset of illness or to treat existing illnesses and imbalances, said Dr. Jonathan Prousky, naturopathic doctor and expert adviser to Orthomolecular Health

In the treatment of schizophrenia, an orthomolecular practitioner will typically prescribe a special diet along with vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin B3 in accordance with the individual needs of the patient, Prousky added.