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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: The co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill W., fortunately for him and the entire AA movement, got connected with Dr. Hoffer, accepted niacin megavitamin therapy for treating his alcoholism-related depression and had amazing results.
Author: Fraser Trevor
Rating 5 of 5 Des:
The connection of alcoholism to nutritional deficiencies is presented convincingly, and is kicked off by this: “A person called an `alcoholi...

The connection of alcoholism to nutritional deficiencies is presented convincingly, and is kicked off by this: “A person called an `alcoholic’ is an individual with a sick body who seeks relief and comfort by consuming alcohol in the same way people seek help from aspirin, or eat too much sugar or are given medication for their discomfort.” Having the foremost advocates of megavitamin therapy, or orthomolecular medicine, that heals minds and bodies, tell us how they define and treat alcoholism and other addictions, is quite exciting. Both authors have that great ability to boil down highly technical material into clearly understandable language.

Dr. Hoffer was a clinician with a firm medical knowledge base with the ability to observe and put two and two together. The co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill W., fortunately for him and the entire AA movement, got connected with Dr. Hoffer, accepted niacin megavitamin therapy for treating his alcoholism-related depression and had amazing results. Trials substantiated their findings. Dr. Hoffer early recognized the impact of hypoglycemia (a backlash from a large sugar intake calling too much insulin into play) and how it dovetailed in with nutritional deficiencies. These factors create the foundation for addiction and were made worse by the drinking itself. They considered nutrition factors to augment, not replace, the basics of AA including considering the spiritual side of a troubled client.

Dr. Hoffer’s biochemistry background reminded him of the structural and biochemical similarities between glucose and alcohol, and this led to taking a better look at how sugar affects the psyche. Nutritionally speaking, many alcoholics nearly starve while alcohol displaces food intake. The roles a number of nutrient deficiencies are described in the book, including vitamin C and other B vitamins. But first, attention is properly given to getting back the appetite for eating a whole-foods, healthy diet and avoiding nutritionally deficient foods.

The role of high doses of niacin (B3) in the treatment of alcohol addiction arose from Dr. Hoffer’s knowledge of its use in the treatment of schizophrenia. Several times, I was privileged to hear in person Dr. Hoffer’s presentations of schizophrenia cases, including his explanation of the biochemistry of niacin, or why it did what it did. The case histories and the results were dramatic. At the same time, I was made aware of the put-down of the man and his ideas by conventional psychiatry as I talked to some of my jail patients’ doctors. The book provides a good account of this controversy. Dr. Hoffer never played the “victim” role but continued to simply present honest facts without rancor, making attempts to discredit him seem almost unbelievable. For many physicians, defending their turf takes precedence over espousing truth.

In the appendix, the authors have listed some of Dr. Hoffer’s and other orthomolecular medicine greats’ studies published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. Indeed, numerous references to published studies are given for every chapter. “Internet Resources” provides web addresses to directly access orthomolecular medicine studies. By checking these references, as well as following up by doing some of the “Suggested Reading” provided, readers will be equipped with self-help. Accurate education enables positing pertinent questions to their personal physicians. With a dash of doctor-patient rapport and respect, this could lead open-minded, caring physicians to investigate nutritional therapy for him/herself. Nowhere is this more essential than in the treatment of alcoholism. 

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