During the 37th Orthomolecular Medicine Today Conference, a meeting of the International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine was organized. About 60 persons were present from 12 countries around the world. The meeting opened at 6:00 p.m. with a welcome from the President of ISOM, Gert Schuitemaker, followed by a short archival video featuring Linus Pauling, recorded in October 1993 during a satellite connection between the Linus Pauling Institute in Palo Alto and the conference room in the Dutch city Utrecht. Pauling discusses his use of high dose vitamin C (10 g). He found that he only excreted 15% in his urine; the rest having been metabolized. His opinion was the statement that all you get if you take more than 150 mg per day is expensive urine is just not true.
Gert Schuitemaker outlined that the main activity of the ISOM is enhancing mutual communication. For this purpose the forum website www.isom.eu is functioning with more than 150 participants. Besides sharing clinical information, the forum ‘alert wire’ functions to warn each other regarding negative scientific studies, so the individual participants are aware of such a study and can react adequately in his own country, e.g. to the press. An example of this was the publication of the meta-analysis in the e Database Syst Rev, Apr 16 2008 (Bjelakovic G, Nikolova D, Gluud L, Simonetti R, Gluud C.Antioxidant supplements for prevention of mortality in healthy participants and patients with various diseases). A more tight organization on an international level is quite difficult, since there have to be checks and controls and these are hardly posssible on a worldwide basis, i.e. for the quality of practice or for the kind of license (MD, practitioner, scientist). After this introduction, the representatives from the different countries gave brief presentations about the acceptance of orthomolecular medicine and availability of supplements in their country:
Dr. G. Schuitemaker - Has an orthomolecular society with about 300 members. Supplements are generally available, now, but there is some pressure from the E.U. to limit access to high dose supplements. Also the Codex may become in this respect a threat.
Finland: Dr. K. Munsterhjelm – Has been a psychiatrist for about 40 years and orthomolecular for the past seven years. Stated there were more orthomolecular doctors in Sweden than Finland. The Swedish Association of Orthomolecular Medicine (SAOM) was started six days ago, and she feels it is a very good gro
Prof . K. Cederwal – is retired professor in water engineering and now advocates orthomolecular medicine actively. Joined the foundation of the SAOM.
Dr. D. Proverbs - The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Physicians and Surgeons is not welcoming to orthomolecular, but over the past three years a few doctors and practitioners have been getting together. Many nutritional supplements are available, although not all.
Steven Carter - Spoke about Bill C-51 introduced to Parliament and its implications to orthomolecular therapy and access to supplements. This might be a danger for the legislation, which gives a good framework for the availability of food supplements in Canada. Nathan Szassman of Winnipeg mentioned the banning of some supplements without any apparent reason, i.e. l-carnitine and other amino acids. Dr. Jon Prousky - The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) does lots of orthomolecular research; their research director was awarded funding for a five year study on non-small cell lung cancer and melatonin.
Dr. Catherine Gontard (dentist in Geneva) - Became interested in orthomolecular treatment because her daughter was ill. It is very difficult to find cooperation from medical doctors, and she is not sure how many doctors in Switzerland are orthomolecular. She found more interest amongst physicians in
Apparently Germany is booming. She mentioned the total lack of orthomolecular physicians in France.
Dr. Sung Ho Park – He has been interested in orthomolecular medicine since 1980 and has been coming to the orthomolecular conference for 10 years. He established the Korean Society of Orthomolecular Medicine in 1998, of which he is president. There is a lot of interest in his country, has spoken in six or seven cities, but it’s hard to practise orthomolecular because of strict pharmaceutical jurisprudence. This year, the Korean handbook ‘Orthomolecular Medicine’ has been updated and The Homocysteine Revolution of dr. Kilmer S. McCully has been translated into Korean in 2007.
Dr. O. Misakami - About 30 years ago started giving lots of vitamin C to cancer patients because of his admiration for Linus Pauling. Three years ago he organized Japanese branch of ISOM, but only a few doctors have been interested. Japanese traditions go against acceptance of orthomolecular medicine. Held a high dose vitamin C meeting with Dr. Ron Hunninghake, and was surprised that about 200 doctors attended and hopes they will soon join. Ken Kitahara – The ISF chapter was formed to introduce orthomolecular medicine to Japan. He himself is very interested in psychiatric treatment, especially of schizophrenia and autism. Families also are very interested but psychiatrists are slow to accept.
Dr. Roberto Ortiz Gonzalez – He has been practising in Mexico City and has worked with orthomolecular medicine since 2006, having discovered it because he was a patient. He is giving courses but it is difficult to convince doctors about this. They’re working very hard with patients from all over the country. Also by telephone, since orthomolecular doctors are not widespread in Mexico. Little by little there seems to be more interest, and there are 8 to 10 doctors in Mexico City. It’s harder to find supplements in Mexico, because only one company produces them. There is also no government sponsorship of treatment for patients. Diabetes is a big problem in his country, as is cancer.
Dr. Marja van Engelen - Moved to Spain from the Netherlands. When she arrived there was not much interest, but it is growing. However, it’s very difficult to get supplements (have to be smuggled in). In Spain there are many environmentally ill patients. There are more orthomolecular doctors in large cities.
Dr. Damien Downing – First started a nutritional medicine society 25 years ago, which eventually joined with a clinical ecology society, and there are now about 150 member MDs. It is slowly growing and they have a 2 year training program. Orthomolecular, termed nutritional medicine, is a key component. Orthomolecular medicine and the treatment with food supplements are available in most areas in the UK.
Philippines: dr. Jaime C. Cua – He practises orthomolecular medicine in Manila. He is probably the sole orthomolecular physician in the Philippines. The availability of food supplements is quite difficult.
Richard Kunin – President of Orthomolecular Health Medicine Society, which was reconstituted in 1994 after 7 years of suspension because the culture of U.S. medical education changed. The medical establishment controls designation of professional standards, which severely curtailed interest in orthomolecular from 700 practitioners at its peak to fewer than 100. OHM, resurrecting their association under a slightly different name, their annual meetings now draw about 30. Orthomolecular has fractionated into clinical ecology, Association for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, etc. OHM has been invited to join ACAM but he feels now is not the right time. ACAM is not orthomolecular. Linus |Pauling Event in Europe. Prof Dr. Klas Cederwal, spoke about the event celebrating the 40th anniversary of Linus Pauling’s coining of the word “orthomolecular”, held April 19-20, 2008, at Schloss Anholt, Germany.
Legal Affairs Around the World
Damien Downing (UK) gave a presentation about legal affairs around the world with the emphasis on the role of the Codex alimentarius. The Codex was established in 1963 by FAO and WHO, and their stated purpose is to protect the health of consumers, ensure fair trade practises in the food trade and to promote coordination of all food standards work undertaken by international governmental and non-governmental organizations. It is comprised of many committees, including a committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses. There are 8 steps involved in the Codex process, which has been going on for a long time, so slowly that people are generally not aware of what’s going on. Examples are the introduction of genetically modified foods, terminator seeds, and genetically modified food animals on the way. The E.U. to date refuses GM foods, have to pay $150 million per year for their refusal. Through Codex organic foods have been debased, food and dietary supplements limited to very low maximum permitted levels on the basis of scientifically flawed risk assessment methods; vitamins above determined doses will be classified as drugs. The Food Supplements Directive is providing the template for supplements for the world, but these directives are set by Codex.
Unless people take political incentive, the trend will continue; with the one country/one vote Codex voting system, the EU could outvote the rest of the world. In Canada Bill C-51 opens the door to allowing Codex regulations to deny us access to supplements. Discussion of what to do. In Europe he Alliance for Natural Health challenged the food supplement directive. This organization stresses the need to be aware, think free, spread the word, lobby, for dialogue not polarization, to contribute money, and to participate in the political process.
Evidence Based Medicine
Gert Schuitemaker (NL) indicates that many discussions about the value of orthomolecular medicine are stopped by the argument that this type of medicine is not evidence based (EBM). There is a big misunderstanding about EBM. EBM is mainly considered solely to be the first point instead of the integration of the four points (se below). The term has been coined in 1992 by prof. David Sackett, father of clinical epidemiology. According to Sackett, EBM requires the integration of the best research evidence with our clinical expertise and our patient's unique values and circumstances.
1. By best research evidence we mean valid and clinically relevant research, often from the basic sciences of medicine. but especially from patient-centered clinical research into the accuracy of diagnostic tests (including the clinical examination), the power of prognostic
markers, and the efficacy and safety of therapeutic, rehabilitative, and preventive regimens. New evidence from clinical research both invalidates previously accepted diagnostic tests and treatments and replaces them with new ones that are more accurate, more efficacious, and safer.
2. By clinical expertise we mean the ability to use our clinical skills and past experience to rapidly identify each patient’s unique health state and diagnosis, their individual risks and benefits of potential interventions, and their personal circumstances and expectations.
3. By patient values we mean the unique preferences, concerns and expectations each patient brings to a clinical encounter and which must be integrated into clinical decisions if they are to serve the patient.
4. By patient circumstances we mean their individual clinical and the clinical setting.
[from: Evidence Based Medicine (3rd Edition) by Sharon E. Straus, W. Scott Richardson, Paul Glasziou, and R. Brian Haynes (Turtleback - April 29, 2005)]The meeting was closed at 7:30 p.m. The next ISOM-meeting will be May 1, 2009, in Montreal, Canada.G. Schuitemaker’s email firstname.lastname@example.org
With thanks to Francis Fuller for writing assistance
Provide and promote education & training in orthomolecular medicine for health professionals
Through the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, eNewsletters, updates and other communications, CSOM unites and supports orthomolecular practitioners across the country
CSOM’s national public awareness campaign, media interviews and presence at medical conferences continue the deepening public understanding and support for orthomolecular medicine.
In the months to come we will be sending communications that include updates, calls for participation and other information. Every effort will be made to create valuable programs and resources for Canadian Orthomolecular health professionals
Letter in Response to Bill C-51
Dr. Gert E. Schuitemaker PhD, President, International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine, The Netherlands, email@example.com
Dr. Damien Downing, MD, Medical Director of the Alliance for Natural Health, United Kingdom, firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul H. LeMay, Vancouver, Canada, email@example.com
Dr. Osamu Mizukami, MD, Japan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Hisao Munakata, MD, Japan, email@example.com
Dr. Deborah Proverbs, MBChB, New Zealand, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tsuyoshi Kitahara, President, Detox Co Ltd, Japan, email@example.com
Dr. Richard Kunin, MD, U.S.A., firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Jeff Kotulski, DO, U.S.A., email@example.com
Dr. Stephen Olmstead, MD, U.S.A., firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Bradford S. Weeks, MD, U.S.A., email@example.com
John Thoreson, BA, U.S.A., firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Steven W. Green, DDS, U.S.A., email@example.com
Dr. Michael Lesser, MD, U.S.A., firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Gram, U.S.A., email@example.com
Thad Mauney, PhD, U.S.A., firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Tara Macart, ND, Canada
Allart, Radio Host, Canada, email@example.com
Wallace L. Simons, RPh, U.S.A., firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Ronald L. Hunninghake, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Bright Spot for Health, U.S.A., email@example.com
Dr. Roberto Ortiz Gonzalez, MD, Mexico, firstname.lastname@example.org
Yoshiyuki Nakasone, General Manager, Organic Wave LLC, U.S.A., email@example.com
Ana Hinojosa, Mexico, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Bina C. Souri, MD, email@example.com
Dr. Ella Harkiolakis, MD, Norway, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Phyllis J. Bronson, PhD, Neurochemist, U.S.A., email@example.com
Dr. Sumiaki Tsuru, MD, President, School of Orthomolecular Medical Nutrition, Japan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Michael B. Schacter, MD, Medical Director, Schacter Center for Complementary Medicine, U.S.A., email@example.com
Dr. Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, MD, Finland, firstname.lastname@example.org
Klas Cederwall, Professor, Sweden, email@example.com
Christine Sagan, Family Nurse Practitioner, U.S.A., firstname.lastname@example.org
Clifford Colgan, President, Higher Aim Nutrition, U.S.A., email@example.com
Dr. Katherine A. Raymer, MD, ND, Adjunct Clinical Faculty, Adjunct Prof. Of Mind-Body Medicine, Adjunct Professor of
Research, U.S.A., firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Dag Viljen Poleszynski, MS/MBA Business, MSc Nutrition, PhD, Norway, email@example.com
Dr. Bo H. Jonsson, MD PhD, Dept. of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Sweden, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kent MacLeod, BSc Phm, Clinical Director, NutriChem, Canada, email@example.com
Dr. Ronald P. D’Agostino, DO, U.S.A, DrD@up.net
Becky D’Agostino, RN, MSN, U.S.A., firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Jane Birchard, ND, U.S.A., email@example.com
Dr. Catherine Gontard, DDS, Switzerland, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Marja van Engelen, MD, Spain, email@example.com
Dr. Parris M. Kidd, PhD, Director, PMR Biomedical, U.S.A., firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Jacqueline Colello, ND, Canada, email@example.com
Dr. Erik T. Paterson, MD, Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jo Phillips, RN, Canada, email@example.com
Toru Mizoguchi, Japan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenshi Miyazawa, Japan
Prof. Harold D. Foster, PhD, Geographer, Distaster Planning, Canada, email@example.com
James Karuksi, Executive Director, Earth House, U.S.A., firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth B. J. DeGroot, Lawyer, The Netherlands, email@example.com
Dr. Luis Flores, MD, Mexico, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Rikst Attema, ND, The Netherlands, email@example.com
Dr. Abram Hoffer, 89, has won the inaugural Dr. Rogers Prize for Excellence in Complementary and Alternative Medicine for his work using nutrition and vitamins to treat disease.
The $250,000 award, funded by the Vancouver-based philanthropic Hecht Foundation, is the first award of its kind in Canada, and the largest in North America. The Dr. Rogers Prize for Excellence in Complementary and Alternative Medicine is named for Dr. Roger Rogers, a UBC Clinical Associate Professor emeritus who is also a recognized Canadian leader in CAM. Dr. Rogers began offering alternative treatments in Vancouver in the mid-1970s and later co-founded the Centre for Integrated Healing, now known as InspireHealth, to help cancer patients who have had limited or no success with traditional medical treatments.
The award will be shared with co-winner Dr. Alastair Cunningham of Toronto, creator of The Healing Journey, a non-profit program that helps cancer patients use relaxation and mental imagery to cope with the disease. Drs. Cunningham and Hoffer were selected from 57 nominees accepted after a nationwide call earlier this year. During lengthy deliberations, the judges attempted to arrive at a consensus for a single winner but judged that the contributions of these two recipients were of equal importance in terms of their impact on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in Canada, and decided that the Prize should be shared.
Dr. Hoffer thanked those who stood with him over the years. He wrote: "Thank you so much for your messages which came flooding in yesterday and today. It does feel good to be recognized after nearly five decades of blood, sweat and toil and even more because this will draw attention to the important work we are all doing and will save many more patients from the real ravages of modern verticle medicine."
Angela Webster, the executive director of the Hecht Foundation, called Hoffer a true pioneer."His idea that nutrition is the basis for health and also a very good place to look to find the causes of disease is now mainstream," she said in an interview. "When he was first saying that in the '60s and '70s, it was heretical."
For more information on this exciting development, see the Vancouver Sun's coverage:"Nutrition pioneer recognized with award"Information on the Dr. Roger's Prize can be found here.
Report Linus Pauling Event
April 19 – 20, 2008. Schloss Anholt, Germany
Celebration and inspiration
With thanks to the participants of the Linus Pauling Event, in particular to Claus Hancke, Hilary Roberts, Klas Cederwall, who helped with the text.The weekend of April 19th 2008 the Linus Pauling Event was organized in Schloss Anholt in Germany. It was exactly 40 years after the publication in Science1 of the article ‘Orthomolecular Psychiatry’ by Linus Pauling, introducing and defining the term ‘orthomolecular’.
The event was organized by the Ortho Fund, a Dutch non-profit foundation, founded by Elsedien de Groot and Gert Schuitemaker.
The participants were:
Prof. dr. Klas Cederwall SE
Jac. van Dongen NL
Damien Downing MD UK
Antoinette Föhr MD CH
Elsedien de Groot Jur. NL
Claus Hancke MD DK
Prof. dr. Steve Hickey UK
Bo Jonsson, PhD, MD (not attending) SE
Stephen Lawson USA
Roman Lietha MD CH
Karin Munsterhjelm MD SF
Prof. dr. Frits Muskiet NL
Prof. dr. Adolfo Panfili MD IT
Valerie Panfili IT
Hilary Roberts PhD UK
Fokje Russchen PhD, MD NL
Gert Schuitemaker PhD NL
The participants came from various European countries. Specially invited was Stephen Lawson from the Linus Pauling Institute, who worked with Linus Pauling for approximately 25 years. He started the event with a historical overview of the life of Linus Pauling. His major line was:
1. Linus was born in 1901 as son of a pharmacist. He saw how his father was making all kind of pills, ointments, solutions, etc.
2. Pauling’s mother died in 1926 from vitamin B12 deficiency (pernicious anaemia). He was quite impressed by that, also since she had all the mental symptoms of this disease.
3. In 1941 Linus himself got the incurable renal disease, Bright’s disease. But he wanted to survive since there were such exiting things going on in science. He addressed himself to the most outstanding nephrologists of that time, dr. Thomas Addis at Stanford. He advised to Pauling a protein low diet in order to allow the body to cure itself. The whole family Pauling sticked to the diet for appr. 12 years and it cured Pauling.
4. In the late 1950s, Pauling worked on the role of enzymes in brain function, believing that mental illness may be partly caused by enzyme dysfunction. It wasn't until he found by coincidence the book "Niacin Therapy in Psychiatry" by Abram Hoffer (1965) and read it. From this he realized that vitamins might have important biochemical effects unrelated to their prevention of associated deficiency diseases. This was a kind of turning point in his career since he was supposed to go for his retirement. He decided to dedicate his work to vitamins in health and disease.
5. In 1966, Linus Pauling gave a speech in New York City. He was 65 and mentioned he hoped to live another fifteen years or so. He received a letter from Irwin Stone who had been in the audience. Stone said he could live another fifty if he started taking massive doses of vitamin C. [I don’t know if what was earlier: reading the book or Irwin Stone]
6. in 1968 Pauling coined the term Orthomolecular in Science.
7. In 1994 Linus Pauling died at the age of 93. In his lifetime he received as the sole person in the world two unshared Nobel Prices for two different subjects: chemistry (1954) and peace (1962).
From this historical view, the line could be extended to today, the Linus Pauling Event, and to the future: the fate of orthomolecular medicine in the coming years. Many topics were covered in discussions including medical schools’ ignorance and non-acceptance of orthomolecular medicine; that orthomolecular medicine is isolated to a corner of standard medicine and is not the first choice in care. After these discussions, the participants agreed upon the following objective: ‘to get orthomolecular medicine accepted in society’. Ideas arising from the gathering include the development of OM “sticks” (markers or goals), the categories being: fundamental, ethical, towards the scientific/medical community, scientific publications, towards the public, organizational/promotional, and discussion position.
Some of the formulated points were:
OM is the most fundamental part of medicine
OM in context of basic science
OM in context of ecology / environment
OM in context of evolutionary medicine
OM in context of biochemical individuality
OM in context of genetics and epigenetics
Not OM, but toximolecular medicine is the deviation from healthful medicine.
Raise standards of OM in all respects
Stimulate OM research
Make OM a medical speciality within the conventional medical core.
Make a list of orthomolecular treatments and make known which regular MD's are already practising (e.g. insulin in diabetes type 1)
Write a review, picking out the OM studies
Indicate as much as possible that it is OM research
Submit case histories [to peer reviewed journals]
Promote the use of the term orthomolecular in scientific papers and on conferences as much as possible
Develop resource database on Pbwiki for the public
Forward public and organizations to the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter
Get OM organised, e.g. under ISOM
Create patients groups and utilise these for funding and support
Identify potential allies (establish useful contacts; e.g. slow food movement, organic farmers; insurers, NGOs, funders)Show to science and medical modalities that OM is based on good science
Realize: estimated 90% is positive and wants OM but only 10 % gets the treatment
Identify friends, opposants and false friends
Avoid poor quality science and medical groups
No false statement against OM must go uncontradicted
Explain the position of OM in a rational way and in relation to other forms of medicine
Take the high ground. Polarisation vs harmonisation model. We should go with the harmonisation model.The connection to the ‘practical founder’ of orthomolecular medicine, dr. Abram Hoffer was expressed by his letter, directed to the participants, ending with the words:
“I am sorry I can not participate at your meeting of distinguished guests but I will be with you in spirit and if you plan to have any proceedings I would be interested in seeing them for possible publication in Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. Please great warmly all my friends.”
1. Pauling L.Orthomolecular psychiatry. Varying the concentrations of substances normally present in the human body may control mental disease.Science. 1968 Apr 19; 160(825):265-71