A Revolutionary Direction in Mental Health Care.

Metabolic Psychiatry: A Revolutionary Direction in Mental Health Care

There has been an intriguing development in the world of psychiatry in recent decades that has pushed the boundaries of traditional approaches: metabolic psychiatry. Backed by pioneers such as Dr. Abraham Hoffer and Professor Dr. Hemmo Drexhage, this approach offers new hope and possibilities for those suffering from mental disorders.

Dr. Abraham Hoffer and Orthomolecular Psychiatry

Dr. Abraham Hoffer, a respected researcher from Canada, was one of the first to recognize the importance of nutrition and vitamins in psychiatry. His research in the 1950s and 1960s focused on the role of niacin (vitamin B3) in the treatment of schizophrenia (1). According to Hoffer, high doses of niacin could improve the symptoms of schizophrenia and help patients lead normal lives.

Hoffer's work led to the birth of orthomolecular psychiatry, which posits that mental disorders may result from biochemical imbalances that can be corrected with proper nutrition and supplements (2).

Professor Dr. Hemmo Drexhage and Immunometabolism

On the other side of the ocean, Professor Dr. Hemmo Drexhage's work in the Netherlands has contributed to our understanding of the connection between the immune system, metabolism, and mental health. Drexhage has done extensive research on the role of immune cells and inflammation in psychiatric disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder (3).

His findings suggest that inflammation, often caused by metabolic imbalances, may play a role in the development and course of psychiatric diseases. This has led to the idea that anti-inflammatory treatments may be effective in treating some mental disorders (4).


Metabolic psychiatry, with its focus on biochemical processes, offers an innovative perspective in the world of mental health care. Thanks to pioneers such as Dr. Abraham Hoffer and Professor Dr. Hemmo Drexhage, new treatment options are being explored that could dramatically change patients' lives.

Source references:

  • Hoffer, A. (1970). Niacin in the treatment of schizophrenia. Canadian Psychiatric Association Journal, 15(6), 499-504.
  • Hoffer, A. (1989). Orthomolecular psychiatry. Schizophrenia, 18(3), 157-167.
  • Drexhage, H. A., Knijff, E. M., Padmos, R. C., Heul-Nieuwenhuijzen, L., Beumer, W., Versnel, M. A., ... & Nolen, W. A. (2010). The mononuclear phagocyte system and its cytokine inflammatory networks in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 10(1), 59-76.
  • Drexhage, H. A., Hoogenboezem, T. H., Versnel, M. A., Berghout, A., Nolen, W. A., & Drexhage, R. C. (2011). The activation of monocyte and T cell networks in patients with bipolar disorder. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 25(6), 1206-1213