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Orthomolecular Treatment of Schizophrenia

Vitamin B3 is useful for both Schizophrenia and ADD/ADHD.     


Niacin (B3) – The Nutrient of Choice for Schizophrenia & ADD



Potential for Neutralization of Schizophrenic Symptoms exists with Niacin 

This neutralization aspect is expanded on in detail in my 2008 Review on The Orthomolecular Treatment of Schizophrenia which was reviewed by Abram Hoffer.  Case studies on this orthomolecular approach are discussed in my 2010 Treatment Response journal publication.


Vitamin B3 Deficiency in ADD and ADHD

Vitamin B3 is useful in ADD and ADHD, especially in cases that have a ‘mind running’ symptom profile.  This is explained in my blog on ADD Kids – An Orthomolecular and Nutrient Perspective.


How much is enough Vitamin B3?

Niacin, niacinamide, inositol-bound niaicn (inositol hexanicotinate), and NADH are the four useful forms of vitamin B3 available for schizophrenia and ADD/ADHD.

In schizophrenia, the therapeutic range of the first three forms of vitamin B3 extend into the gram range (1000mg=1g).

Lower doses of vitamin B3 are required in ADD and ADHD.


Advantage of Food-Based Niacin

The advantage of food-based sources of niacin versus supplemental niacin formats is that the natural food format is more likely to be better absorbed.   That being said the dose of niacin provided in food is a clear distance away from the optimal therapeutic gram range.


Foods High in Niacin

Let’s look at the foods that are high in niacin: fish, poultry, pork, liver, nuts, beef, mushrooms, peas, sunflower seeds, and avocado. Quantities of niacin shown below may vary depending on your reference source.


Fish (Tuna, Salmon) 


100g  (~3.5 ounces) of dry cooked Yellowfin Tuna provides about 22mg of niacin.

100g  of dry cooked Skipjack Tuna provides about 19mg of niacin.

100g  of dry cooked Bluefin Tuna provides about 10mg of niacin.

[If you suspect mercury toxicity then tuna may not be the niacin source of choice.]


100g  of dry cooked Wild Salmon provides about 10mg of niacin.




3 ounces of chicken breast (white meat) provides about 13mg of niacin.

3 ounces of chicken thigh (dark meat) provides about 6mg of niacin.

3 ounces of ground chicken provides about 6mg of niacin.


3 ounces of turkey breast provides about 8mg of niacin.

3 ounces of ground turkey provides about 7mg of niacin.



3 ounces of pork chops provides about 7mg of niacin.

100g of cooked/roasted/cured/regular/extra lean ham provides about 5mg of niacin.

2 slices of grilled/cured Canadian bacon provide about 3mg of niacin.

[Pork is quite hard to digest so other niacin rich foods may be a better option.]



100g of cooked/braised beef liver provides about 17mg of niacin.



100g of dry roasted mixed nuts provides about 5mg of niacin.



3 ounces of ground beef (or a quarter-pounder burger) provides about 5mg of niacin.



100g of grilled portabella mushrooms provides about 6mg of niacin.



100g (~2/3rds cup) of boiled green peas provides about 2mg of niacin.



30g (~1 oz) of roasted sunflower seeds provides about 2mg of niacin.



135g (~1 fruit) of raw avocado provides about 2.5mg of niacin.


MindCheck is the Weekly Wednesday Kids Mental Health series with Dr. Ray Pataracchia N.D.  MindCheck provides in depth information on the orthomolecular approach to coping with mood, behavior and psychotic disorders.  The MindCheck Health Series is endorsed by the  Mindful Network – ‘A Better Future for Children’s Mental Health’.

Disclaimer: Information provided is not to be used for self-assessment, diagnosis or treatment.  We advise readers to discuss these topics with their health care provider or book an appointment with our Toronto clinic.