By John C. Hammell, President, International Advocates for Health Freedom
Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

On the back wards, where the sun doesn’t shine, time is measured in the burning of cigarettes. Drugged zombies pace listlessly past the peering eyes of hospital staff who observe the pathetic scene from the other side of the nurses station window, like people peering into an aquarium, taking meaningless notes out of sheer ignorance.

Locked naked behind a two inch thick steel door, I felt sealed in a tomb of hopelessness. I lay on the rubber mat in the corner, with muscles turned to jello by an injection of a highly toxic neuroleptic drug called thorazine. On the walls were obscenities scrawled in blood and excrement from past prisoners in the seclusion room, and the fetid stench of stale urine filled the air.

It was Christmas day, but I had no visitors, and the outside world seemed hopelessly out of reach. In this setting, after being forced out of college by my illness, I struggled for 4 long years to hang on to a shred of hope. I badly wanted to resume a life put on hold, and hoped of some day having access to orthomolecular medicine, a suppressed nutritional treatment mode that had helped my aunt and several cousins to heal on a cellular level- via the natural substances that comprise the proteins that make of each and every one of our cells: vitamins, minerals, amino acids, trace elements, and hormones.

My aunt Jane sent three books about orthomolecular medicine to the next to the last hospital I was in. When they first arrived, I could not concentrate well enough to read them, but felt an intrinsic pull to them and became determined to do anything possible to bring about a sufficient physiological change necessary to be able to concentrate at least enough to skim the books so as to glean their essence.

The hospital had taken the one thing away from me that had been helping: long distance running around the perimeter of the grounds. Release of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine from the running had a natural antidepressant effect, helped me detox from the toxic drugs they gave me, and helped me cope with the stress of my situation so I could sleep at night. They told me they were going to stop me from "running away from my problems" and stuffed me on a locked ward- where I was the only non smoker. After my eventual orthomolecular recovery, I was to learn that exposure to cigarette smoke, (also to several foods) to which I am allergic, caused an escalation in my histamine levels- which contributed enormously to my debilitating symptoms.

On the locked ward, I compensated for running being taken away by doing yoga, push ups, sit ups, tai chi, meditation, and prayer. To get away from the cigarette smoke, I spent as much time as possible in my room with the window open. I got so I could read with great difficulty- if I read with my finger, and re-read a page at least 10 times, I could retain enough to go onto the next page.

Via that means I struggled through Mental and Elemental Nutrients by Carl C. Pfeiffer, MD, PhD after first reading an account by a fellow patient, Mark Vonnegut, son of the famous writer Kurt Vonnegut, about how this man’s methods had helped him recover.

Since Pfeiffer had also helped my aunt and some cousins, I was more than a little interested in trying this nutritional approach, but my doctor arrogantly and vehemently insisted that it was "unproven quackery." I got myself kicked out of that hospital by breaking all their rules in order to get back to New Jersey, where I was put in another hospital which ALSO wouldn’t let me try orthomolecular medicine- but at least I was in the same state as Pfeiffer, so figured I had a chance- if only I could go see him and get lab tested.

My dad was dead set against this idea because physician friends of his advised him that Pfeiffer was a "quack", but my mom was more open minded- and she saved my life by taking me to Pfeiffer who did a battery of lab tests that no one else had known how to do.

Armed with the proper nutrients, I smuggled them back in to the last hospital I was in, and took them on the sly while mouthing my medication, and spitting it down a toilet. I had to hide my vitamins in a cavity gouged out from the underside of a foam mattress because they did room searches searching for contraband- and if they’d found my vitamins, they would have confiscated them as if they were cocaine or marijuana, having been brainwashed into believing that any amount over the RDA merely gives us "expensive urine."

After just three weeks of taking my supplements, I was doing so much better that I was given a full medical discharge, with the doctors scratching their heads, wondering which of their drugs had been helping me, but none of them had been- I was spitting them all down the toilet where the toxic substances belonged. That was 23 years ago.


Pfeiffer discovered that food and inhalant allergies caused me to have an overproduction of histamine which is peripherally stored in basophils of the blood and the tissue mast cells. Basophil counts greater than 50 cells/cu mm and histamine levels greater than 70 ng/ml (10 mcg%) are considered diagnostic for histadelia. The average histamine for males was 111 mg/ml and females 107 mg/ml in a study reported in 1975. My histamine levels were up to 126. This is significantly different from normals: 42 and 46 mg/ml for males and females respectively. Histadelia causes suicidal depression, paranoia, and obsessive thinking.

The amino acid methionine detoxifies histamine by methylating the ring structure forming N-methylhistamine. Calcium, taken in the form of calcium salts reduces the release of the bodies store of histamine. Zinc and manganese aid the calcium- methionine program and provide sufficient relief.

Pfeiffer also discovered that I had very high aluminum levels, and copper levels, as well as overproduction of an enzyme called kryptopyrolle. This enzyme robbed me of zinc, a copper antagonist that I needed to eliminate excess copper which was having an excitory effect on the brain as an electrolyte, contributing to my difficulty concentrating, to thought disorder as well as to my severe depression. In essence: high copper levels were shorting out my brain, interfering with neural firing. Zinc, Manganese, and vitamin C all help to lower a copper burden. The amino acids l-tyrosine, and l-tryptophan boost norepeniphrine and dopamine levels respectively, also helping to alleviate depression.

I have barely scratched the surface of telling my story here, but I hope it is sufficient to lead other suffering people to the help they need. Meanwhile, please help STOP a global pharmaceutically instigated threat to ban our access to these safe healing nutrients:


The EU Vitamin and Herb Directives, as well as the Medicines Directive threaten to ban people’s access to the nutrients that helped me heal, and which enable me to maintain my health in the face of genetic biochemical imbalances. They threaten the lives and health of people not only in the EU, but due to the EU regs threatened impact on globalized regulations via the UN’s Codex Alimentarius Commission- people all over the world, including all Americans. American vitamin companies have been lied to on this issue by their pharmaceutically dominated trade associations. We must wake them up fast!

It is therefore essential that freedom loving people world wide actively oppose these draconian, pharmaceutically biased regulations. People in the UK (and world wide) should join http://www.healthfreedommovement.com and take this to the streets. Also in the UK see http://www.alliance-natural-health.org Vitamin consumers world wide should contribute to these organizations which are on the front lines of the global battle to defend access to dietary supplements. Also please see http://www.laleva.cc and sign the petition.

About the author:

John Hammell is President of International Advocates for Health Freedom http://www.iahf.com POB 10632 Blacksburg, VA 24062 USA 540-961-0476 jham@iahf.com John is a grass roots health freedom activist/organizer, political lobbyist/writer, and consultant to the dietary supplement industry. John was on the ad hoc Advisory Board that created the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, USA http://nccam.nih.gov/ and is one of the authors of Alternative Medicine: Expanding Medical Horizons A Report to the NIH on Alternative Medical Systems and Practices in the United States c. ’92 US Government Printing Office http://www.access.gpo.gov ISBN 0-16-045479-4 John was kicked off the US Delegation to the UN’s Codex Alimentarius Commission’s Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Use for being a whistleblower attempting to expose FDA’s criminal efforts to set the USA up to lose in a WTO Trade Dispute via which US supplement laws are threatened with harmonization to a mindless international standard. Many of John’s articles have appeared in Life Extension Magazine http://www.lef.org

Additional Web Based Information: Orthomolecular Medicine

http://www.orthomed.org International Society of Orthomolecular Medicine, Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, Canadian Schizophrenia Foundation,

Links to more info http://www.orthomed.org/links/web.htm

http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/default_1.htm Safe Harbor- Alternative Mental Health Online

http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/directory/ Resources Directory- includes lists of practitioners and orthomolecular clinics

http://www.dr-rath-research.org/home/index.php A wealth of information from Matthias Rath, MD who along with Linus Pauling developed the Solution to Human Cardiovascular Disease- the world’s number one killer. Also see health freedom information.

http://www.truehope.com/ Synergy Group of Canada- Foundation started by Tony Stephan in aftermath of his wife’s suicide, stemming from successful efforts to help his children find nutritional answers to their biochemical imbalances- Very inspirational


Mental and Elemental Nutrients Pfeiffer, Carl C, MD, PhD; Keats c.’75 ISBN 0-87983-114-6

Nutritional Influences on Mental Illness- A Sourcebook of Clinical Research, c. ‘91 Werbach, Melvyn R, MD Third Line Press, Inc., 4751 Viviana Dr., Tarzana CA 91356 USA ISBN 0-961-8550-1-0

The Schizophrenias- Ours to Conquer – Pfeiffer, Carl C, MD, PhD; Mailloux, Richard, B.S., Forsythe, Linda, B.A. c.’70 BioCommunications Press 3100 N.Hillside Ave. Wichita KS 67219 USA ISBN 0-942333-02-0

A Physician’s Handbook on Orthomolecular Medicine edited by Williams, Roger K with Kalita, Dwight K, introduction by Hoffer, Abram, MD Keats, c. ’77 ISBN 0-87983-199-5

Diet Related to Killer Diseases, V, Nutrition and Mental Health- Hearing Before the Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs of the United States Senate- 95th Congress, first session, June 22, 1977- Mental Health and Mental Development- 1980 Update c. 1980 Parker House- 2340 Parker St., Berkeley CA 94704

Library of Congress Catalog # 79-57366

The Way Up From Down Slagle, Priscilla, MD c.’87 Random House, NY ISBN 0-394-55194-X

Common Questions on Schizophrenia- And Their Answers Hoffer, Abram, MD, PhD, c.87 Keats ISBN 0-87983-378-5

Biochemical Individuality the Basis for the Genotrophic Concept Williams, Roger J.PhD c.’56 , 7th printing ’79 Originally published by John Wiley and Sons, Reprinted- University of Texas Press- ISBN 0-292-70022-9

How to Live With Schizophrenia Hoffer, Abram, MD, PhD; Osmond, Humphrey, MRCS, D.P.M c.74 Citadel Press ISBN 0-8065-0665-2

The Roots of Molecular Medicine A Tribute to Linus Pauling, Based on a Symposium presented on May 7-8 1983 in San Francisco by the Orthomolecular Medical Society edited by Huemer, Richard P., MD c.’86 W.H. Freeman & Co. ISBN 0-7167-1761-1

An Alternative Approach to Allergies The New Field of Clinical Ecology Unravels the Environmental Causes of Mental and Physical Ills – Randolph, Theron G, MD; Moss, Ralph W, PhD c.90 Harper & Row ISBN 0-06-091693-1

Molecules of Emotion- The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine, Pert, Candace B., PhD c.’97 Simon and Schuster Inc, ISBN 0-684-846-34-9