Dear professionals,

The International ISOM-Congress Orthomolecular Medicine Today is unique. It is now in its 47th edition.

In 1996, when I first participated the conference, I realized that I was connected to a group of professionals who, based on their studies and their ethical awareness, knew how to relate their daily practice with the knowledge acquired in the fields of biochemistry, nutrition and medicine. This feeling has always remained with me, to this day. It inspired me, pharmacist, to my motto: “first nutrition, then medicines”.

I also felt myself connected to this conference, especially because of the founders of orthomolecular medicine: an American scientist and a Canadian psychiatrist. In 1968, exactly 50 years ago, the first, Linus Pauling, coined the term “orthomolecular” by explaining this term in the renowned journal Science (1968 Apr 19; 160: 265-71). The title of the article was Orthomolecular Psychiatry and it was explained as the treatment of mental disease by the provision of the optimum molecular environment for the mind, especially the optimum concentrations of substances normally present in the body.

At that time, Pauling already enjoyed fame worldwide. He had received two Nobel Prizes, one for Chemistry (1954) and one for Peace (1962). Readers of The New Scientist designated Pauling to the twenty greatest scientists of all ages, alongside Newton, Darwin and his personal friend Albert Einstein.

Already in the fifties of the last century, Abram Hoffer, as a young psychiatrist, performed a study in the field of nutrition with high dose vitamin B3 in schizophrenia patients. In 1957, he published the first double-blind, placebo-controlled study ever conducted in psychiatry (J Clin Exper Psychopathol 18:131-158, 1957). His life long, until he died at the age of 91, he helped patients.

In 1965, Linus Pauling became aware of the significance of nutrition for health and illness when he accidentally obtained a copy of the book Niacin Therapy in Psychiatry written by Hoffer in 1962. Pauling was very surprised that simple substances that are needed in small amounts to prevent deficiency can have therapeutic applications when given in larger quantities. He was already convinced that mental illness was an important issue in public health. He also found that this problem did not receive sufficient attention in the scientific community. He already had performed research in this field himself, but he did not make any progress. His interest in psychiatry even threatened to shed. The book of Abram Hoffer gave him new ideas and new enthusiasm.

This enthusiasm is still tangible on the 2018 ISOM-conference, also because of the exiting new biochemical, nutritional and medical discoveries since then.

I warmly invite you to make acquaintance with the inspiring world of orthomolecular medicine. Use this unique opportunity and visit the conference, so far only organized in Canada, but now, for the first time, in another country: Japan. As former president of the ISOM, based in Europe, I am very pleased that orthomolecular medicine is expanding internationally so rapidly, especially the last years under the guidance of Dr. Atsuo Yanagisawa.

Dr. Gert E. Schuitemaker

Executive Advisory Board

1999-2009 President, International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine

Ortho Institute

Ortho Communications & Science BV