Major Mental Illness Biochemical Subtypes
As described by Dr. Carl Pfeiffer and the Pfeiffer Treatment Center. These symptom lists are generalizations and are not suitable for diagnosis of most people due to the wide ranging influences of these variables.
*Pyroluria may overlap with methylation/histamine imbalances.
|High Histamine (under-methylated)||Low Histamine (over-methylated)||Pyroluria||High Copper (Hypercupremia)|
|Common nutritional imbalances||Depressed calcium, methionine, B6 and excess folic acid||Depressed folate, B3, B12 and excess copper and methionine||Depressed zinc, B6, manganese and arachidonic acid (an omega-6 fat)||Excess copper and depressed zinc|
|Common neurotransmitter imbalances||High histamine and low serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine||Low histamine and elevated serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine||Low serotonin||Elevated norepinephrine and epinephrine|
|Laboratory tests*|| Whole blood histamine over 70 ng/ml,
absolute basophils and low ceruloplasmin
| Whole blood histamine under 40
ng/ml, depressed direct
absolute basophils and high serum copper
|Elevated urine kryptopyrroles||Serum copper over 140 mcg/dL and low ceruloplasmin|
|Cause of imbalances||Genetic tendency for under-methylation||Genetic tendency for over-methylation||Abnormal hemoglobin synthesis||High copper|
|Beneficial supplements||Calcium, methionine, magnesium, zinc, TMG, omega-3 oils, B6, SAMe, inositol, A, C and E||B3, B12, DMAE, folate, choline, manganese, zinc, omega-3 oils, C and E||B-6, zinc, and Primrose Oil||Zinc, manganese, vitamin C and B6|
|Potentially harmful supplements||Folate, choline, DMAE, copper and histidine||Methionine, SAMe, inositol, tryptophan, phenylalanine, St. Johnís wort, tyrosine, copper, TMG and DMG.||Histidine, copper and omega-3 fatty acids.||Copper containing supplements and estrogen|
*Reference ranges vary with laboratory techniques.
**TMG = tri-methyl-glycine (betaine), DMG = di-methyl-glycine, SAMe = s-adenosyl-methionine, DMAE = di-methyl-amino-ethanol (deanor/deanol)
Biochemical subtype incidence for different mental health conditions
| High Histamine
| Low Histamine
* > = greater than, < = less than, ~ = approximately
Nutrition and Mental Illness: An Orthomolecular Approach to Balancing Body Chemistry by Carl Pfeiffer, MD, PhD, 1988
Natural Healing for Schizophrenia & Other Common Mental Disorders by Eva Edelman, 1998
This excellent book embraces the approaches used by both Pfeiffer and Hoffer. A quote from William Walsh PhD, (co-founder and chief-scientist at the Pfeiffer Treatment Center), on the back cover states:
"This is the most useful volume on nutritional methods for mental illness written in the past 20 years. I believe that it will be a valuable resource for researchers, clinicians, and families alike. It is required reading for our research and medical staff."
For anyone looking
for alternatives for mental conditions, this is a must read!
Related articles by William Walsh, PhD of the Pfeiffer Treatment Center:
- Biochemical Treatment of Mental Illness and Behavior Disorders
- Commentary on Nutritional Treatment of Mental Disorders
Critical Role of Nutrients in Severe Mental Symptoms