ION History

The ISF (ION) plays an important role in promoting orthomolecular treatment, which is making a significant difference in health care.

Robert Banner, President, Ontario Society of Physicians for Complementary Medicine.

In 2016, after extensive consultation, the Board of Directors approved the creation of the Integrated Orthomolecular Network (ION). ION was built on the solid foundation created by the International Schizophrenia Foundation (ISF).  In August 2016, after further deliberations, the ION Board of Directors decided to dissolve ION. The work of the ISF and its programs (Mindful, Canadian Society for Orthomolecular Medicine, Orthomolecular Health, International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine and the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine) lives on through the ION website. The International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine (ISOM), the Orthomolecular Medicine Today conference and the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine will continue to operate under the ISOM banner.

The ION website has a proud history.  Established in 1968 as a registered Canadian charity, the ISF’s vision was to empower individuals to enjoy balanced, optimal lives though an integrative approach to individualized physical and mental health and nutrition. The ISF made great strides in realizing that vision and provided leadership that shaped the future of individualized healthcare through a two-pronged approach of public and professional education. 

In the early 1950s when shock therapy was the treatment of choice for many serious mental disorders, psychiatrist Dr. Abram Hoffer and his colleagues made a ground-breaking discovery. By giving a group of people with schizophrenia the B vitamin niacin and other nutrients recognized in the maintenance of good health, they were able to reduce patient symptoms, enhance the efficacy of prescription medication while reducing its side-effects, and give seriously ill patients back their lives.

Until his death in 2009, Dr. Hoffer continued to advocate treatment for acute schizophrenia and other mental disorders based on the practice of a customized and balanced approach to naturally-occurring vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids and other nutrients. This novel approach to healing the body and preventing illness — coined “orthomolecular medicine” by two-time Nobel Prize winner and molecular biologist Linus Pauling in 1968 — has since become the focus of a vast body of research highlighting the significance of vitamins and other nutrients in both mental and physical health. The same year that Dr. Pauling put a name to orthomolecular medicine, the International Schizophrenia Foundation (ISF) was founded.