Quack Exposed: Dr. Richard Kunin

Dr. Richard Kunin (October 22, 1932 – February 23, 2021) graduated from University of Minnesota with his MD in 1955. After this psychiatric residency training at New York Hospital, completed in 1959, he served for the army in the United States Army Medical Corps.

Private Practice

Dr. Kunin has had a private practice until his death in 2021. He practiced a health medicine strategy that put nutrition and detoxification first in medical diagnosis and therapy. This was in addition to exercise and endocrine support for adaptive mechanisms that can cope with disease. In other words, using supplements and nutrition to “treat” medical condition instead of with real science.

He used “ongoing education,” and reinforcement of personal habits. These habits include diet and and specific supplements. He called this a “health oriented therapy.”

“Science has given us the tools to provide better diagnosis of the physiological and biochemical needs of our individual patients and thus to restore nutrition and environmental factors to the center of medical thinking. Without such a strategy, it is likely that advances in alternative medicine will be suppressed and under utilized for years to come.”

He was awarded the NIH post doctoral fellowship in neurophsyiology at Stanford University Medical Center in 1962. In 1962 he also married Matilda Manning. His depth electrode studies documented hippocampal theta rhythm changes in “animal hypnosis.”The human application of this research to human hypnosis led to his appointment as a consultant in behavior therapy at Stanford in the Department of Psychology. He was also appointed the “lecturer in hypnosis.”

In 1970, he was elected president of the San Francisco Academy of Hypnosis.

Kunin specialized in orthomolecular medicine. Orthomolecular medicine is the restoration and maintenance of health through nutrition. In other words, if you have the right nutrients, the aging process will stop or slow down. It is a form of alternative medicine, or quackery.

Kunin was inspired by Dr Linus Pauling’s work with vitamin C and antioxidants in orthomolecular medicine. In 1973, he pushed manganese as a cure for drug induced dyskinesia (muscle movement disorder caused by drug therapy.).

Kunin cofounded the Orthomolecular Medical Society with Dr. Michael Lesser and Dr. Linus Pauling in 1976. He was the president from 1980-1982. Kunin’s research led to the “orthocarbohydrate diet.” This was the first diet plan based on individualized carbohydrate-protein- fat effects mood, energy and weight.

The “listen to your body diet” popularized his books “Mega Nutrition” and “Mega Nutrition for Women.”

Snake Oil

In 1986, Kunin started a 12 year position as a columnist for San Francisco New Filmore. His column was “Putting Nutrition First.” He attempted to prove that snake oil was not quackery by achieving the first measurement of EPA in snake oil in 1989.

The term snake oil was taken from actual snake oil that is used in ancient remedies in ancient Chinese culture. Kunin believed it was rich in omega 3 fatty acids. It was used to treat joint pain for arthritis and bursitis. It was likely to arrive in the US with the arrival of Chinese laborers who came to build the Transcontinental Railroad in the mid 1800’s. They may have offered snake oil to fellow workers as relief for suffering long days of physical toil.

He then visited ChinaTown to buy some and analyze it . He also acquired two live rattlesnakes and extracted their fat sacs. He then published his analysis in the Western Journal of Medicine.

He fond that Chinese Water Snake Oil contes 20 percent of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). The rattle snakes contained only 8.5%.

Society for Orthomolecular Health Medicine

In 1994, Kunin founded the Society for Orthomolecular Health Medicine in San Francisco and organized annual scientific meetings for 14 years. In the same year, he became the first Interim President of the International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine


In 1996, Kunin was the first to measure fluoride in hair and demonstration hair levels of up to 20 parts per million in an outpatient population. This started our society’s mistrust in fluoride when it prevents cavities in our society.

Kunin served on the board of Governors of the National Health Federation and was on the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine from 1982, until his death.

Ola Loa Products

Kunin was also the director of research for Ola Loa products. Ola Loa was cofounded by his son. His job was to fulminate all the products that the company sold. Ola Loa is a vitamin drink company. Currently it is being ran by Kunin’s son, Gregory Kunin. They were originally selling capsules that would require a handful of pills. Now they create drinks. They tested it on Kunin’s 2 year old grandson. This company is very similar to MaryRuth Organics.

1999 Defeat Autism Now Conference Speaker

Kunin believed that homocysteine (an amino acid) and methylation (the transfer of one carbon atom and three hydrogen atoms) were significant in autism. Before that, he believed it was a vitamin A deficiency because mothers of autistic children were avoiding animal fats.

Kunin believes that autism is caused by homocysteine ( an amino acid) in people with diets low in vitamin B, especially those with one or 8 genetic enzyme defects. He believed this caused severe brain disease and death in children. He believed that milder cases would not be diagnosed but can cause mental symptoms, including schizophrenia.

He was first to develop a theory that linked autism to ischemia and apoptotic neurological damage triggered by nutrient deficiency, toxicity and vaccine activation of coagulation. He fits right in at Defeat Autism Now. Because of this he proposed that megavitamins work as anticoagulants. Megavitamins are just supplements at much higher doses.

He believed that half of adult psychosis was related to homocysteine.

He also believed that zinc deficiency seemed to affect all of the autistic children he had examined, this was later proven to be false. He believed it to be an aggravating factor and not a cause.

He tested 12 of his autistic patients for homocysteine and found that half had high levels. He believed this was a contributing factor to them being autistic.


In 2003, Kunin was the first to claim that there was a genetic epidemic. He was the first to spread the misinformation about the MTHFR mutation to the masses. He claimed that the mutation rate in 150 consecutive patients was unexpectedly high. He says it was over 95% mutated. He also said that methionine synthase was over 95% mutated.

Kunin was inducted into the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame in 2008.







One thought on “Quack Exposed: Dr. Richard Kunin

  1. Pingback: Quackery Exposed: OrthoMolecular Medicine → Fierce Autie

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