Orthomolecular Medicine

Othomolecular medicine aims to maintain human health through nutritional supplementation. (1,2) The concept builds on the idea of an optimum nutritional environment in the body and suggests that diseases reflect deficiencies in this environment. Treatment for disease involves attempts to correct “imbalances or deficiencies based on individual biochemistry” by use of substances such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, trace elements and fatty acids.[3][4][5]

The approach is sometimes referred to as megavitamin therapy[1][2] because its practice evolved out of, and in some cases still uses, doses of vitamins and minerals many times higher than the recommended dietary intake. Orthomolecular practitioners may also incorporate a variety of other styles of treatment into their approaches, including dietary restriction, megadoses of non-vitamin nutrients and mainstream pharmaceutical drugs.[1] Proponents argue that non-optimal levels of certain substances can cause health issues beyond simple vitamin deficiency and see balancing these substances as an integral part of health.

Linus Pauling coined the term “orthomolecular” in the 1960s to mean “the right molecules in the right amounts” (ortho- in Greek implies “correct”). Proponents of orthomolecular medicine hold that treatment must be based on each patient’s individual biochemistry. (6)

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  1. ^ Jump up to:
    a b c Saul AW; Hoffer A (2008). Orthomolecular Medicine For Everyone: Megavitamin Therapeutics for Families and Physicians. Laguna Beach, California: Basic Health Publications. ISBN 1-59120-226-4. OCLC 232131968. OL 16944688M.
  2. ^ Jump up to:
    a b McMichael AJ (January 1981). “Orthomolecular medicine and megavitamin therapy”. Med. J. Aust. 1 (1): 6–8. PMID 7207301.
  3. ^ Jump up to:
    a b Hoffer A, Walker M (2000). Smart Nutrients. Avery. ISBN 0-89529-562-8.
  4. ^ Jump up to:
    a b Skinner Patricia (2004). “Gale encyclopedia of alternative medicine: holistic medicine”. Thomson Gale.
  5. ^ Jump up to:
    a b “Orthomolecular medicine”. orthomed.org. 
  6. Braverman Eric (1979). “Orthomolecular Medicine and Megavitamin Therapy: Future and Philosophy” (PDF). Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. 8 (4): 265.


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