Use of high doses of vitamins, minerals and trace elements, e.g. to boost the vitality, for the prevention within the scope of anti-aging therapy, for athletes, and also as a cancer therapy.
Orthomolecular nutrient therapy originated in the United States of America.
For more than 50 years, it has gained growing significance for the treatment of acute as well as chronic diseases, and for preventive medicine in that country. In Europe, orthomolecular nutrient therapy is used for a number of medical conditions, e.g. magnesium for cardiology, vitamin C for immunology, different types of vitamin B for neurology. Orthomolecular nutrient therapy is part of nutrional medicine and has been defined scientifically as “Orthomolecular Medicine (OM)” by double Nobel Prize laureate Dr. Linus Pauling in 1968.
As part of nutrional medicine, OM relies on natural regulation mechanisms and biochemical correlations of our body. It is based on nutrition science, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, physiology, general medicine, toxicology and immunology. The adjective orthomolecular is used to express the idea of the right molecules in the right concentration” (emphasis added). The treatment of diabetes by the injection of insulin and the prevention of goiter with iodine are other instances of orthomolecular medicine.
As you can see from the examples of orthomolecular medicine discussed above, sometimes decreasing the amount of a substance in the body is beneficial (for e.g high levels of homocysteine are injurious to health and must be reduced). Orthomolecular medicine is not “alternative”; rather, it should be considered as an adjunct to appropriate conventional medicine.
The purpose of OM is to prevent, relieve or cure diseases by varying the molecular concentrations of substances normally present in the body. The body sensibly processes and reacts to the biochemical stimuli. This results in the activation and reactivation of the cellular organism, stabilisation of the physiological balance, early intervention in the energetic and metabolic metabolism, optimisation of repair mechanisms to name just the most important processes. Here, prevention and therapy are seamlessly intertwined. Mainly the body’s own micronutrients rather than pharmaceuticals (drugs that are foreign to the body) are used for OM treatment. Unfortunately, many doctors continue to discourage their patients from taking vitamins and other supplements, often stating that their benefits have not been proven. They are “toeing the party line,” obscuring the fact that they know little or nothing about nutrition, whether in the form of food or supplements. Much of the confusion and lack of information on nutrition is due to the political power of Big Pharmaceutical companies. Every opportunity is taken to disparage and deny any positive results from vitamins, as the orthomolecular approach to treating disease could compete in the marketplace for the billions of dollars now generated by drug treatment.