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Intro to Orthomolecular Medicine

Orthomolecular Medicine is nothing more than a process of ascertaining nutrient deficiencies through various means and correcting them.

“Nutrient Deficiencies” are not necessarily thought about the same way as dictated by “standard protocols,” (for example: RDA, AI, ERA). This is because the given “standard amount” for the “standard protocols,” treat all people on the planet earth as needing the same given amounts of nutrients, with few variations.

Orthomolecular medicine says a deficiency could, many times, be an individual needing more of given nutrient to help a biological process in the body perform in a certain way. This means an individual may need more of a given nutrient to overcome a given condition or illness.

The best approach is a two-fold process in most cases.

Two Step Process

  1. Very frequently, the process involves an increase in the nutrient levels where deficiency is present.
  2. At the same time, removing the factors that lead to the deficiency may also be employed.

    Ø Removing deficiency causing factors may involve avoiding certain foods causing reactions in the body; removing toxins from the body; eating a better, well balanced, organic, or more nutrient dense diet; and many such things.

This correction, whether by increased nutrient intake or removing factors causing it, gives the body a chance to heal itself.

Some of these deficiencies may be temporary and some are of a more permanent nature, depending on the individual and the condition. Regardless of the duration, the deficiency may be effectively corrected, and in many cases, recovery may be possible when this deficiency is corrected. Corrections for some, for more permanent conditions, may need to be maintained for a lifetime.

Perfection is not the goal

The Orthomolecular process is not perfect.

We still do not know everything there is to know about many cellular processes and the nutrients affecting them. That said, the process is often very efficacious and real healing and recovery is possible and we are discovering more and more all the time.

If you are looking for perfection, you will have to wait until you reach heaven!

In the meantime, orthomolecular treatment is very safe and effective for many conditions and very frequently is more effective than conventional treatments. Also, in many cases, orthomolecular medicine is employed at the same time as conventional approaches.

As the body heals, many times the need for conventional treatment subsides and sometimes is removed completely. In almost all cases, there is at least improvement over using conventional approaches alone.

Your body is healing itself right now

Are you dead?

No. Of course not!

Good, then your body, right now, as you read this, is in the process of healing itself!

It does this all the time. If it did not, you would be dead.

Your body is …

  • removing toxins
  • healing cellular damage
  • replacing dead cells
  • and many such things

If you want your body to continue to heal itself, you need to give it what it needs to do these things. At the same time, you may need to remove things that hinder this process.

A formal definition of Orthomolecular Medicine

The idea behind orthomolecular medicine is to give the body the proper micronutrients it needs while possibly eliminating foods toward which the patient shows a sensitivity. “Orthomolecular” is a word first coined by Dr. Linus Pauling, Ph.D. in 1968, “twice a Nobel Prize winner.” The word ortho means right or correct, so orthomolecular means introducing the right molecule in the right amount. “Orthomolecular physicians believe that the treatment of infectious and degenerative disease should be a matter of varying the concentration of ‘right molecules’ (i.e., vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids, enzymes, hormones, etc.) which are normally present in the human body. This belief is based on the idea that the nutritional microenvironment of every cell in our body is extremely important to our optimum health, and deficiencies in this environment constitute the major cause of disease.” (Brain Allergies, Philpott and Kalita, 2000).

Orthomolecular Medicine is perhaps the most effective when a practitioner knows about and is able to combine it with Functional Medical methods and approaches.

Read an intro to Functional Medicine here.