Orthomolecular therapy tries to correct a vitamin, mineral or nutritional imbalance where it occurs. If a disease is being mainly caused by a deficiency of some kind, it stands to reason that the main course of treatment should be to correct such a deficit (as opposed to treatment plans which only address the patient's symptoms). Orthomolecular therapy has its beginnings in the discovery that diseases, like schizophrenia, sometimes respond well to megadoses of niacin, also known as vitamin B3.

Other conditions linked to vitamin deficiencies and respond to vitamin therapy include:
Beriberi (nervous degeneration): Thiamine / Vitamin B1 deficiency
Nightblindness (inability to see in dim light): Retinol / Vitamin A deficiency
Osteomalacia (bone softening): Calciferol / Vitamin D deficiency
Pellagra (characterized by scaly dermatitis, diarrhea and depression): Niacin / Vitamin B3 deficiency
Pernicious anemia (defective red blood cell production): Cyanocobalamin / Vitamin B12 deficiency
Rickets (childhood disease characterized by malformed bones): Calciferol / Vitamin D deficiency
Scurvy (hemmorrhage and bleeding): Ascorbic acid / Vitamin C deficiency
Xerophtalmia (serious eye disease which may lead to full blindness): Retinol / Vitamin A deficiency

Further examples of conditions linked to mineral deficiencies:
Osteoporosis (brittle bones): Calcium deficiency
Iron deficiency anemia (reduced oxygen carrying capacity of the blood): Iron deficiency

Additionally, Potassium deficiency has been linked to Hypertension, Magnesium deficiency has been linked to Growth impairment, and Zinc deficiency has even been linked to Eating Disorders.

Nutritional deficiencies are not always caused by a lack of nutrients in one's food, but may be caused by consuming too much alcohol, nicotine, animal fats, sugar, chemicals and prescription drugs. Nutritional deficiencies can also be caused if the body (particularly the small intestine) loses it's ability to properly absorb nutrients. Some common causes for malabsorption include: Celiac disease, Surgical removal of much of the small instestine, Pancreatic failure, Cystic fibrosis, Crohn's disease, etc.

The term orthomolecular was first introduced by chemistry professor Linus Pauling (1901-1994), 2-time Nobel laureate (winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1954 and for Peace in 1962). Linus Pauling's ground-breaking discoveries in molecular chemistry lay the foundation for what is today known as orthomolecular medicine. Of particular importance is Linus Pauling's research into Vitamin C therapy and his discoveries that megadoses of Vitamin C activate the immune-system and help fight diseases like the Common Cold, Atherosclerosis and Cancer.

Any orthomolecular therapy must begin with proper diagnosis, thorough examination of the previous diet and analysis of the blood and hair to help determine any deficiencies.

Nutrition Software Nutritional Therapy Afflictions Database Nutrition includes information on Orthomolecular therapy, Amino-acids, Antioxidants, Enzymes, Fats, Oils, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements, BMI Calculator, Carbohydrates, Special Foods and on Acid-Base Balance.
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Acid-Base Balance  ·  Medicinal Properties of Herbs  ·  Schüssler Cell Salts

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