Orthomolecular medicine is the nutritional health and medical approach to dealing with various diseases, conditions, even weight due to the belief that many diseases and disorders occur from different chemical deficiencies or imbalances. This approach uses supplements and vitamins to tackle possible health threats and ensure our body functions smoothly. In this article, we will discuss how to improve nutrition with orthomolecular medicine.
What is, exactly, orthomolecular medicine?
Orthomolecular medicine is a type of alternative medicine that is aimed at using various supplements to treat or avoid some diseases or to correct certain imbalances or deficiencies. It all started in 1949, Linus Pauling and his colleagues published a paper in which they announced the discovery of the cause of sickle-cell anemia that was the first defined molecular disease. The official introduction of orthomolecular medicine comes in 1968, but Linus Pauling. This Nobel Prize laureate also coined the term orthomolecular medicine from Greek words “ortho” which means “right or correct” and “molecule” which is defined as the simplest structure that is able to defined characteristics of a compound. The literal meaning of orthomolecular is the right molecule.
Practitioners of the orthomolecular medicine believe that various irregularities, abnormalities, and diseases that occur in our body are the result of some imbalances which can be treated, prevented and cured once the person gets optimal levels of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and many other valuable nutrients.
Key principles of the orthomolecular medicine
Orthomolecular medicine is unique. For example, it is technically a form of alternative medicine due to its main characteristics, but the notion that every person needs high amounts of healthy vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in order to remain healthy places orthomolecular medicine as an adjunct to standard, conventional medicine that we know.
Key principles of orthomolecular medicine are:
Treating disease by bringing natural substances of our body into unique equilibrium
Implementing nutrition control
Types and amounts of nutrients an individual needs are determined through blood tests
Taking vitamin pills several times a day
Supplements are “tools” that help patients get required amounts of nutrients a day.
Benefits of the orthomolecular medicine
Orthomolecular medicine is beneficial for:
Nervous system – Orthomolecular medicine also known as the multivitamin therapy helps with depression, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, Parkinson’s disease, memory and cognition problems, stress, headache, etc.
Digestive system – it helps with irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, flatulence, Crohn’s disease, obesity and weight management.
Skin problems – bruises, acne, eczema, scars, etc.
Vascular system – this type of alternative medicine helps to treat heart diseases, heart attack, chronic anemia, cholesterol imbalance, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, and hypertension.
Orthomolecular medicine also helps with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis problem, etc.
How orthomolecular medicine works?
To treat some condition, disease, or even abnormality with an orthomolecular approach, first thing physician does is to discover the cause of that particular problem. If a cause is left undiscovered, the problem can persist and cause more damage. In order to analyze and find out the root of the problem, physician assesses individual’s diet and conduct some laboratory tests, including blood tests, thyroid function, insulin levels etc., in order to find out what is the ratio of valuable nutrients in person’s body.
These tests are needed because every person has different nutrient levels in their body and requires different dosages of vitamins and supplements. After discovering the ratio of these nutrients, the physician recommends an adequate diet rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc., and various supplements that person should take. Naturally, supplements should be taken in required dosages, and the patient should never go above the recommended daily intake.
With the regular checkups, the physician may lower or increase the dosage that will be decided after assessment and analyzing whether their condition improved or worsened. Once the improvement is noticeable, the dosage is lowered.
How can orthomolecular medicine improve my nutrition?
As you have seen above, the primary approach to the orthomolecular medicine is to maintain the balance of valuable nutrients in our body. This is done in two ways that go hand in hand. First, an individual has to eat healthy and balanced diet, and second, he or she has to take vitamins or supplements to get required levels of certain vitamin or mineral that person lacks. Supplements are needed because we are, mostly, unable to consume required amount of some nutrient through our diet.
The reason our diet can’t provide nutrients we need is mostly because it is produced in the soil that doesn’t contain a high level of nutrients itself. While growing vegetables, for example, most people use various pesticides and other chemicals that gradually deteriorate the quality of the soil.
Moreover, our nutrient requirements vary throughout our lives and the aim of orthomolecular medicine is to provide the optimal amount of nutrients that will along with adequate nutrition protect the health of the certain person.
Therefore, if you find orthomolecular medicine as something you’d like to try, it is not just enough to take supplements. These supplements have to be accompanied by adequate nutrition otherwise you won’t get desired results.
NOTE: orthomolecular medicine is not a substitution for standard medical treatments, it is more a complimentary approach of providing your body with healthy substances to reach optimal health or tackle some disease or abnormality.
This orthomolecular approach improves your nutrition because:
You have to eliminate junk foods, processed foods, caffeine and sugar from your diet
You have to avoid food additives
Base your nutrition on raw, whole, live and unprocessed foods that are abundant in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients much-needed for overall health.
Orthomolecular medicine and weight management
Orthomolecular medicine is beneficial for weight management. When trying to lose weight, you still need to eat. However, the difference is you need to eat healthy foods. Since, the orthomolecular approach is all about adequate nutrition and healthy diet it is described as ideal for weight loss process. Moreover, because orthomolecular medicine combines the healthy diet with supplements you have greater chances to lose those extra pounds, particularly if you combine orthomolecular approach with exercise as well.
A great example of weight management through orthomolecular medicine is the usage of supplements that contain garcinia cambogia.
Garcinia Cambogia is a tropical fruit that is also known as Malabar tamarind. It is a citrus fruit that is native to Southeast Asia. And the fruit is one of the most frequent ingredients of weight loss supplements. Consumption of this supplement curbs your appetite that makes you eat less and lose weight more efficiently. Moreover, it is believed that garcinia cambogia blocks the body’s ability to produce fat. Additionally, it regulates blood sugar and cholesterol levels both of which are of extreme importance for weight management.
So how garcinia cambogia aides in weight loss? Some studies have revealed that the active ingredient from the fruit’s rind, hydroxycitric acid, increased fat burning and acted as an appetite suppressant in participants. Moreover, garcinia cambogia blocks an enzyme citrate lyase that is used by your body to make fat and improves our metabolism. It is important to mention that supplements containing extracts of this fruit have mild or no side effects at all.
NOTE: before purchasing any supplement including garcinia cambogia make sure you consult your doctor first mostly because dosages should be adjusted to the health and overall condition of the certain individual.
Orthomolecular medicine is the practice of treating diseases and disorders with restoring the chemical balance of one’s body. It is believed that some illnesses and conditions are a just result of a deficiency of some vitamin, nutrient, or enzyme in our organism. Moreover, the orthomolecular approach is unique, it falls into a group of alternative medicine, yet with the recommendations of adequate nutrition it also aides standard medicine as well. It is important to know that aim or the orthomolecular medicine isn’t to replace standard medical treatments but to be their addition. This approach improves our nutrition because it requires the intake of healthy foods and avoiding unhealthy, greasy and processed foods that make it ideal for weight management as well. Always bear in mind that orthomolecular medicine requires both healthy nutrition and supplements, not only one. An example of a good supplement for weight loss is garcinia cambogia.