More and more people are convinced that a balanced and conscious diet is crucial for good health. The question is increasingly being asked as to whether today's foods are still sufficiently suitable for a healthy diet. In this context, the term "orthomolecular medicine" is often used. This - also known as microvital medicine - represents the scientific basis for the prevention and treatment of nutritional and environmental diseases through the targeted use of vital substances.
Supply of vital substances
Vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids and fatty acids must be regularly supplied to the human organism in sufficient quantities with the food, since he does not produce them themselves. Even the lack of a single vital substance can limit the performance: non-specific symptoms such as fatigue, susceptibility to infection, lack of concentration and irritability occur and can often not be explained.
Consequences of vital substance deficiency
In the long term, vital substance deficiency even slowly and unnoticed prepares the soil for serious diseases such as arteriosclerosis, senile diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis or rheumatism. Of the large number of vital substances required by the body of some only very small amounts - the so-called trace elements. They are also called microvital substances and take on vital tasks in every cell of the human organism.
The immune system, the nerve cells, the work of the muscle fibers and many other functions depend on the optimal supply of all nutrients. As building blocks of enzymes, they are involved in more than 100, 000 complex metabolic processes. All vital substances must be present at the right time, in the right place and in the correct concentration so that the finely tuned interaction of cells, tissue and organs functions smoothly.
Definition: Orthomolecular Medicine
The term "orthomolecular" - literally translated - "the right molecules" - or, analogously, "the right nutrients" was coined by the American biochemist Professor Dr. Linus Pauling (1901-1994), the two-time Nobel laureate formulated in 1968 the fundamental principle "Orthomolecular medicine serves to maintain good health and treat disease by altering the concentrations of substances in the human body that are normally present in the body and are necessary for health."
Each person is therefore dependent on the regular and balanced supply of microvital substances in the respective amounts, which should usually be in the cells of his body. Only in this way is the prerequisite for a trouble-free metabolic process and optimal performance of the human organism ensured. Thus, the central area of action of orthomolecular medicine is, in addition to the prevention of diseases, also in the therapy-accompanying administration of microvital substances in the event of illness.
Criticism of orthomolecular medicine:
In the concept of orthomolecular medicine, it should be noted that this is an alternative medicine method, for the effectiveness of which there is as yet no scientific proof. The intake of vitamins and minerals, which is recommended in orthomolecular medicine, is significantly higher than is justified by scientific evidence.
In addition, it is controversial whether many diseases are actually due to an unhealthy diet and a consequent lack of vital substances and, conversely, whether diseases can be cured by an adequate supply of vitamins and minerals. This is certainly the case for some diseases whose cause is clearly a deficiency of certain vitamins or minerals. In other diseases, however, a cure by taking vitamins and minerals is highly controversial. Special attention should be paid to the fact that prolonged intake of high-dose vitamin preparations - as is quite common in orthomolecular medicine - can also lead to health problems.