ORTHOMOLECULAR MEDICINE:
The Right Nutrients in the Right Concentration.

Dr. Mariana Solórzano Flores M.D.
Integrative Medicine

 

xraybodyIt is well known that Hippocrates is called the Father of Medicine. His principles of medical science formed the basis for modern medical theory developed in the 1800s. His famous oath, the Hippocratic Oath, is still used today. One of them is “primum non nocere,” which means that the first thing a doctor has to do while treating a patient is not to hurt him. Remember that all drugs have advers effects. Another one is “natura medicatrix.”

This one is specially important because it remind us that our body and nature have all the tools to keep us healthy. Each of our cells is trying naturally to keep itself in balance and healthy. Of course, that would be easier if we would give the body the natural substances it needs to heal itself.

Another principle is “let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.” The food we eat can be the reason why we get sick and also why we remain healthy. Some people don´t know the consequences for our body every time they eat canned, refined or fried food. If we want to optimize our health cell by cell, What can we do?

Orthomolecular medicine comes from “ortho” which means good, and “molecular” from cell. It is defined as the use of nutritional supplements to treat or prevent disease by optimizing the concentrations of substances (for example vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids) normally found in the human body. Each person has unique biochemical needs and deficiencies for these substances.

Diet modifications are paramount for achieving optimum health, but the addition of nutritional supplements is also required. In order to choose the type, the combination and the dose of the nutrients is necessary to make an individual nutritional profile.

Chronic-degenerative diseases are more and more frequent e.g, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. An important factor in the prevention and the treatment of this disease is nutrition. However, even the best diet is not always adequate because the nutrient content of our food has been depleted, degraded and contaminated by modern agricultural and food processing practices.

The advantages of orthomolecular medicine is that the nutrients that are used are normally found in the human body, in contrast with convencional medicine that uses drugs and other components that are unknown to our body.

The word “orthomolecular” was introduced by Linus Pauling in “Orthomolecular Psychiatry,” his seminal 1968 article published in the Journal of Science. He learned about changes in mental function that precede the overt B vitamin deficiency diseases—pellagra, pernicious anemia and beriberi—and later learned about the work of two psychiatrists, Abram Hoffer and Humphry Osmond, who were reporting success in treating schizophrenics with niacin, the B vitamin that prevents pellagra.

There is more evidence of the relationship between the specific nutritional deficiencies and specific diseases like hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, mental disorders, etc.

Orthomolecular medicine is not “alternative.” Rather, it should be considered as an adjunct to appropriate conventional medicine. All diseases have a biochemical base and if we give the body the right molecules in the right concentration, the body will note the benefical changes.

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