In 1968, the late Linus Pauling (PhD and two-time Nobel Prize winner) used the term orthomolecular, which , by definition means right molecule. During a conversation he defined it as follows:
Orthomolecular medicine is the preservation of health and the treatment of disease by the provision of the optimum molecular constitution of the body, especially the optimum concentration of substances that are normally present in the human body and are required for life.
Since diseases begin at the cell level, Orthmolecular approach to the treatment begins at the cell level. With the exception of trauma, cell death is caused by the chemical process of oxidation caused by invasive molecules called “free radicals.” To counter these destructive molecules, specific antioxidants must be administered often referred to as “free radical scavengers.” Since all antioxidants are not the same, the Orthomolecular practitioner must administer specific antioxidants for the region or organ involved. The other component essential for consideration is the immune system which must be optimize since this system may have been deficient leaving the body vulnerable to the pathological condition existing. The Orthomolecular practitioner knows which nutritional supplements are necessary to promote optimization of immune response. These are the two basic fundamentals of Orthomolecular Medicine. Please understand that this new branch of medicine was begun by medical professionals not by nutritional supplement purveyors. Veterinary professionals are knowledgeable in animal diseases and the essentials of nutritional treatment protocols.
The tendency, by most non-professionals, is to trivialize this branch of medicine because “it’s only vitamins.” Please note: To accomplish clinical results requires knowledge of diseases, symptoms, pathology and most importantly histopathology (pathology at the cell level) where the disease process begins. Cells make tissues, and tissues make organs and parts of the body, cellular therapy must be the focus of any treatment. Since damage and cell death is due to oxidation, it is imperative to initiate any therapy with antioxidants, which must be specific for the body part or organ involved, because all antioxidants are not the same. As an example, there are three basic types of muscle tissue, striated, cardiac, and smooth, each requires a specific antioxidant for therapy, and prevention. The next consideration is to optimize immune function, which requires a complex specific nutritional combination to aid in preventing further damage and adjunct to antioxidant therapy. Unfortunately, the tendency with conventional treatment protocols is to treat the symptoms of a disease which often is a temporary “fix”, problem not solved.