What is "O. M."

"Orthomolecular Medicine is preservation of good health and treatment of diseases by changing the concentration of substances that are naturally present in the human body and that are necessary for health" (Linus Pauling).

"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not only the absence of diseases and frailness".

Optimal health and power of resistance against diseases are obtained when all endogenous substances are present in the organism in the right amount and combination.

Unfortunately, basic supply with micronutrients is today for many people no longer secured due to modern lifestyle and increasing age. The intake of a lot of vitamins, vitaminoids, mineral substances and trace elements as well as of omega-3 fatty acids is often below the optimal amounts that are important for health (compare “National Consumption Study” 1991). With an increased intake via micronutrient-rich food or via supplementary intake of these active substances that are called orthomolecular substances, the vital substance balance can be decisively improved and thus health and vitality optimized.

Particularly in special phases of life and for certain risk groups, the need of vitamins is especially high, like for example

  • During the growth phase of children and juveniles
  • in times of increased mental and physical stress
  • during pregnancy and breast feeding period
  • during menopause
  • during old age and illness
  • in case of contaminant loads and environmental stress
  • under the intake of hormones
  • in case of increased intake of carbohydrates
  • during times of severe stress

Further risk groups regarding supply with vitamins are smokers and people with high alcohol consumption. Not only that these consumption toxins do increase the need for vitamins, but these people often care little about healthy and high-quality nutrition, so that negative effects accumulate in these cases.

The basis of orthomolecular therapy is the supply of endogenous, orthomolecular substances in the right amount and combination.

The reason for this is that metabolic processes for energy production are of very complex nature, which means that many differernt vital substances are needed for optimal metabolization. A deficiency of only one vital substance can slow down or even block the entire metabolic process.

Instead of a minimal dosage as requested by other authors, one of the important principles in orhtomolecular medicine is optimal dosing. This means: relatively high dosages of vitamins (except for vitamin A, D and K) should be given and mineral substances, trace elements and vitaminoids should be given at a sufficiently high dosage.

The conventional multivitamin preparations, even if they contain additional mineral substances, are of no worth from the viewpoint of orthomolocular medicine. Due to their low concentration, they alone cannot prevent deficiency symptoms and a preventive or even therapeutic effect in the orthomolecular sense cannot be obtained.

According to today’s standard of knowledge, orthomolecular substances in the narrow sense comprise vitamins and mineral substances, trace elements, antioxidants, fatty acids, amino acids, enzymes and secondary phytosubstances. But usually only those substances belong to this group that are already present in the human organism and are needed, independent of the fact whether they are synthesized from the body itself or supplied by food.

At least the following sufficiently highly dosed orthomolecular substances should be taken in a sufficient amount.

  • Beta carotene
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B2
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin D3
  • Folic acid
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Omega-3 fatty acid
  • Biotin
  • Iodine
  • Selenium
  • Magnesium
  • Ferrum
  • Zinc
  • Manganese
  • Copper
  • Chromium
  • Molybdenum
  • Calcium

It is proved today that the regular intake of orthomolecular substances and antioxidants in an optimal amount does not only have a positive influence on physical fitness, but also on diseases and mortality rate, e.g. in case of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, cancer, psychic disorders, rheumatism and osteoporosis as well as cataract

All recent serious examinations revealed a proved preventive and therapeutic effect of orthomolecular substances respectively antioxidants in case of diabetes (damages of the vascular endothelium and microangiopathy) and lipometabolic disorders (oxidated LDL), as well as in case of CHD and apoplexy (Oxidative stress, e.g."The Lancet", Vol. 347, 1996).

A 10-year-study of Harvard University in USA with 127000 (!) persons revealed a reduction of the mortality rate of cardiac diseases by 40%! A study with approximately 12000 persons in California revealed a reduction of the mortality rate of cancer diseases by 18% and a reduction of total mortality rate by 22% under permanent high dosages of orthomolecular substances. For the male persons of this study group, the mortality reduction due to cardiac diseases was even 42%. The mortality reduction can be extrapolated to a prolongation of life of at least 6 years. A 5-year-study in Linxian with approximately 30 000 grown-ups at the age of over 40 revealed a reduction of deaths due to apoplexy by 10% and frequency of cataract reduced by 40%.

The results of many epidemiological studies on effect and advantage of orthomolecular substances are so convincing that a long-term intake of these substances is recommended in case of the acknowledged risks and in the sense of secondary prevention respectively therapy of all diseases that can be influenced by these substances.

Implimentation of orthomolecular medicine

To use orthomolecular medicine in the preventive and therapeutic practice, a 3-step-concept seems to be practical, which may look as follows:



1.Primary prevention
and support of health, vitality and good aging (Compensation of dysbalances and undersupply, prevention of deficiencies)
Versorgung mit möglichst allen essentiellen Mikronährstoffen über eine gesunde Supply of all essential micronutrients if possible via healthy nutrition combined with optimization of lifestyle at the same time.
In case of long-term reduced supply via nutrition, attempt of supplementation with dietary supplements or balanced diets
2. Secondary prevention
to prevent or postpone diseases (Reduction of lifestyle-dependent or genetic-dependent risks)
Measures of step 1:Additional, often long-term optimal supply of at least the essential phytosubstances via dietary supplements or balanced diets(as far as necessary supplemented by micronutrients in pharmacological dosages as medication)
3. Tertiary prevention/therapy
(Optimal treatment of diseases and prevention of relapses)
Measures of step 1 and 2. Additional indication-related micronutrients at pharmacological dosages as medication with individual or several phytosubstances as manufactured article or individual recipe (if possible on the basis of evident studies)