Orthomolecular is a term that comes from ortho, which is Greek for "correct" or "right," and "molecule," which is the simplest structure that displays the characteristics of a compound. So it literally means the "right molecule."
Two-time Nobel Prize winner, and molecular biologist, Linus Pauling, Ph.D.,coined the term "Orthomolecular" in his 1968 .
An orthomolecular substance is something that provides the body with the "right molecules" it needs for health. It might be called "optimal nutrition".
Orthomolecular medicine is defined as the practice of preventing and treating disease by providing the body with optimal amounts of substances which are natural to the body.
Orthomolecular medicine believes that the basis for health is good nutrition. It uses nutrients and normal (''ortho'') building blocks of the body in optimal amounts as the basis of treatment. The objective is to use the amounts that lead to the best health and greatest decrease in disease. It is the most effective prevention in the treatment of disease.
Orthomolecular intervention can help in the regaining of health. It can be used to therapeutically treat diseases such as cancer and AIDS, or to help prevent the progression of degenerative disease and aging. Orthomolecular medicine is occasionally referred to as megavitamin therapy.
"Orthomolecular treatment does not lend itself to rapid drug-like control of symptoms, but patients get well to a degree not seen by tranquilizer therapists who believe orthomolecular therapists are prone to exaggeration. Those who've seen the results are astonished.
Orthomolecular medicine might be considered when Down syndrome is present.
Orthomolecular treatment for alcoholism involves using the nutrients necessary to overcome nutritional diseases caused by alcoholism.