Orthomolecular Medicine

One of Dr. Kunkel’s favorite modalities is orthomolecular medicine.  According to www.orthomolecular.org, “Orthomolecular medicine describes the practice of preventing and treating disease by providing the body with optimal amounts of substances which are natural to the body.” These natural substances include vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids, as well as other naturally occurring compounds. Acquisition through the diet is the main focus, though supplementation in concentrated forms is also generally employed.

Orthomolecular medicine understands that we all are unique individuals with unique biochemical variations that we were either born with (genetic) or that we acquired over our lifetime (environmental). Due to these variations, we all need different amounts of these natural substances that maintain life. Orthomolecular medicine understands there is no “one-size-fits-all” Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). Many examples exist, even in the medical literature and scientific studies, showing individual variation in nutrient requirements. And when individuals don’t get enough of the nutrients they need (no matter how large that amount may be) they become sick with highly preventable diseases such as atherosclerosis, cancer, depression and many others.

Orthomolecular therapy has been referred to as “mega-vitamin therapy” but this is really a misnomer. When it is finally understood that we are all unique individuals all the way down to our biochemical requirements, then we can understand that the dose required for our good health is not a “mega dose” but rather our “optimum dose”.