The term “orthomolecular” was coined by Dr Linus Pauling, who won a Nobel Prize two times. In 1968 he published a description of his idea, among others in the specialist journal Science. He wrote that orthomolecular therapy “is the treatment of disease by the provision of the optimal molecular constitution of the body, especially the optimal concentration of substances that are normally present in the human body and are required for life.” The subject of controversial discussion at the time and labelled an alternative medical procedure, nowadays orthomolecular medicine is integrated into many concepts of nutritional treatment. It is therefore also known as orthomolecular nutritional medicine.

Orthomolecular medicine: fruit and vegetables are valuable sources of micronutrients and the German Nutrition Society (DGE – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung) recommends that they should be eaten several times per day


“More is better”?

Orthomolecular medicine is based on the targeted intake of micronutrients to meet an increased need as a result of acute or chronic illnesses, e.g. osteoarthritis, or in specific circumstances such as pregnancy. But micronutrients should not be taken indiscriminately or along the lines of “more is better”. Instead, and taking account of findings in nutritional medicine, specific combinations should be used that have been tailored to each particular need or medical indication, i.e. the right combination of micronutrients with a well-balanced dosage.

What are micronutrients?

Micronutrients are also known by the general public as vital substances. This group includes vitamins and minerals (incl. trace elements). Orthomolecular medicine also includes the intake of essential fatty/amino acids, phytonutrients and also pro- and prebiotics. Almost all micronutrients are consumed in our daily diet. However, dietary supplementation can make sense in special situations in order to meet the need for vital substances.


Orthomolecular medicine – field of international research

Scientific research has long surpassed the familiar areas such as the use of vitamin C for the immune system. Numerous international publications focus on the many different potential uses of vital substances in connection with health. Such studies reveal that micronutrients play a significant role in active health protection and in nutritional therapy.