Alternative medicine – ortho-molecular medicine – the latest hype?!

Posted by Dental News Team On December - 3 - 2009

Ortho-molecular medicine – an promising new method or just another way for the nutritional supplements industry to make a quick buck?

miteinanderYet another hype of the “holistic, alternative, or ortho-molecular” medicine kind!

The term „ ortho-molecular medicine“ was coined by Linus Pauling, an American chemist (1901-1994).  Ortho-molecular medicine is an alternative form of medicine based on the premise that the general population suffers from chronic vitamin and mineral deficiency and that illnesses can be prevented or healed by administering supplements.

Around the time that Pauling was doing his research, which was between the two World Wars (around 1930) this may truly have been the case (World War I took place from 1914-1918), but now things have changed. Illnesses such as night blindness (caused by a vitamin A deficiency), rickets (vitamin D), myopathy (vitamin E), Beri-Beri (vitamin B1), Pellagra (Niacin), scurvy (vitamin C) are illnesses that few European doctors have experienced first-hand. Our hospital beds are actually full of patients suffering from „affluenza“ or illnesses common in highly developed (affluent) societies. This includes high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus II, arterio-sclerosis, obesity, fat metabolism disorders and coronary heart disease.

Basically, we’re eating ourselves to death, but we are still under the impression that we have nutritional deficiencies … what?
Obviously just another rumour spread about by the nutritional supplements industry?

One of the reasons why ortho-molecular medicine is so successful may be that it generates such high profits. A FORSA study recently found that one out of every three people living in Germany takes nutritional supplements, adding up to an estimated annual turnover of 1 billion euros, just for  vitamin and mineral supplements. Pharmaceuticals companies are also jumping on the bandwagon.

ruheBut, like with many other alternative methods, there are as yet no truly scientific studies on the effectiveness of supplements. Still, the business of ortho-molecular training and treatment is booming. Medical associations even issue diplomas in „ortho-molecular medicine”. What are our doctors selling us – products which are not even approved by studies – meaning real studies, not „pseudo-studies“!

No proof without scientific studies
Whether we’re talking about traditional or alternative medicine, our opinion is clear. If there is scientific support (evidence-based studies) for the success of a specific kind of treatment, then this method should be used for the benefit of the general public – but assumptions and anecdotes cannot be used to treat patients. See the „Homeopathic treatment“ video at

Why do we still feel like we are suffering from „deficiencies“?
But people still feel empty, exhausted, and overwhelmed. Why? Is it because we are living in an increasingly competitive and profit-oriented society, where virtues such as caring and empathy are being pushed aside by bullying at the workplace and profit maximization by industries (including the medical industry)? Are the sad, tired and frustrated faces that we see in the subways, cars and buses of our cities every day a result of the way we live? Not because of a vitamin deficiency, but because we no longer pay attention to our needs, ourselves and our own inner clocks?

One thing’s for sure, it’s not because you aren’t getting enough vitamins  – have a nice (work) day!

More on this topic here!

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