Orthomolecular Treatment

Investigations into and treatment for orthomolecular medicine is often an excluded benefit from most medical insurance policies. This form of therapy is based on the idea that the body’s health can be restored and maintained through the administration of substances that are normally present in the body, such as vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. The term “orthomolecular” was coined by Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling, who established this definition of orthomolecular medicine in 1968.

The aging process is typically accelerated as a result of free radical exposure, frequent or chronic inflammation, and toxic exposures (such as to heavy metals or industrial and agricultural hydrocarbons). Reversing this process or slowing it down is one goal of orthomolecular therapy, along with treatment of health problems. An increasing number of scientific studies have been confirming the view that high doses of nutrients are therapeutic and preventive. Vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, B-complex vitamins, and coenzyme Q10 are among the many nutrients that have been shown to contribute positively to health and longevity at doses much higher than the RDA.

While therapeutic levels for minerals, such as magnesium, zinc, and chromium, are much closer to the RDA, supplements beyond what is normally present in foods may still be essential for prevention and treatment of disease and slowing the aging process.

Despite this, many insurers do not cover orthomolecular medicine in their policies, and few studies have been conducted to evaluate its effectiveness.