Vitamins & Minerals
Many illnesses are linked to molecular imbalances caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies. According to the pivotal book, Orthomolecular Nutrition, New Lifestyle for Super Good Health by Abram Hoffer, Ph.D., M.D. and Morton Walker D.P.M., there are about 45 nutrients that our bodies require in optimum quantities.
Orthomolecular science allows individuals to identify natural imbalances in their biochemical makeup and use vitamins and minerals to correct the imbalance. Literally translated, "orthomolecular" means "right molecule" and what is exactly right will differ for every individual. An orthomolecular practitioner can help determine the appropriate level of vitamins and minerals to optimize your health.1
Orthomolecular practitioners often use much higher than RDA-level doses of nutrients. Current RDA/DRI recommendations are too low for many, perhaps most, persons.
Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, October 30, 2007. Doctors Say, Raise the RDAs Now. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v03n10.shtml
Saul AW. Vitamin dependency. [Editorial] J Orthomolecular Med, 2004. Vol 19, No 2, p 67-70. http://www.doctoryourself.com/dependency.html
Even a "good" or "balanced" diet fails to supply adequate amounts of many nutrients.
Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, November 2, 2007. Study Shows Vitamin "Pill-Poppers" Are Healthier. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v03n11.shtml
Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, May 23, 2005 MOST DIETS NEED SUPPLEMENTATION - Even "Good" Ones. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v01n03.shtml
Saul AW. Can vitamin supplements take the place of a bad diet? J Orthomolecular Med, 2003. Vol 18, No 3 and 4, p 213-216. http://www.doctoryourself.com/replace.htm
For more information:
Free access to full-text nutrition therapy papers from the Journal or Orthomolecular Medicine is available online at http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/index.shtml
Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, February 29, 2008. JOURNAL OF ORTHOMOLECULAR MEDICINE NOW ONLINE. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v04n03.shtml
A vitamin is an organic substance necessary for growth, health, normal metabolism and physical well-being.2 Vitamins are typically provided by diet and supplements. The vitamins needed by our bodies are divided into two categories: water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins, each with their own functions.
Water soluble vitamins consist of vitamin C and the B-complex vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12). These vitamins dissolve in water and rather than being stored by the body in large amounts they are, for the most part, eliminated through the urine. In addition, water-soluble vitamins are easily lost in food preparation and cooking. Therefore, it is important to consume daily amounts of these vitamins to avoid depletion and interference with normal metabolic functioning such as tissue growth.3
Fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K) are dissolved by fat in the body's intestinal tract before they are absorbed by the blood to carry out their functions. Fat-soluble vitamins, unlike water-soluble vitamins, can be stored in the liver and fatty tissues if the amount consumed exceeds daily needs. Also, they are eliminated much more slowly than water-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins are involved in daily repair, reproduction and functioning of the body's organs as well as DNA transcription. Any disease or disorder that affects the absorption of fat, such as celiac disease, could lead to a deficiency of these vitamins.4
The only way for the body to acquire vitamins is from the sun's energy (vitamin D) or through food and nutritional sources.5 Most vitamins cannot be produced by our bodies, although they assist the body in using food by bringing about biochemical reactions so functioning can be maintained. Some exceptions to this rule are vitamins D3 and K2. Vitamin D3 is produced photo-chemically in the skin by the action of sunlight or ultraviolet light on 7-deyhydrocholesterol (found in the epidermis or the outer layer of the skin). Vitamin K2 is normally produced by bacteria in the intestines.6
A dietary mineral is any of a group of inorganic elements that are essential for normal body function, growth, repair and health of tissues and bones. In nutrition, minerals are those elements for which the body's requirement is at least 100 mg per day, and trace minerals are those elements that are needed in smaller amounts. Dietary minerals are derived from the earth's crust, which plants extract from the soil and humans, in turn, consume. 7
Vitamin supplementation is safe and effective.
Saul AW. [Editorial] Safety and effectiveness of vitamins. J Orthomolecular Med, 2007. Vol 22, No 3, p 117-119. http://www.doctoryourself.com/effectiveness.html
Saul AW. Vitamins and food supplements: safe and effective. Testimony before the Government of Canada, 38th Parliament, 1st Session, Standing Committee on Health. Ottawa, May 12, 2005. http://www.parl.gc.ca/infocomdoc/38/1/HESA/Meetings/Evidence/HESAEV41-E.HTM and also http://www.doctoryourself.com/testimony.htm
Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, May 26, 2006. VITAMIN SAFETY REVIEW PANEL ISSUES FOLLOW-UP REPORT. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v02n06.shtml
Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, July 11, 2006. DOCTORS SAY VITAMINS ARE SAFE. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v02n07.shtm l
Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, February 27, 2007. 23 YEARS OF DOCUMENTED VITAMIN SAFETY. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v03n04.shtml
Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 30, 2007. VITAMINS FIGHT DISEASE: Nutrients Effective but Overlooked. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v03n02.shtml
1 Orthomolecular Consumer Brochure
2 Gorman, Tim. What is A Vitamin and How do they Help Our Bodies. Site Viewed December 9, 2007. http://ezinearticles.com/?What-Is-A-Vitamin-And-How-Do-They-Help-Our-Bodies?&id=204246
3 Biomedical Hypertexts. Site viewed January 11, 2008. http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/misc_topics/vitamins.html
4 Colorado State University. Site viewed January 11, 2008. http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09315.html
6 Stafford DW, The vitamin K cycle, Journal of Thrombosis Haemostais, 2005, (8):1873-8. Review. PMID: 16102054
7 Columbia Encyclopedia. Site Viewed on December 9, 2007. http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1E1-minerald.html