orthomolecular medicine

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A term coined by the American molecular biologist and Nobel laureate Linus Pauling (1901–1994) to describe a regimen based on measured daily amounts of each of the essential vitamins and minerals that Pauling calculated were required to maintain the biochemical balance essential to good health. The regimen has been tried for learning disabilities, allergies, arthritis, depression, memory loss, etc. This contrasts with megavitamin therapy, another dietary regimen that Pauling also advocated for some of the same conditions. Evaluations have not provided convincing evidence for the efficacy of either therapeutic regimen or for efficacy of a specific application that Pauling called orthomolecular psychiatry, i.e., the application of this method to treat psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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