If you are seriously ill, the answer is an unequivocal YES! We need both.
Orthomolecular expert Dr Abram Hoffer explains that we need about 45 different nutrients in optimal quantities. He also explains that no nutrient works alone, and that an enzyme reaction that needs three different nutrients to take place, requires all three nutrients and so no one nutrient should be considered more important than the other.
Some nutrients can be obtained in reasonable amounts in food, while others will sometimes or always require the use of supplements to ensure optimal levels.
It is just not true as some claim that the optimum levels of all nutrients can be obtained by all people through diet alone.This is a myth.
Supplements are necessary, for the following reasons:
* The soils used to grow our food are often very depleted.
* The levels and types of toxic pollution and toxic chemicals we are exposed to are vastly higher now than they were in the past (which requires vastly higher levels of nutrients than were necessary in the past, to deal with them).
* Our foods are often much less nutritious now than they used to be. Many nutrients in food are fragile and only remain fully intact when food is picked and then eaten immediately. Storing foods for long times and heavily processing foods can dramatically lower nutrient levels in the food and may destroy some nutrients entirely; for example, oranges have been found to contain between 100 mg of vitamin C and 0 mg of vitamin C, each.
* The high levels of sugar (or grains) in the diet of many people is also problematic as sugar is an anti-nutrient which means that it increases our need for certain nutrients.
* Ill people have far higher requirements for nutrients than do healthy people and due to biochemical individuality one person's need for a specific nutrient may often differ by 10 fold or more. Those with very high needs for one or more nutrients may be wholly unable to meet these needs through food alone.
* Many people have very poor digestion and absorb nutrients from food very poorly, and so higher doses in supplement form are needed for adequate amounts to be absorbed.
Dr Abram Hoffer explains,
There are many people whose diets are relatively good, but they still need extra nutrients due to biochemical individuality and many other factors, such as genetics or chronic deficiency. Orthomolecular and naturopathic therapists use optimum doses, which may be small or large. The important characteristic of the dose is not its size, but its efficacy - whether it is doing the job it is supposed to do to make the patient well.
Many of us need supplements to heal but it is true that some less serious or less advanced diseases may respond well to diet-only therapy.
'Good nutrition and vitamins do not directly cure disease, the body does. You provide the raw materials and the inborn wisdom of your body makes the repairs. Someday healthcare without megavitamin therapy will be seen as we today see childbirth without sanitation or surgery without anaesthetic.' Andrew Saul PhD
"The brain and body simply have to have certain raw materials to work with in order to function properly." Nora T. Gedgaudas.
"All of the structure and function of the human body are built from and run on nutrients. ALL of them." Janet Lang.
“Modern medicine is not scientific, it is full of prejudice, illogic and susceptible to advertising. Doctors are not taught to reason, they are programmed to believe in whatever their medical schools teach them and the leading doctors tell them. Over the past 20 years the drug companies, with their enormous wealth, have taken medicine over and now control its research, what is taught and the information released to the public.” Abram Hoffer MD
‘The more toxins you are exposed to, the more nutrients you will use up in dealing with them. Every year, we are exposed to more and more toxins, and our DNA has had no time to adapt. Heavy metals such as lead, mercury, fluorine; pesticides including the newer ones like glyphosate ("Roundup"); flame retardants that are even contaminating the Arctic; and hundreds of thousands of other new-to-nature molecules that every human has to deal with. And like it or not, pharmaceutical medications are mostly toxins too.
At the same time, intensive farming, soil depletion and poor diets (often foisted on us for spurious reasons such as fear of cholesterol) mean that it's normal to be deficient now. We are deficient in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients as well. What chance does a human have? A much better one if she doesn't buy the hype from big companies, the dogma from pharma-paid scientists, and the bullying from governments. Take your vitamins.’ Damien Downing, M.D.
'I could also spend millions to prove that the small amounts of these nutrients will not prevent car accidents. Who is funding all these silly studies? No orthomolecular physician ever claimed that giving 200 IU of vitamin E and 500 mg of C cured anything.
Perhaps you should write a paper with tongue in cheek in which you announce, “Antibiotics Do Not Cure Infection”. Then, report somewhere hidden in the paper that you only gave them 200 or even 20,000 IU of a drug that requires doses of one million or more. Such reporting is a superb example of the cynical, expensive and sleazy research so loved by Big Pharma.
This is because it delays the real introduction of good medicine, in the same way that tobacco companies denied smoking causes cancer and we supposedly needed more and more and more research to prove anything.
All this allows the companies to add millions of dollars to their coffers. Their defense is delay, delay and delay. The only objective of Big Pharma is to make money, lots and lots of it. How dare we try to prevent them from doing so?' Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.
Note that the aim of this site is to provide a starting point for health and healing research for ill people; especially very overwhelmed and disabled ill people. This site provides recommendations, summaries and reviews of books but is not meant to be a replacement for actually reading some of these wonderful health books if the reader is at all well enough to do so. (Plus getting individualised advice from a doctor that is also an orthomolecular medicine expert if possible). There is no substitute for reading as many of these books as you can. The HHH site can only really hint at their full brilliance. The amount of insight, scientific references, logic, intelligence, compassion and experience in the recommended books will most likely amaze you. HHH aims to encourage people to do their own reading and learning, and to always make up their own minds. All content copyright Jodi Bassett 2006 - 2014.