Definition of orthomolecular in English:



  • (in complementary medicine) denoting or relating to a form of treatment that seeks to achieve an optimal biochemical balance in the body, typically by the use of large doses of supplementary vitamins and minerals.

    ‘she has a private practice in orthomolecular nutrition’
    • ‘Even the most experienced orthomolecular practitioners recommend that oral dosing with free form L-tryptophan is best performed under a physician's close management.’
    • ‘There must be a major expansion into the use of orthomolecular therapy to sort out the variables and to determine how to improve the therapeutic outcome of treatment.’
    • ‘Recently the orthomolecular pioneer Jonathan Wright, MD, made a compelling case for lithium being a safe and well-tolerated neuroprotectant at low doses.’
    • ‘This approach falls under the umbrella of orthomolecular medicine - a term coined by one of the major scientific geniuses of the 20th century, Nobel laureate Linus Pauling.’
    • ‘And so between the acupuncture and the orthomolecular medicine, I have not had an episode for nine years, which is a miracle if you're me.’


1968: from ortho- + molecular; coined by Linus Pauling.