Linus Pauling: I thought, this looked so important, this idea about changing the concentrations
in the body of substances that are normally present in the human body, that the field
deserves a name. Perhaps what I thought really was, "I'm writing a paper about this,
what I've dug out of the literature, and what shall I call the paper?" So I decided
to call it "orthomolecular psychiatry." "Orthomolecular" meaning the right molecules
in the right amounts. And the whole field of orthomolecular medicine, I would say,
is the achievement and preservation of good health and the treatment of disease by
varying the concentrations in the human body of substances that are normally present
in the human body - many of them, in fact, required for life. Clearly very important
and powerful substances. And others not necessarily required for life, but still
important. Perhaps manufactured by the body itself.
As examples of orthomolecular medicine, recents ones, I might mention the control
or treatment of tardive dyskinesia by having the patient take ten grams of choline,
per day....it's only reasonable that choline would be involved here, in this neurological
ailment caused by certain drugs, but because of its relation to acetylcholine.
Another example, Koutsias, who's dead now, wrote to me saying that he had read my
paper, that he had tried treating Parkinson's disease by giving the patients L-dopa,
without any effect. And after he read my paper he went back and tried one-hundred
times as much L-dopa as he had tried before, and that was the beginning of the treatment
of Parkinson's disease with L-dopa. It was effective in these large amounts.