dedicated to dr.abram hoffer

Definitions & Nutrients

Megavitamins

This was a term first used to describe large doses of vitamin C by Dr I. Stone. It has no useful meaning and should not be used.

Optimum daily intake

Each nutrient is needed in optimum amounts. The range of requirement varies enormously for different vitamins. This also applies to amino acids, fatty acids and sugars.

Orthomolecular

This refers to the use of substances which are naturally present in the body. It does not include compounds found in plants which may be safe and effective as treatment but which the body can live without.

Supplements

Unprocessed foods such as whole grain rice or wheat are very complex dormant living organisms which can be broken down into the major components: protein, carbohydrate and fats, and a large number of minor (in terms of how much is present) nutrients such as vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals, but they are all equally important for life. These components present in small amounts are called supplements, but in the same way that one cannot live just on the three major components, one also cannot live just on the supplements. They all have to be provided. This means that supplements can only partially repair some of the damage caused by a poor diet but can never totally make it a good diet. The word supplement means exactly that. They are used to make up for special deficiencies in the food which have been created by food industrialization, or should be used to make up for the special needs of individuals. A typical North American diet as represented by doughnuts and soft drinks (20 percent of North American caloric intake is from the sugar in soft drinks). The diet should be improved as much as is possible and then the supplements added to make it even better for each person.

Toxicity

Vitamins are non toxic. The number of people who have died from using vitamins is almost zero, but they do have non toxic side effects which are not life threatening and must be known by any one taking them. When there are undesirable effects from any vitamin tablets it may be an allergic or other such reaction to any of the fillers with which these products are made.

Dr. John N. Hathcock1, Council for Responsible Nutrition, Washington DC, and thirteen colleagues examined the world wide literature on the issue of the safety of vitamin C and E. They agreed with “the consensus of published studies that vitamin E doses up to 1000mg/day and vitamin C doses up to 2000 mg/day are safe for use by the general population.” These are the upper safe limits. But the literature on these two antioxidant vitamins described only these doses ranges. There are few published studies using the much large doses that orthomolecular therapists recommend. Many have appeared in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine but Medline has refused to list this journal since its inception thirty-three years ago. In my opinion, these vitamins are safe even at much higher doses. This is an extremely important report because it expands the safety range of these two vitamins and destroys the factoids that are so widely held.

1 Hathcock JN, Azzi A, Blumberg J, Bray T, Dickenson A, Frei B, Jialai I, Johnston CS, Kelly FJ, Kraemer,K, Packer L, Parthasarathy S, Sies H and Traber MG. Vitamins E and C Are Safe Across a Broad Range of Intakes. Amer J Clin Nutrition 2005;81:736-745.