Integrative medicine combines the best of conventional and complementary medicine. The latter is understood to be a broad spectrum of treatment methods, some of which are based on different models of disease development and treatment than those of conventional medicine. In integrative medicine, diagnostic and therapeutic methods from both worlds now complement each other and the range of treatments available to patients is expanded for their benefit.
One branch of complementary medicine is vital substance medicine, also called orthomolecular medicine. In this form of treatment, it is assumed that the majority of so-called civilisation diseases and chronic illnesses are based on deficiencies in vital substances. Accordingly, the diseases are treated by high-dose supplementation with the missing vital substances.
Vital substance deficiencies and diseases of civilisation
A high percentage of civilisation diseases can be attributed to today’s diet and lifestyle and the associated lack of vital substances. Vital substances (also micronutrients) are involved as building blocks in over 100,000 complex metabolic processes in the human body, and deficiencies can accordingly lead to a variety of problems. These can manifest themselves in unspecific symptoms such as fatigue, lack of energy and reduced performance; concentration problems, depressive moods or frequent infections are also typical signs. In the long term, vital substance deficiencies play an important role in the development of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, rheumatic diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, dementia, depression and burnout or cancer.
Many experts still maintain that people who eat a “healthy” diet do not suffer from a lack of vital substances, but unfortunately this has not been the case for a long time. There are many reasons why our vegetables and fruits have long since ceased to contain the amounts of vitamins, minerals, secondary plant substances, etc. necessary for the body; e.g. mass production, artificial fertilisers, pesticides, harvesting in an unripe state, long transport routes and long layovers in the shop. Organically grown vegetables from your own garden actually still contain the same amount of vital substances as they did 100 years ago, otherwise reach for fresh, seasonal and consistently organically grown products.
People at risk for vital substance deficiencies
- People over 50
- Regular alcohol consumers
- Vegetarians and vegans
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women
- Young people
- People with stress
- People who eat an unbalanced diet
- People with allergies
- Overweight people
Of course, it is always best to try to prevent diseases as much as possible. This is possible if one consciously eats as healthy and balanced a diet as possible and, if necessary, takes additional individually necessary vital substances as food supplements. Moderate exercise, a healthy work-life balance, a positive attitude to life, etc. also play an important role in physical and mental health.
Vital substances and orthodox medicine
Vital substance medicine “gets along” excellently with conventional medicine and is useful and helpful for almost every illness, especially chronic ones. In contrast to medicines, which are usually prescribed very often and quickly in orthodox medicine, the effects of vital substances are very broad (in every body cell). Thus, the overall body energy is increased, free radicals are reduced, the immune system is strengthened and inflammations are counteracted, which is beneficial and desirable in every illness. Also, side effects are rarely to be expected with the administration of vital substances and they rarely interact with medications, which additionally makes them a welcome therapy.