Treatments & Therapies

Megavitamin Therapy – Treatment, Effects & Risks

Megavitamin therapy

In megavitamin therapyvitamins are severely overdosed to cure diseases. Megavitamin therapy belongs to alternative orthomolecular medicine and has been proven to be ineffective.

What is megavitamin therapy?

Megavitamin therapy is a therapeutic method from the field of orthomolecular medicine. Megavitamin therapy attempts to cure diseases by administering very high-dose vitamins. The dose of the vitamins administered can be a thousand times the daily dose recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The basic assumption of orthomolecular medicine is that a biochemical imbalance in the body is the cause of disease, and that this imbalance can be remedied by the administration of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. At the same time, orthomolecular medicine assumes that it is not possible to achieve an adequate supply of vitamins and minerals with today’s diet, which is why a large part of the population suffers from deficiencies.

The substitution of these vitamins and minerals is therefore necessary according to orthomolecular medicine. Furthermore, trace elements, essential fatty acids, amino acids and other so-called “vital substances” are also administered as part of this alternative medical therapeutic direction. Scientific evidence for the effectiveness of orthomolecular medicine in general and for the effectiveness of megavitamin therapy in particular does not exist.

Function, impact & goals

To understand the concept of megavitamin therapy, it is first necessary to understand the general thoughts of orthomolecular medicine. Based on the basic assumption that due to the storage, storage, transport and processing of today’s usual foods, even through a balanced diet, no sufficient supply of vitamins and other “vital substances” can be achieved, orthomolecular medicine concludes a deficiency of these substances in the majority of the population.

Furthermore, orthomolecular medicine assumes that a biochemical imbalance leads to diseases and that this biochemical imbalance can be remedied by substituting the allegedly missing vitamins and vital substances. In megavitamin therapy as a special therapeutic method of orthomolecular medicine, vitamins are administered in significantly increased dosages. The doses administered are often 100 to 1000 times the physiological requirement. Originally, both the term orthomolecular medicine and the term megavitamin therapy come from the so-called “orthomolecular psychiatry”.

Orthomolecular psychiatry aims to cure mental suffering and maintain mental health by “creating optimal molecular conditions for mental health.” This should be done above all through an “optimal concentration of normally occurring substances in the body”, for example vitamins. The emergence of orthomolecular psychiatry can be attributed to the cure of schizophrenia occurring in the context of pellagra by administering niacin (vitamin B3). Pellagra is a disease caused by the lack of nicotinic acid. In addition to schizophrenia, diarrhoea, inflammatory diseases of the skin (dermatitis) and other psychological symptoms, such as dementia in the context of an organic psychosyndrome, occur.

In this deficiency disease, the substitution of the missing vitamin is necessary and leads to healing. From this, however, it was deduced that the administration of vitamins could possibly cure other forms of schizophrenia. As part of this assumption, megavitamin therapy was developed. Initially, high doses of nicaine were used in patients suffering from schizophrenia. However, the attempts were unsuccessful. Nevertheless, the idea was further developed, from which orthomolecular psychiatry emerged. This situation results in orthomolecular medicine and megavitamin therapy.

In the further course, megavitamin therapy was also used for other mental illnesses and later also for physical illnesses, but without a demonstrable effect. Today, megavitamin therapy is no longer used in the context of scientific psychiatry. The same applies to the other therapies of orthomolecular psychiatry. Today, megavitamin therapy is said to be effective against all conceivable diseases, from depression to autism to cancer.

The original concept of megavitamin therapy, of administering vitamins in extremely high doses, has also been extended to other “vital substances”, which today are also administered in “megadoses” that are far above demand. From a scientific point of view, it should be noted that megavitamin therapy has no demonstrable effect against diseases. The administration of vitamins can remedy deficiencies and associated diseases, whereby no doses far exceeding the need should be administered. Nevertheless, megavitamin therapy is still practiced and praised today as an alternative medical procedure.

Risks, side effects & dangers

Megavitamin therapy cannot be considered “harmless” because, in addition to ineffectiveness, harmful effects of megavitamin therapy on health have been proven in scientific studies. The vitamins are deliberately overdosed in megavitamin therapy.

In particular, the fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin K and vitamin D, are potentially harmful in an overdose, which is practiced in megavitamin therapy, as they accumulate in the tissues. Unneeded water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are excreted. There are conflicting research results on the harmfulness of water-soluble vitamin F. In a meta-study, for example, increased mortality after vitamin F overdose was demonstrated; however, this is contradicted by other scientists. The well-known vitamin C can lead to diarrhea and colic in high doses.

In the case of existing renal insufficiency, an overdose of vitamin C can also lead to the development of kidney stones. The severe overdose of vitamin B6 can, in rare cases, lead to neurotoxic and photosensitive effects. Overall, it has been proven that megavitamin therapy, i.e. the administration of severely overdosed vitamins and “vital substances”, can shorten life expectancy and lead to health damage. Furthermore, the concept of orhtomolecular medicine and thus also of megavitamin therapy is not based on scientific facts. An effect is not given, side effects are still possible and sometimes dangerous.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.