Orthomolecular Medicine – An Underestimated Solution to the Health Crisis?

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food” Hippocrates


Editor’s note

We have had a long and animated debate about whether to publish this article as our own or rather as a guest contribution, as it could possibly be interpreted as pushy and dogmatic. The article is in fact less neutral and purely reporting and more instructive, showing perspectives. It does indeed justice to the fortunate fact that we have three trained health advisors in our team, all of whom identify 100% with these lines. It would have felt dishonest for us to present this contribution as that of a “stranger”, as it shows us all many interesting perspectives to take care of one’s health a little more self-responsibly and self-determinedly from now on and day by day. This does not have to work perfectly from one day to the next, but every step in the right direction can be a benefit for soul, mind and body, which is then well equipped for the challenges that await it outside the cocoon at home.

Expressis Verbis

pubished on public TV “ZDF heute”

In times like these, in which a virus, politics, and the media are constantly and emphatically reminded of one’s own mortality, some wonder whether there are alternative options in addition to conventional medicine with standard treatments and vaccinations, in the event of illness To survive as unscathed as possible or in the best case not to get sick in the first place.

The good news is: Yes! Also, these alternatives are inexpensive and can also be financed with a small budget. And: they are effective!

The bad news is: You have to become active yourself and disengage yourself from the mainstream, which the industry doesn’t exactly make it easy for you. Prejudices have to be overcome, and habits changed. That is easier to do when you understand why diet and a positive mindset have a major impact on our physical and mental health and well-being.

Our body – a marvel of millions of years of evolution

The beginning of life on our planet emerged from single-cell organisms, which have developed over time into complex beings such as humans. The development took place and still takes place in adaptation to the environment and with the gifts of nature. Even humans have not reached the end of their evolution and are still part of nature and part of the whole.

The beginning of life on our planet emerged from single-cell organisms, which have developed over time into complex beings such as humans. The development took place and still takes place in adaptation to the environment and with the gifts of nature. Even humans have not reached the end of their evolution and are still part of nature and part of the whole. Up until the beginning of industrialization, human evolution took place more or less in harmony with nature. In the course of industrialization, however, people began to move away from an original diet with natural ingredients, because at that time it was not yet clear with what complexity vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and fats keep our bodies strong, resilient, and healthy. Much of this complexity is still not fully recognized today, but we know much more today than we did 200 years ago. And we actually know a lot more today than we did 50 years ago. Unfortunately, this knowledge didn’t make it into the mainstream or has been lost. Therefore, many people still believe that our modern diet of fast food and convenience food gives the body everything it needs to function properly. A fallacy. Our bodies starve to death when the pots are full. What does that mean?

Our body needs “fuel” for its many different metabolisms. This fuel is made up of various components (vitamins, fats, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, etc.). If components are missing, the body can compensate for this for a while until metabolic disorders occur, which can manifest themselves in physical as well as mental illnesses. Think of it as a car with no air in the tires. It drives, but not as well as if the air pressure were right. And because most people are used to this “insufficient inflation pressure in the tires” and they don’t know anything else, they don’t inflate the tires. At some point, the tires are so flabby that driving is no longer possible. And because so many drive with flabby tires, it is assumed to be normal.

A quick excursion into epigenetics

We now know that DNA provides the information for the structure of our body. But did you also know that this information is not set in stone? It’s like a cookbook. You have the information, but what you make of the meal is up to you. You can add or leave out ingredients. So it is important to give your body the best ingredients to make the meal (health) great as much as possible. And if the recipe isn’t good (errors in DNA), you can improve it by omitting certain things and adding other things instead.

Translated this means: The body needs what nature/evolution has intended for its smooth work, in the right combination and, if possible, in a natural combination. In addition, exercise, fresh air, social contacts, and a positive mood. This can even be used to compensate for “errors” in the DNA, such as a gene that promotes (hereditary) diseases. So it depends on the external influences how healthy or sick we are.

In this respect, the question arises whether we have “maintained species-appropriate” ourselves (and especially our vulnerable groups such as the elderly, especially the elderly in nursing homes) even before Corona? Because despite all the advances in conventional medicine, the so-called diseases of civilization such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, high blood pressure, diabetes etc. are increasing. And do you remember? 40 years ago there were hardly any overweight people, today slim people tend to be the exception. Obesity is a massive factor in slipping into the risk group for more severe disease courses. Because being overweight promotes the diseases of civilization mentioned above.

And now think about how your eating and other lifestyle habits developed during the lockdown and the associated isolation?

  • Do you cook freshly or do you increasingly use pizza and other convenience products?
  • Do you eat more sweets? Or do you eat more fruits and vegetables?
  • Do you drink more alcohol?
  • Do you go out into the fresh air more often or stay at home?
  • Do you often wear a mask when you go out? How does breathing feel under the mask?
  • Do you exercise enough or do you do more sport or at least as much sport as before the lockdown?
  • If you smoke, do you smoke more or less?
  • Are you more relaxed and carefree?
  • As social beings, which we are, do you now have more or less social contact and exchange?

In short, are you living healthier now than you were before the Corona measures? Probably not. A lot of things will have gotten worse. But this knowledge alone gives us the opportunity to do things better and to use the time to bring our immune system (again) into shape. Perhaps even to use this time as a new beginning for us and to make our body and mind both strong and resilient. And vitamins, minerals & co. help us with this.

Nutrition today

The term “industrial food” includes all food that has been industrially processed. And there are many: instant soups, instant sauces, sweets, crunchies, chips, tortellini, ready-to-eat pizzas, ready-to-eat desserts, but also cheese, bread, and sausage (especially if from conventional production), etc., and so forth. Tastes good, but has many disadvantages. The flour is often extracted flour, sweeteners are isolated (sugar, fructose syrup, etc.), there is milk powder, hydrogenated fats, cheese imitations, and much more. Here, cheaply produced raw materials are used, which have the following disadvantages: They are low in micronutrients such as vitamins, they can contain chemicals, and harmful substances such as trans fatty acids can arise during production.

To compensate for the deficiencies, artificial vitamins or minerals are often added. This is better than nothing, but in order to ensure optimal utilization, natural food supplements (e.g. baobab, moringa, spirulina etc.) should be used and if possible only to supplement an already healthy diet with plenty of fresh food organic farming. Because micronutrients can only be optimally used by the body if natural foods are consumed in the right combination with other micronutrients. Then their effects can complement and even potentiate each other and thus effectively support the immune system. This is important so that the body can fight viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.

How do you think our old fellow citizens will be fed in the nursing homes? High quality with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables? With high-quality protein? With lots of vitamins and minerals? Or rather with warmed-up quick meals rich in carbohydrates, in which there are hardly any vitamins and other micronutrients? There may be exceptions. But would it not be appropriate, especially with the so-called vulnerable group of our population, to generally strengthening them with high-quality food, with many vitamins, trace elements, proteins, and much more?

And how do you eat? Does your body get everything it needs so that “the tire pressure is right”? Or is it getting too much energy in the form of empty carbohydrates and not enough real nutrients instead?

The pharmacist Uwe Gröber is the head of the Academy for Micronutrient Medicine and the author of numerous publications, specialist books, and book chapters . In his books, he describes the effects of our malnutrition and that the information provided by the German Nutrition Society (DGE) is often insufficient.

VitaminNot adequately suppliedDGE standard values: daily intakeUwe Grober’s recommendation per day
Vitamin D91% of women 82% of men20 μg (800 IE)40-60 IU per kg body weight, i.e. about 3000-5000 IU
Folic acid86% of women 70% of men0,4 mgwomen trying to get pregnant: 400-800 μg
Vitamin E49% of women 48 % of men15 mg (22-25 IE)100-200 IE
Vitamin B1233% of women aged 14-243-5 μgwomen trying to get pregnant: 10-50 μg; people over 60: at least 100-200 μg
Vitamin C29% of women 32% of men100 mgfor a strong immune system: at least 200 mg

In other countries, the guide values are higher than those of the German Nutrition Society. But even there they only serve to ensure that “the tire pressure is not too low”. And in Luxembourg, it doesn’t look much different than in Germany due to a similar lifestyle and diet.

Uwe Gröber writes in his book “Die wichtigsten Nahrungsergänzungsmittel – Das Plus für Ihre Gesundheit“:

“In our consumer society, there is a huge gap between a healthy, low-calorie and micronutrient-rich diet in theory and actual eating habits. This is also shown by the results of the National Consumption Study II (NVS II), a nationwide survey on nutrition in Germany. It was carried out on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection from 2005 to 2007 and published in 2008. Around 20,000 citizens between the ages of 18 and 80 were asked about their eating habits. The aim of the study was to investigate the changes in food consumption and in the nutrient supply of people living in Germany. What influence do fast food and the consumption of ready-made products (e.g. frozen pizza, etc.) have?

NVS-II focus on overweight: In Germany, according to the results of the NVS II, 66 percent of men and 51 percent of women are now overweight or obese. With increasing age, the proportion of overweight and obese people increases significantly in men and women. While around 25 percent of young adults are overweight or adipose, the proportion increases to 84.2 percent for men and 74.1 percent for women between the ages of 70 and 80.

And that has consequences: According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the number of diabetics worldwide will rise by over 50 percent over the next 20 years. The reasons: a dramatic increase in obesity, too much fast food, and less and less physical exercise.

NVS-II focus on vitamin and mineral supply: The results of NVS II on vitamin and mineral supply in Germans were alarming. Based on the recommendations for daily vitamin and mineral intake of the German Nutrition Society (DGE), many Germans did not achieve the minimum intake that would be required to prevent diseases in healthy people. However, vitamin deficiencies do not fit into the health policy worldview of our affluent and fun society.”

As a reminder:Diseases can arise due to nutrition, e.g. adiposity (pathological excess weight), high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, heart and circulatory diseases. In other words, the diseases that make the elderly in our society a risk group for Covid-19.

But even those who cook themselves often suffer from nutritional deficiencies. The reasons are long-term stored fruit and vegetables or long transport routes (the vitamin content dwindles every day) and that heat-sensitive vitamins and enzymes are destroyed during cooking and minerals are poured out with the cooking water.

Uwe Gröber again: “An insufficient supply of vitamins and other micronutrients can trigger complex metabolic disorders, on the basis of which solid civilization diseases develop over the years. Micronutrient deficiencies go through various stages before they become clinically clear. Enzyme performance and immunological functions are already inhibited at the stage of suboptimal coverage of requirements (…). On the one hand, this weakens the immune status, which leads to an increased incidence of infectious diseases. On the other hand, the susceptibility to chronic degenerative diseases (for example dementia) increases, as physical and mental development as well as general performance are significantly reduced.”

In this situation, would it not be logical, therefore, not only to feed ourselves, but also to feed our vulnerable population group as healthy as possible and to supplement the diet with high-quality food supplements so that the elderly and old become or remain strong and resilient? In geriatric clinics (geriatric medicine), however, 83% of patients are malnourished. The nutritional status with micronutrients determines the immune status. The lower this is, the greater the risk of morbidity and mortality and thus the rate of complications such as

  • Pneumonia
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Immune status ↓ Pressure ulcers (pressure/wound ulcers) ↑
  • Sarcopenia (decrease in muscle mass and strength)
  • Sepsis, ARDS (adult respiratory distress syndrome, shock lung, acute respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome, acute lung injury)

In addition, elderly people take an average of 9-11 different drugs, which are often micronutrient robbers (e.g. antidepressants, thyroid drugs, proton pump inhibitors, diuretics, cholesterol-lowering drugs, etc.).

The most important micronutrients, especially in old age

Vitamin D

For a healthy vitamin D status, 40 to 60 IU (international units) per kg body weight per day must be taken from all sources (sun, food, food supplements). However, this applies to healthy adults and teenagers of normal weight. The need may be higher for sick people.

In our latitudes, only a small amount of vitamin D can be absorbed from the sun. On the one hand, because the sun is only high enough in the sky from 11am to 3pm and from March to October to provide our skin with the necessary UVB rays. To do this, however, enough skin surface must be exposed to the sun WITHOUT sunscreen. However, the older a person gets, the thinner the skin and the lower the ability (up to 75%) to produce vitamin D naturally. On the other hand, we are usually at home, in school or in the office all day and only really get outside in the afternoon or evening to get some fresh air. Too late for vitamin D production. As a result, practically every European is vitamin D deficient. A healthy level is around 60ng / ml (or 100 to 150 nmol / l). The consequences of vitamin D deficiency can be devastating, depending on the severity: obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL), chronic inflammation, cancer, metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus type 1 and type 2 as well as cardiovascular, vascular and autoimmune diseases and osteoporosis. However, the higher the vitamin D status, the lower the mortality.

It is practically impossible to achieve a healthy vitamin D level through diet, so you would have to eat a sour herring with cod-liver oil every day. The sun causes sunburn if exposed to too long. So the supplementation remains in drops or capsule form. A healthy person with a body weight of 70 kg needs around 3000 to 5000 IU (international units) per day. The costs for this are around 20 cents per day. High levels of vitamin D require vitamin K2 to utilize the calcium. As a dietary supplement, vitamin D3 should therefore always be taken together with vitamin K2.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is responsible for cell development and growth. Vitamin A is THE eye vitamin par excellence and a deficiency can lead to eye diseases such as macular degeneration or dry eyes and in the worst case to blindness. Vitamin A keeps skin and mucous membranes healthy and is therefore important for the defense against pathogens. During menopause, it ensures sufficient moisture in the vaginal mucosa and promotes the production of progesterone. In men, the vitamin promotes sperm formation and potency.

Vitamin A is a liposoluble vitamin and since an excess is not simply excreted as with water-soluble vitamins, it can accumulate in the body and reach toxic levels. Therefore, adults should not supplement more than 3 mg (10,000 IU) per day over the long term.

Vitamin A is only found in foods of animal origin. The body can also produce it itself from the vegetable beta-carotene.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is very diverse in its effectiveness. It is a water-soluble antioxidant that protects organs, cell components and our DNA from oxidative damage. It contributes to healthy vascular function, the regulation of blood pressure and the cardiovascular system. The saccharification of proteins, protein glycosylation, which plays a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease and diabetic eye and nerve damage, is reduced by vitamin C.

Vitamin C ensures that the body can produce collagen, elastin and other stability molecules. It ensures stable bones, skin and blood vessel walls.

Vitamin C is required for the production of various hormones in the body and is involved in healthy blood formation by improving the absorption of iron.

Vitamin C helps with the synthesis of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates our mood and ensures inner balance. Stress is associated with an increased need for vitamin C.

Vitamin C helps detoxify numerous products in the liver and is important in converting cholesterol into bile acids. So it contributes to a healthy fat metabolism.

Vitamin C is found in many plant foods. But it is extremely sensitive to heat, light and oxygen. The vitamin is almost completely lost through long storage, transport and cooking. Besides that, other reasons that contribute to the poor supply of vitamin C for the population are

  • stress
  • the increasing pollution
  • Fast food consumption
  • Alcohol
  • cigarettes

A slight vitamin C deficiency often goes unnoticed, but can manifest itself as poor performance, easy exhaustion, fatigue, susceptibility to infections, low stress resistance, irritability, depressive moods, slower recovery after illness, poor wound healing or gum bleeding.

Medicines such as antibiotics, barbiturates, oral contraceptives, cortisone, acid blockers and cytostatics also increase the vitamin C requirement.

Vitamin C is particularly important for people with diabetes mellitus, as with this condition significant amounts of the vitamin are lost in the urine. This promotes damage to the blood vessels.

Single doses of up to 200 mg vitamin C are completely absorbed by healthy individuals when they are in the fasted state. At higher doses, the bioavailability decreases with the increasing single dose. The total dose of vitamin C should therefore be reduced to smaller individual doses.


Selenium is a trace element and is important for many processes in the body. Luxembourg, like Germany, is a selenium deficiency country.

In the form of selenocysteine, this micronutrient is anchored directly in our genetic code (DNA) as the 21st proteinogenic amino acid. Selenium therefore plays a central role in pregnancy, but also in the prevention and treatment of diseases such as cancer.

Selenium is an enzyme activator, it protects the genetic material and red blood cells and detoxifies the body from toxic peroxides.

Selenium strengthens the immune system, is involved in the production of defense cells, inhibits virus replication and has an anti-inflammatory effect. It activates the thyroid hormones (converting T4 to T3). It can protect against cancer and trigger programmed cell death (apoptosis) of cancer cells and helps with cell repair and cell renewal. Selenium helps to detoxify heavy metals by binding heavy metals and removing them (e.g. mercury), it also detoxifies the liver and protects liver cells. Selenium is also involved in the development of sperm.

A purely vegetarian diet can lead to a selenium deficiency, as foods with animal protein contain more selenium than those with vegetable protein.

The selenium content in the blood decreases with increasing age. But pregnant women and immunocompromised women also have an increased need for selenium.

For a good supply of selenium, a healthy person would have to consume around 1.5 to 3 μg selenium per kg body weight per day. It should best be taken in the form of sodium selenite and sodium selenate, as these do not pose a risk of selenium accumulation in the body and are better utilized by the body.


Zinc is a very important trace element. Without zinc, nothing runs smoothly and defects can become very noticeable. However, half of the German and probably also the Luxembourg population do not take in enough zinc. That has consequences, because zinc

  • strengthens the immune system and protects the cells from oxidative stress and therefore protects against infections and cancer
  • contributes to the maintenance of normal eyesight by participating in a normal vitamin A metabolism
  • controls the transmission of genetic information during cell division and is therefore essential for normal growth, reproduction, the development of organs and the brain and for wound healing
  • is necessary for the production of many hormones (insulin, testosterone, growth hormone) and neurotransmitters (such as serotonin)
  • is necessary for good vision, hearing, smell and taste
  • protects against heavy metal pollution and against the attack of aggressive free radicals
  • supports the acid-base balance by allowing carbon dioxide to be excreted through the lungs
  • contributes to normal fatty acid metabolism
  • contributes to normal protein synthesis
  • contributes to a normal carbohydrate metabolism
  • contributes to the maintenance of healthy bones
  • contributes to the maintenance of healthy hair, nails and skin

Along with iodine and selenium deficiencies, zinc deficiency is most common. Around 32% of men and 21% of women suffer from it, with most of them in the age group between 65 and 80 – the age group that is most affected in the current crisis. Seniors are often affected due to a low-zinc diet, medication intake (laxatives, drainage tablets, medication containing cortisone, preparations for lowering blood lipid levels, gastric acid buffers) and impaired absorption processes.

Zinc is best absorbed through food with foods of animal origin.

Zinc content in food.

.content per kilogram.
low zincfats, white bread, legumes, green vegetables, fruits
moderately zinc-containing50-20 mg/kgeggs, milk, cheese, fish, carrots, potatoes, whole wheat bread
zinc rich20-50 mg/kgmuscle meat, innards (liver, kidneys, heart)
very rich in zinc50 mg/kgoysters, wheat germ

Zinc can disrupt the copper and iron metabolism. If zinc and iron or copper salts are administered at the same time, the absorption of zinc can be reduced; conversely, zinc can impair the availability of copper and reduce the absorption and storage of iron.

If more than 50 mg zinc is taken per day over a longer period of time, the copper and iron balance should therefore also be monitored by laboratory diagnostics and, if necessary, brought back into balance with supplements.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Fatty acids are the main components of the fats found in food and in our body. They are energy suppliers and building materials for all cell membranes and cell organelles.

From the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, hormone-like messenger substances as well as potent cell protection factors and anti-inflammatory agents are formed, which take on vital functions in regulating our metabolism and immune system.

The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA have a high potential to prevent many diseases of civilization, they help with a variety of diseases, can optimize their therapy and improve the quality of life.

Inflammation processes are reduced and cell health is supported. Omega-3 fatty acids support a healthy intestinal flora, they regulate the exchange of information and the transmission of stimuli in the brain, have a mood-enhancing and harmonizing effect on the nerve messenger metabolism. They strengthen the protective barriers of the skin and mucous membranes, support joint health and the development of stable bones. They work against osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

They also stabilize the strength and rhythm of the heart, lower blood pressure and blood lipid levels, support the detoxification of homocysteine, improve the flow properties of the blood and the supply of oxygen to the small vessels. They prevent heart attacks, sudden cardiac death or strokes.

They reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer and support the effectiveness of cancer therapies, reduce side effects and thus improve the quality of life for patients.

Omega-6 fatty acids are mainly found in vegetable oils. The gama-linolenic acid it contains also has an anti-inflammatory effect. The arachidonic acid, however, also contained, has an inflammatory effect.

Our diet is heavily weighted toward omega-6 fatty acids. We should pay attention to a balanced ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 of around 4: 1, but our industrial foods, which are rich in omega-6 fatty acids, make this ratio to omega-6-heavy, up to 10 : 1 or even 50: 1 in favor of the pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.

Deficiencies in omega-3 fatty acids can manifest in susceptibility to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, ADHD, depression and schizophrenia.

As a preventive measure, an intake of 1500 to 2000 mg omega-3 per day is sufficient to regulate the disturbed omega-6/3 ratio. At the same time, the intake of omega-6 fatty acids from food should be reduced to 50 mg. The harmful arachidonic acid in omega-6 fatty acids is also found to a large extent in pork, for example.

And now?

Now you will wonder what such a diet looks like?

It already helps a lot to eat more fruit and vegetables, if possible organic and from regional cultivation. Chewing is often restricted in older people; freshly made green smoothies can be a good alternative here. The smoothies include apples, bananas, chia or flax seeds (for the omega-3 fatty acids), lupine or pumpkin seed flour (for the high-quality proteins), salads, baobab powder as a dietary supplement with a high vitamin content in a natural compound, orange juice, etc. A smoothie replaces a meal. However, you should make sure that raw food is tolerated and that every sip is saliva well. Of course, younger people also benefit from smoothies. Smoothies are best made yourself with the help of a high-performance mixer (> 25,000 revolutions / min). You should avoid the bought smoothies because the sugar content is too high. There are an infinite number of recipes, so there is something for every taste.

Nosh nuts every now and then, avoid pork and sugar. Everything in moderation, including alcohol and coffee. The dose makes the poison! And leave industrial food as often as possible on the supermarket shelf.

Look for high-quality dietary supplements and avoid the cheap products from health food stores. Quality has its price!


Diet has a significant impact on health and quality of life. Even minor changes in eating habits can have massive effects.

And just giving the above-mentioned vitamins in natural form, trace elements and fatty acids could massively strengthen the immune system of the elderly in our nursing homes, improve their quality of life and reduce the severity of infections, which would massively relieve the health system.

This article, which was created with the help of the books “Die wichtigsten Nahrungsergänzungsmittel – Das Plus für Ihre Gesundheit”, “Mikronährstoffberatung” and “Arzneimittel als Mikronährstoff-Räuber” by Uwe Gröber, can only provide a small insight into the complexity of some important nutrients. But we hope that this article was able to make it clear to you what is “sick” in our society and how with healthier nutrition, as fresh and organic as possible, self-prepared and, if necessary, supplemented with high-quality, natural food supplements, many diseases can be prevented and the immune system strengthened so that there are no severe courses of infection in the first place.

Orthomolecular medicine and conventional medicine can work hand in hand for the benefit of people.

Karsten Gabriel


[1] http://www.mikronaehrstoff.de/index.php?page=referenten

[2] Uwe Gröber: Die wichtigsten Nahrungsergänzungsmittel, Seite 13 „Wie viel Vitamine brauchen wir?

[3] Gröber/Kisters: Arzneimittel als Mikronährstoff-Räuber – Was Ihr Arzt und Apotheker Ihnen sagen sollten

[4] https://www.original-bootcamp.com/blog/gruene-smoothies.html

This article was written in German and translated into English and French. In the case of Luxembourgish, we have dispensed with a translation and published a duplicate of the original version.