Nutrition and Orthomolecular Medicine

Nutrition and Orthomolecular Medicine

Nutrition and Orthomolecular Medicine

Supporting the body and the mind

Orthomolecular medicine is the science of using micro and macro nutrients from natural foods and supplements to nourish the body in order to support its capacity to heal itself.

The physiological damage – harm done to our organs, muscles and cells – caused by the substance abuse of alcohol or drugs must be addressed to begin the process of cellular rebalancing and addiction recovery.

Canadian Health Recovery Centre’s orthomolecular treatment model is uniquely tailored to benefit the individual suffering from addiction – cravings are reduced or eliminated and neurotransmitter function is improved – paving the way for talk therapy to be effective.

Our model takes the principles of orthomolecular medicine to support the body on a biochemical level and incorporates them with the principles of holistic nutrition to provide proper nourishment through foods. The nutrients needed by one person for optimal function can be vastly different than those needed by another, depending on genetics and environmental factors.

At Canadian Health Recovery Centre, laboratory tests are taken and individualized programs are developed to optimize results for each of our guests. A person low in amino acids, for example, will have impaired neurotransmitter function and under the guidance of our orthomolecular nutritionist, these imbalances will be restored. An individual with compromised liver function from chronic alcoholism will require supplements that help facilitate liver regeneration and detoxification, while someone with an opiate addiction will require rebound pain management and neurological support. All will benefit from the foundation of optimal nutritional support.


Rebalancing the body

How Does Orthomolecular Medicine Help With Addiction and Recovery?


Holistic nutrition approaches addictions and overall health as biochemical and individual in nature. Our bodies are made up entirely of cells, and each individual cell is affected by the food we eat, substances, stress, prescription drugs, and environmental toxins. Today’s modern diets are often highly modified from their natural raw state, highly refined, and nutritionally void. When consumed, these foods leave our bodies undernourished and lacking vital nutrients, causing increased cravings. During active addiction, these deficiencies can begin to manifest as mood or nervous system disorders long before any physical symptoms are felt.  As part of the holistic approach at CHRC, symptoms are addressed through counselling, nutritional intervention, and other adjunctive modalities. We know that there are social-emotional factors that contribute to addictive behaviour, and the biochemistry of an individual addicted to drugs or alcohol is different than the biochemistry of someone who is not dependant on drugs or alcohol. This is part of the reason why some people fall into the cycle of addiction while others do not – they are more predisposed to addictive behaviour on a biochemical level.

These people may fall into any or all of these categories:

  1. They have sugar metabolism problems that fuel cravings
  2. They have genetic predispositions which affect how the organs process drugs and alcohol, making them more toxic and addicting
  3. They have hidden or unmanaged food sensitivities that contribute to unmanageable cravings
  4. They have nutritional deficiencies and subsequent pain, mental health issues, and physical health issues that perpetuate the addiction

The lifestyle and diet of a person in active addiction typically result in the depletion of important nutrients which, over time, interferes with normal brain function. Rebalancing the body on a biochemical level is a key element in lasting recovery, as it addresses the deficiencies and imbalances that can make an individual prone to addiction and unable to maintain lasting sobriety.


Science and history

What is the Data to Support Orthomolecular Medicine?

Data has existed since the 1950s to demonstrate that targeted supplementation, coupled with a specialized diet, can normalize even severe mental health dysfunction. In fact, in 1955, the results from the first ever double-blind placebo studies in psychiatry were published by Dr. Abram Hoffer on the curative impact of high dose niacin on schizophrenia. The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine documents this and continuing research by orthomolecular physicians today. Advances in neuroscience now support this model for addictions. New and exciting discoveries are being made regularly to link brain health to digestive and overall wellness, from doctors like Alan C. Logan, a naturopathic doctor and faculty member of the Harvard School’s Mind-Body Institute, and Natasha Campbell-McBride, a medical doctor and researcher with two post-graduate degrees: Master of Medical Sciences in Neurology and Master of Medical Sciences in Human Nutrition.

At Canadian Health Recovery Centre in Ontario, we also incorporate herbal supplements. Plant medicine is ancient and is still practised by 80 percent of the world’s population, according to the World Health Organization. Currently, 70 percent of new drugs are derived from plants.

Data to Support Orthomolecular Medicine

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