Alternative medicine is any practice that is put forward as having the healing effects of medicine but is not based on evidence gathered using the scientific method. It consists of a wide range of health care practices, products and therapies, using alternative medical diagnoses and treatments which typically have not been included in the degree courses of established medical schools or used in conventional medicine. Examples of alternative medicine include homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, and acupuncture.
Complementary medicine is alternative medicine used together with conventional medical treatment in a belief, not proven by using scientific methods, that it "complements" the treatment. CAM is the abbreviation for Complementary and alternative medicine. Integrative medicine (or integrative health) is the combination of the practices and methods of alternative medicine with conventional medicine.
Orthomolecular medicine is a form of complementary and alternative medicine aimed at maintaining health through nutritional supplementation and based on the assertion that there is an optimum nutritional environment in the body and that diseases reflect deficiencies in this environment. Treatment for disease, according to this view, calls for the "correcting of imbalances or deficiencies based on individual biochemistry" by use of substances natural to the body, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, trace elements and fatty acids. Few medical or scientific experts support this approach; even the accuracy of calling the orthomolecular approach a form of medicine has been questioned since the 1970s.
The approach is sometimes referred to as megavitamin therapy because its practice evolved out of, and in some cases still uses, doses of vitamins and minerals many times higher than the recommended dietary intake. Orthomolecular practitioners may also incorporate a variety of other styles of treatment into their approaches, including dietary restriction, megadoses of non-vitamin nutrients and mainstream pharmaceutical drugs. Proponents argue that non-optimal levels of certain substances can cause health issues beyond simple vitamin deficiency and see balancing these substances as an integral part of health.
Vitamin B12, vitamin B12 or vitamin B-12, also called cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin with a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood. It is one of the eight B vitamins. It is normally involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body, especially affecting DNA synthesis and regulation, but also fatty acid synthesis and energy production. Neither fungi, plants, nor animals are capable of producing vitamin B12. Only bacteria and archaea have the enzymes required for its synthesis, although many foods are a natural source of B12 because of bacterial symbiosis. The vitamin is the largest and most structurally complicated vitamin and can be produced industrially only through bacterial fermentation-synthesis.
Vitamin K is a group of structurally similar, fat-soluble vitamins that the human body needs for posttranslational modification of certain proteins required for blood coagulation, and in metabolic pathways in bone and other tissue. They are 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone (3-) derivatives. This group of vitamins includes two natural vitamers: 1vitamin K and 2vitamin K.
Vitamin K1, also known as phylloquinone, phytomenadione, or phytonadione, is synthesized by plants, and is found in highest amounts in green leafy vegetables because it is directly involved in photosynthesis. It may be thought of as the "plant form" of vitamin K. It is active in animals and may perform the classic functions of vitamin K in animals, including its activity in the production of blood clotting proteins. Animals may also convert it to vitamin K2.
Science of drugs including their origin, composition, pharmacokinetics,
pharmacodynamics, therapeutic use, and toxicology.
Pharmacology (from Greek φάρμακον, pharmakon, "poison" in classic Greek; "drug" in modern Greek; and -λογία, -logia "study of", "knowledge of") is the branch of medicine and biology concerned with the study of drug action, where a drug can be broadly defined as any man-made, natural, or endogenous (within the body) molecule which exerts a biochemical and/or physiological effect on the cell, tissue, organ, or organism. More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and chemicals that affect normal or abnormal biochemical function. If substances have medicinal properties, they are considered pharmaceuticals.
Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids responsible for enhancing intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphate. In humans, the most important compounds in this group are vitamin D3 (also known as cholecalciferol) and vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). Cholecalciferol and ergocalciferol can be ingested from the diet and from supplements. The body can also synthesize vitamin D (specifically cholecalciferol) in the skin, from cholesterol, when sun exposure is adequate (hence its nickname, the "sunshine vitamin").
Although vitamin D is commonly called a vitamin, it is not actually an essential dietary vitamin in the strict sense, as it can be synthesized in adequate amounts by most mammals exposed to sunlight. A substance is only classified as an essential vitamin when it cannot be synthesized in sufficient quantities by an organism, and must be obtained from its diet. In common with other compounds commonly called vitamins, vitamin D was nevertheless discovered in an effort to find the dietary substance lacking in a disease, namely rickets, the childhood form of osteomalacia. Additionally, like other compounds called vitamins, in the developed world, vitamin D is added to staple foods, such as milk, to avoid disease due to deficiency.