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Drug v Nutrients

A scale with medications on one side and fruit and herbs on the other

Pharmaceuticals are capable of inducing nutrient deficiencies as well as  numerous unwanted side effects. Many of these side effects may be caused by the nutrient deficiencies induced by the chemical reactions in the body from short and long term use of drugs.

Many drugs either inhibit conversions of nutrients or use more of them, which may contribute to additional health problems. The most common medicines that interfere with nutrient availability are cholesterol lowering statins, birth control pills and antibiotics.

To mitigate the risk of nutrient associated side effects the diet must be manipulated to provide additional food sources or supplementation may be added to the medication regime to compensate. This will require higher than RDA levels of nutrients as daily living and medication consumption as well as rectification of deficiencies will not be met from diet alone, unless very carefully monitored. Please click on the Adverse Drug Nutrient Chart March 2010 for a PDF version.

Do the prescriptions you take deplete your nutritional status?

Medication Nutrients Depleted
Antacids/Ulcer medications Vit B12, Folic Acid, Vit D, Calcium, Iron, Zinc
Anti-Biotics: see extensive list here Beta-carotene, Biotin, Calcium, Carnitine, Copper, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Potassium, Vitamin A, B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, C, D, K, Zinc
Anticholinergics: dicylomine, atropine PABA, Riboflavin
Anti Convulsants : Carbemazapine, Phenytoin, Valproic acid (epileptic medication) Biotin, Calcium, Carnitine, Copper, Folate, Niacin, Phosphorus, Riboflavin, Selenium, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, B12, D, E, K, Zinc
Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) Serotonin, Zinc
Anti-inflammatories: NSAIDS including diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, paracetemol, aspirin Folate, Iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Zinc, Chromium, Glutathione, Selenium
Antidepressants CoQ10, Vit B2, Protein, Sodium
Antidiabetics: Metformin CoQ10, Folate, Magnesium, Thiamin, Vitamin B12
Antifungals: Magnesium, Potassium
Antigout: Beta-carotene, Copper, Folic acid, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Potassium, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12, Zinc
Antihypertensive’s: Coq10, Vit B6, Zinc
Antiprotozoals: Calcium, Folate, Magnesium
Anti-Retrovirals: Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors including AZT Copper, Iron
Aspirin Iron, Folic acid, Vitamin C
BetaBlockers: acebutolol, atenolol, betaxolol, bisoprolol, carvedilol, celiprolol, propranolol, Melatonin, Calcium, Coenzyme Q10
Birth Control Pill: Oestrogen and progesterone combination, mono and triphasic. DHEA, Folate, Magnesium, Riboflavin, Selenium, Thiamin, Vitamin A, Vit B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Zinc
Bisphosphonates: Bone management Iron, Phosphorus
Cholestyramines (bile sequestration agent) Vitamin A,D,E,B12,K Folic acid, Beta-carotene
Corticosteroids: Prednisone, Prednisolone, Hydrocortisone, Beclometasone, Dexamethasone) Calcium, Chromium, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Strontium, Zinc.
Digoxin: Heart medication Magnesium, Vitamin B1
Diuretics: Calcium, CoQ10, Copper, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium, Riboflavin, Sodium, Thiamine, Vitamin C, Zinc
Fibrates- Cholesterol lowering medications CoQ10, Vitamin E
Histamine H2 Blockers: Calcium, Vitamin D, Iron, Vitamin B12, Folic acid, Zinc
Interleukins: IL-2 Magnesium
Psychotropics: chlorpromazine etc. CoQ10, B12, Riboflavin, Selenium
Proton Pump Inhibitors: Lansoprazole, Omeprazole Vit B12
Sodium Bicarbonate Magnesium, Vitamin B12
SSRI’s: antidepressants – Fluoxetine, Sertraline etc. Protein, Sodium
Statins ( HMG-CoA reducatse inhibitors) CoQ10
Theophylline Vitamin B6
Thyroid Medication: Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphate
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