Are You Unknowingly Depleting Your Vitamins and Minerals?

For one reason or another, millions of Americans partake in a daily dosing of one or more medications.  While these medications are designed to target one specific symptom, they can leave a trail of systemic destruction.

Certain medications have the potential to deplete or block the absorption or formation of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are vital for our health.  When levels of these much needed compounds become low, we can start to exhibit signs of one deficiency or another in the form of medicinal side effects.

The body truly is a complex interwoven matrix that needs to be looked at as one, and not compartmentalized.  It is almost virtually impossible to alter one system without disposing others to the consequence, good or bad.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the use of various prescriptions.  Know that if you are taking a drug, especially long term or in combination with others, you may be predisposing yourself to certain deficiencies and the subsequent manifestation of those deficiencies in the form of signs and symptoms. At that point, if the medication is truly needed for its benefits (and in many cases it is) it would be wise to supplement in the deficient areas rather than add another medication to quiet the symptom; potentially creating more imbalance.

You should always consult with your healthcare provider before stopping or starting any prescription drug or supplemental regimen.  The following is a list common drugs and the deficiencies they have the potential to create:

ANTACIDS (Pepcid, Zantac, Prilosec, Prevacid)
NUTRIENTS DEPLETED: B12 (all) Folic Acid, Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, Zinc (Pepcid and Zantac)
In actuality antacids have the capability to lead to widespread deficiency as the stomach acid it blocks is necessary in order to properly digest and absorb our food.

ANTIBIOTICS (Gentomycin, Neomycin, Streptomycin, Penicillins)
NUTRIENTS DEPLETED: B Vitamins, Vitamin K and Beneficial Intestinal Bacteria (In most cases it is smart to follow up any antibiotic regimen with one of probiotics)

STATINS (Cholesterol Lowering Agents) (Lescol, Lipitor, Mevacor, Zocor, Pravacol, Crestor)
NUTRIENT DEPLETED: CoQ10

ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES
(Aspirin, Tylenol)
NUTRIENTS DEPLETED: Vitamin C, Folic Acid, Iron, Potassium

(Advil, Aleve, Anaprox, Dolobid, Feldene, Lodine, Motrin, Naprosyn, Orudis, Relafen)
NUTRIENTS DEPLETED: Folic Acid

(Cortisone, Dexamethasone, Hydrocortisone, Methylprednisone, Prednisone)
NUTRIENTS DEPLETED: Vitamins C & D, Folic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Selenium, Zinc

ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES (Norinyl, Ortho-Novem, Triphasil, etc.)
NUTRIENTS DEPLETED: Vitamins B2, B3, B6, B12, C, Folic Acid, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium

HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) (Evista, Prempro, Premarin, Estratab)
NUTRIENTS DEPLETED: Vitamins B2, B6, B12, C, Folic Acid, Magnesium, Zinc

If an item does or doesn’t appear on this (or any other list for that matter) it doesn’t mean you will definitely be deficient and thus reap the symptomatic benefits of one medication or another.  What this does mean is that you should read your labels and know the side effects. If taking a certain medication you should know what deficiencies are likely and what they look like symptomatically.  It may not be a bad idea to pre-empt the symptoms by supplementing to begin with. Again, all these decisions should be made only after consulting with your healthcare provider.

The point is we live in an age of information and choices. Options exist that provide you with the ability to take more of your life into your own hands.  Keep your eyes and ears open and go beyond accepting the first opinion to come your way.

Good luck out there.

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