Be proactive: Know which nutrients are depleted by your prescription drug

Prescription Drugs

By pH health care professionals

Nutrients – you can’t function without them!

Critical nutrients – such as vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, carbs and water – are essential for metabolism, energy and repair. They are the fuel that keeps your body functioning.

As these nutrients are used up by the body’s metabolic activities, they need to be replaced – or you may end up with problems.  But did you know that common medications may deplete the body of vital nutrients?  It is very important that you be proactive and make sure you understand which nutrients are being depleted by the medications you take. You may need to test your vitamin and mineral levels on a regular basis to monitor.

Some drugs that may deplete nutrients:

  •   Antibiotics. Many antibiotics deplete biotin, inositol, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 and vitamin K. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics (including ciprofloxacin) deplete calcium.
  •   Metformin. Metformin, an oral hypoglycemic medication that enhances the action of insulin, depletes vitamin B12 and may deplete coQ10, thereby increasing heart disease risk.
  •   Antihypertensive medications and diureticsSome drugs can increase the loss (excretion) of nutrients through the urinary system, such as antihypertensive medications, particularly the diuretics, by increasing the volume of water flushed out of the body. Any medication that does this can drain the body's levels of water-soluble nutrients, including B-vitamins, magnesium, sodium, potassium and coQ10. 
  •   Oral contraceptives. Oral contraceptives cause significant depletion of B vitamins and folate, vitamin C, magnesium, selenium, zinc and the amino acid tyrosine, and newer studies have found that oral contraceptives also deplete coQ10. Several studies have demonstrated that the vitamin B6 depletion results in depression because of the reduced synthesis of serotonin.
  •   Statins. Statins deplete the body of coQ10 with the following potential side effects: heart failure, muscle pain and weakness, irritability, mood swings, depression and impotence. Weight loss and lipid-lowering medications such as statins also bind to fats, preventing them from being absorbed.
  •   Proton pump inhibitors and H2-blocking drugs. Some drugs that treat acid reflux or heartburn, known as proton pump inhibitors, such as Prilosec (omeprazole), Prevacid (lansoprazole), Aciphex (rabeprazole), and Protonix (pantoprazole), deplete and affect the absorption of vitamin B12 and folic acid. Drugs like Tagamet (cimetidine) and Zantac (ranitidine), which are known as H2-blocking drugs, also deplete B12 and folate in addition to vitamin D and, because this category of drugs reduces stomach acid, it affects the absorption of calcium, iron and zinc.

Be proactive

When you are experiencing symptoms with your medications, you may need a competent health care professional to assess whether the symptoms are due to the illness, side effects of the drugs or drug-induced nutrient depletion.

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.