Medications are necessary and important for managing issues like blood pressure, mental health, cancer, etc.  However, they can come with a cost robbing us of certain key nutrients.  When I hear of studies that indicate long term use of a medication creates issues like dementia, I wonder if that person had repleted the nutrients the medications robbed from their body if the outcome would still be the same.  Since there are not any studies looking at this, it is our responsibility to plug in the holes for improved longevity.  You can actually measure an entire panel of core nutrients in blood work.  Insurance is not covering these tests but if you are on a long-term medication it might be worthwhile doing!  We use ALCAT and Spectracell micronutrient testing if you want to check them out!

READ ON to see what medications may create issues. You may be surprised that your routine run of the mill prescription may be robbing key nutrients and what to do….

Before I give you some names of medications that cause issues, please do NOT stop any medication without consulting your physician.  There are often alternatives with less of a side-effect.

Certain medications can interfere with the absorption, utilization, or metabolism of nutrients, leading to deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals. Here are some examples:

  1. Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs):
    • Examples: omeprazole, esomeprazole, lansoprazole.
    • Effect: PPIs reduce stomach acid production, which can impair the absorption of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B12.
  2. H2 Blockers:
    • Examples: ranitidine, famotidine, cimetidine.
    • Effect: Similar to PPIs, H2 blockers reduce stomach acid, potentially affecting the absorption of certain minerals and vitamins.
  3. Corticosteroids:
    • Examples: prednisone, dexamethasone.
    • Effect: Long-term use of corticosteroids can lead to decreased calcium absorption and increased urinary calcium excretion, potentially leading to bone loss.
  4. Diuretics:
    • Examples: furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide.
    • Effect: Diuretics can increase urinary excretion of potassium, magnesium, B1, B6, C and calcium, potentially leading to deficiencies in these minerals.
  5. Anticonvulsant Medications:
    • Examples: phenytoin, carbamazepine.
    • Effect: Some anticonvulsants may interfere with the absorption of vitamin D and calcium, affecting bone health.
  6. Methotrexate:
    • Used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases and certain cancers.
    • Effect: Methotrexate can interfere with folic acid metabolism, potentially leading to folic acid deficiency.
  7. Orlistat:
    • Used for weight loss.
    • Effect: Orlistat inhibits the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) and may require supplementation.
  8. Cholestyramine:
    • Used to lower cholesterol.
    • Effect: Cholestyramine can reduce the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and folic acid.
  9. NSAIDS:
    • Examples:  ibuprofen, indomethacin, naproxen, etc
    • Effect:  Depletes iron and folic acid
  10.  SSRI:
    • Examples:  Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, etc
    • Effect:  Depletes iodine
  11. Anxiety medications:
    • Examples:  Xanax, Valium, etc
    • Effect:  Deplete melatonin
  12. Statins:
    • Examples:  Crestor (Rosuvastatin), Lipitor (Atorvastatin), etc
    • Effect:  Deplete Coenzyme Q, B12, B9, Iron, D
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This does NOT mean you don’t take these medications but be aware of medications creating other issues and if you are taking something long term have your blood tested to make sure you are on the right track!!

To your health,

Laura