by Dr. James Meschino on 4 September 2020 in Vitamin, Mineral

Drug And Nutrient Depletion

The use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs is extremely prevalent in North America and in most Western developed world. It is reported that 46% of Americans take at least one prescription drug daily. In 2005, the Minnesota Board on Aging showed that for individuals over the age of 65

Introduction

The use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs is extremely prevalent in North America and in most Western developed world. It is reported that 46% of Americans take at least one prescription drug daily. In 2005, the Minnesota Board on Aging showed that for individuals over the age of 65, 21% took five or more prescription drugs every day; 25% took 3-4 prescription drugs per day, 36% took 1-3 prescription drugs per day, while only 18% did not take any prescription drugs on a daily basis.

This article lists the most common drugs used by individuals living in developed countries along with vitamins and minerals that they deplete from the body. If you, or someone you care about, is taking any of these drugs, then the appropriate action in most cases entails taking a high potency multiple vitamin that is enriched with antioxidants, a B-50 complex and 500 mg of calcium. A supplement of this nature can really help your body counter drug-induced nutrient depletion, as well as being a cornerstone of wellness care for most adults.

Summary of nutrients depleted by commonly used drugs

The following is a summary of nutrients depleted by commonly used drugs:

Laxatives are associated with depletion of the following nutrients:

  1. Vitamin A
  2. Vitamin D
  3. Vitamin E
  4. Calcium

Antibiotics are associated with depletion of the following nutrients:

  1. Vitamin B1
  2.  Vitamin B2
  3. Biotin Pantothenic Acid 
  4. Vitamin C
  5. Vitamin E
  6. Vitamin K
  7. Potassium
  8. Magnesium
  9. Zinc

Cholesterol - lowering drugs such as, Cholestyramine, Colestripol, Questran, Colestid, Atromid-S, are associated with depletion of the following nutrients:

  1. Vitmain A
  2. Vitamin B12
  3. Beta-carotene
  4. Folic Acid 
  5. Vitamin D
  6. Vitamin E
  7. Vitamin K
  8. Iron

Colchicine, used to treat gout, is associated with depletion of the following nutrients:

  1. Vitamin A
  2. Vitamin D
  3. Vitamin B12
  4. Folic Acid
  5. Iron

Prednisone and related steroid drugs are associated with depletion of the following nutrients:

  1. Folic Acid
  2. Vitamin D
  3. Zinc
  4. Magnesium
  5. Vitamin C
  6. Calcium

Nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs, including aspirin (ASA). are associated with depletion of the following nutrients:

  1. Folic Acid
  2. Vitamin C
  3. Vitamin K
  4. Iron

Antacid drugs are associated with depletion of the following nutrients:

  1. Vitamin A
  2. Vitamin B1
  3. Folic Acid
  4. Vitamin B12
  5. Chromium
  6. Iron

Oral contraceptive drugs are associated with depletion of the following nutrients:

  1. Beta-carotene
  2. Vitamin B1
  3. Vitamin B6
  4. Folic Acid
  5. Vitamin B12
  6. Biotin
  7. Pantothenic Acid
  8. Vitamin C
  9. Magnesium
  10. Zinc

Sedatives and barbituate drugs are associated with depletion of the following nutrients:

  1. Vitamin B2
  2. Vitamin C
  3. Vitamin D
  4. Folic Acid
  5. Vitamin B12
  6. Pantothenic Acid

Estrogen replacement therapy is associated with depletion of the following nutrients:

  1. Vitamin B1
  2. Vitamin B2
  3. Folic Acid
  4. Vitamin B12
  5. Biotin
  6. Pantothenic Acid 
  7. Vitamin C
  8. Magnesium

Many antidepressant drugs are associated with depletion of the following nutrients:

  1. Vitamin B2
  2. Vitamin B6
  3. Calcium
  4. Magnesium
  5. Coenzyme Q10

Many anticonvulsant drugs are associated with depletion of the following nutrients:

  1. Folic Acid
  2. Biotin 
  3. Vitamin D 
  4. Vitamin E 
  5. Zinc

Amphetamine and amphetamine-containing drugs are associated with depletion of Vitamin B1

Indomethacin is associated with depletion of Vitamin B1

Levodopa, used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, is associated with depletion of Vitamin B6

Diuretic drugs are associated with depletion of the following nutrients:

  1. Vitamin B1
  2. Calcium
  3. Potassium (thiazide drugs especially) 
  4. Magnesium 
  5. Zinc

ACE-Inhibitor drugs (Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors), used for high blood pressure, are associated with depletion of zinc

Beta-blockers, used in the treatment of high blood pressure, are associated with depletion of coenzyme Q10

Statin drugs (e.g. Lipitor), used in the treatment of high cholesterol, are associated with depletion of coenzyme Q10

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References

1. Bowman, L. 51% Of U.S. Adults Take 2 Pills or More a Day, Survey Reports (Scripps Howard News Service). San Diego Union-Tribune, Weds.,Jan. 17, 2001:A8.
2. Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties - twenty-fifth edition, 1990
3. Pressman, A.H. Clinical Assessment of Nutritional Status - A Working Manual. Management Enterprises, 1982
4. Alpers, D.H., MD, Clause, R.E., MD, Stenson, W.F., MD, Manual of Nutritional Therapeutics - second edition; Little, Brown and Company, 1988
5. Kreutler, P.A., PhD, Csajka-Nairns, D.M. Nutrition in Perspective - second edition; Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1987
6. Long, P.J., Shannon, B. Focus on Nutrition; Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1983
7. Howard, E.J., MD, Health Risks; The Body Press, 1986
8. Simone, C.B., MD. Cancer and Nutrition - revised and expanded edition; Avery Publishing Group Inc.,1992
9. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Jan 1991 Supplement: Vol. 53, No. 1
10. Rybacki JJ and Long, J.W., MD. The Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs, HarperResource, 2001
11. Kantner, M.M., et al. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise; April, 1990: Vol.22, No.2
12. Shannon, Sana. Diet for the Atomic Age; Avery Publishing Group Inc., 1987
13. New Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements and Herbs; M. Evans and Company, Inc., New York, 1998
14. Reavley, N. New Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements and Herbs; M. Evans and Company, Inc., New York, 1998
15. Drugs That Deplete-Nutrients That Heal: A review of Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook, 1999-2000 (Life Extension Magazine July 2000)
16. Langsjoen PH, Langsjoen AM. The clinical use of HMG CoA-reductase inhibitors and the associated depletion of coenzyme Q10. A review of animal and human publications. Biofactors. 2003;18(1-4):101-11.


About the Author

Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

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