Nutrient depletion from prescription drugs is a very common occurrence linked to over half the popular medications on the market today. For the most part, physicians are not aware of this side effect nor does the FDA, with its many safety warnings cover the loss of nutrients.
The mechanism varies by drug type but the results are the same. They may leach essential vitamins, minerals or key enzymes out of the body. Some may prevent absorption of key nutrients;
others may interfere with metabolism preventing the body from using some nutrients.
As reported in the June 2011 Newsmax periodical, the FDA has warned of a nutrient depletion only once between January 2010 and March 2011 and that was out of 52 safety communications.
The one warning applied to Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid, all known as proton pump inhibitors, which are prescribed to treat gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), heartburn and acid reflux.
They work by blocking the production of stomach acid but what they also do is deplete magnesium from the body. Among other things, it is nice to have our required amount of magnesium to properly control our muscles and nerve function.
About half of the drugs prescribed for therapeutic interventions have documented nutrient-depleting effects.
In the case of proton pump inhibitors and magnesium mentioned above, the loss of occurred after taking the drugs for a year or more and the deficiencies were resolved in three-quarters of the cases with magnesium supplements.
There are numerous charts posted online that give information similar to that shown above however many are seen to be based on ten-year old or more information. The data is likely still accurate but much can change in a decade.
Anyone can do their own Google search by using keywords such as "drug induced nutrient depletion" or "loss of nutrients from drugs" or similar.
The best approach we have found to date is an interactive tool described below in which users can enter their own data and get results back tailored to exactly what they may be consuming. Read on.
Dr. Leo Galland, a New York practitioner of integrative medicine, has created an incredible online tool for checking the nutrient depleting side effects of prescription drugs. In addition it shows interactions between most prescription drugs and popular supplements.
<p>He spent ten years creating the tool and updates it as new information becomes available.
It is free but does require that one register and agree to the terms before being granted access. It is not a drug-to-drug interaction checker but is specifically designed to uncover drug-to-supplement interactions.
It is well known that prescription drugs all have side effects and interactions. What is not so well known is that they interfere with the use of nutrients by our bodies or outright nutrient depletion.
The parting message is that if one is taking a prescription medication, and most Americans are, then it is wise to do a little research on what nutrient, if any, that medication may be interfering with. Use the tool above as a starting point.
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