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Nutrients That Drugs Can Deplete From Your Body

Many drugs can be life saving, but they can deplete certain nutrients from your body. It is important to replenish these nutrients by increasing your levels through supplements. Food provides our nutrients, although the level of food intake could be excessively high because food quality is not the same as it was 70 years ago. A comparison study of 43 fruits and vegetables from 1950-1999 indicated a decrease in protein (6%), calcium (16%), phosphorus (9%), iron (15%), riboflavin -B2 (38%) and ascorbic acid - vitamin C (20%). The quality of food is changing due to factors of genetic selection and some are modified for shelf life or crop yield. Storage time, environmental pollution and fertilization can effect nutrients. A study in 2004 showed the tomato can lose 13% of its ascorbic acid within 5 days. Even organic can be low in nutrients because the soil can be low in potassium, phophorus or nitrogen which are key growing nutrients. Plants can be grown in potassium rich soil with low calcium and magnesium levels. As a consumer, you can not tell if that tomato is full of nutrients or if you are being robbed. I always emphasis taking advantage of local farmers and farmer markets for nutrient dense foods.

Take a look at the nutrients lost with various drugs:

Acid suppressing drugs like antacids or proton pump inhibitors deplete iron, magnesium, B12 and zinc.

Antibiotics deplete B vitamins and magnesium.

Anticogvulsants like Mysoline and Phenytoin deplete biotin, calcium and vitamin D.

Antidepressants like Amitriptyline or Imipramine deplete vitamin B2.

Antifungals like Fluconazole or Amphotericin deplete magnesium and potassium.

Antihypertensives that are ace Inhibitors like Captopril, Quinapril or Ramipril deplete zinc. The beta blockers like Atenolol, Metoprolol or Propranolol deplete CoQ10. The diuretics like Aldactone, Lasix, Microzide or Zaroxolyn deplete Magnesium, Potassium, B1 and Zinc.

Antipsychotics like Chlorpromazine deplete B2.

Cholesterol-lowering agents under the statins category are Crestor, Lescol, Lipitor, Mevaco or Zocor deplete CoQ10. The bile acid sequestrants Colestipol or Probucol deplete calcium, magnesium and zinc.

Corticosteroids like glucocorticoids, Budesonide, Dexamethasone or Prednisone deplete calcium and vitamin D.

Digoxin like Cardoxin, Digitek, Lanoxicaps or Lanoxin deplete vitamin B1.

Glucose-lowering agents like metformin deplete folate and B12. Also, sulfonylureas Glipizide or Glyburide deplete CoQ10.

Hormone replacement therapy (estrogens) like Estrace, Premarin or Prempro deplete vitamin B6 and folate.

NSAIDS like Ibuprofen, Naproxen or Sulindac deplete folate.

Oral contraceptives like Alesse, Demulen or Yasmin deplete vitamin B6.

Stimulant laxatives like Bisacodyl (Dulcolax) or Senna (Senokot) deplete calcium, potassium and vitamin D.

If you have or are taking any of these aforementioned drugs, then you might want to consider a supplement to help bring up those depleted levels.


Davis DR, Epp MD, Riordan HD. Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 to 1999. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Dec;23(6):669-82

Bear FE, Toth SJ, Prince AL. Variation in mineral composition of vegetables. Soil Sci Soc Am Proc. 1948;13:380-384

Albrecht, WA. Our Teeth and Our Soils. 1947. 6(4):199-213.

Schafer KS, Reeves M, Spitzer S, Kegley SE. Pesticide Action Network North America. May 2004.

Pure Encapulations.

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