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Common Medications that Deplete Essential Nutrients

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Posted on 12-05-2017

Common Medications that Deplete Essential Nutrients


It is well known that pharmaceutical medications cause side effects, what is not known is that many medications strip you of vital minerals and vitamins as they pass through your body. I have listed some of the more common medications that many of you will be using prior to seeking chiropractic care.


Nutrient deficiencies caused by medications

It has been estimated that about 30% of side effects from medications are related to drug-induced nutrient deficiencies.  Vagnini, F., et al., “Preventing pharmaceutical-induced nutrient deficiencies,” Life Extensions March 2006; p. 72-9.


Corticosteroid / Cortisone shots

Corticosteroids deplete the following nutrients:  

Vit A, Vit. B6 and B12, Folic acid, Vit C, Vit D, Vit K, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium  Selenium, Zinc, Chromium

Lems W., et al. “Effect of low dose prednisone (with calcium and calcitriol supplementation) on calcium and bone metabolism in healthy volunteers,” Brit Jour Rheumatol 1998; 37(1): 27-33.


Anti-inflammatory Drugs:

Sulfasalazine: depletes folic acid  Indomethacin: depletes iron, vitamin C, and folic acid.

Salicylates deplete vitamin C, calcium, folic acid, iron, sodium, potassium, and B5.  


NSAIDs deplete folic acid and melatonin.

Baggott, et al., “Inhibition of folate-dependent enzymes by nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs,” Biochem Jour 1992; 282 (Pt 1):197-202.  Loh, H., et al., “The effects of aspirin on the metabolic availability of ascorbic acid in human beings,” Jour Clin Pharmacol 1973; 13(11):480-6.  


Lawrence, V., et al., “Aspirin and folate binding in vivo and in vitro studies of serum binding and urinary excretion of endogenous folate,” Jour Lab Clin Med 1984; 103(6):944-8.  Nain, et al., “Acetylsalicylic acid-induced biochemical changes in gastric juice,” Indian Jour Gastroenterol 1996; 56:421-29.


Other issues with NSAIDS: Kidney - see article from the New York Times

Vitamin I for Ibuprofen:


Anti -Viral Medications:

Reverse transcriptase inhibitor Zidovudine (AZT) and related drugs deplete

vitamin B12, copper, zinc, and L-carnitine.  

Foscarnet depletes: calcium, magnesium, and potassium.


Cardiovascular medications:

Cardiac glycosides such as digoxin deplete calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin B1.

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