Home Health Anatomy Substances that Destroy Nutrients

Substances that Destroy Nutrients

Alcohol diminishes stores and interferes with numerous nutrients, including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, folic acid, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium, Vitamins B12, A, C, and D. Studies have shown that alcohol is one oxidant that can stimulate the release of dangerous superoxide radicals.

Antacids, especially Maalox and Milk of Magnesia, and others that combine aluminum and magnesium hydroxides, can deplete Vitamins A and B1, as well as iron, phosphate, and calcium.

Antibiotics or gout drugs (Benemid, ColBenemid) that contain probenecid can interfere with or destroy riboflavin uptake.

Anticonvulsants increase the need for Vitamin D. Phenytoin/Dilantin, phenobarbitol, and primodone (mysoline) interfere with folic acid, Vitamins D and K.

Aspirin (is also in such products as Aspergum and Alka-Seltzer), as well as other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, can triple the rate of excretion of Vitamin C, B1 (thiamin), folic acid, and iron, in addition to decreasing the absorption of glucose, amino acids, folate, Vitamin K, thiamin, and potassium.

Barbiturates increase the need for Vitamin D.

Caffeine, because of its diuretic properties, can double the calcium loss.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs increase the need for Vitamin D. Questran interferes with Vitamins A, B12, D, E, K, folic acid, and calcium. Clofibrate (Atromid-S) interferes with Vitamin B12 and iron. Colestipol (colestid) interferes with Vitamins A, D, E, K, folic acid, and calcium. Statins especially deplete CoQ10, diminishing levels by as much as 50% in just two weeks.

CNS (central nervous system) drugs, such as Amitriptyline (an antidepressant Elavil), Chlorpromazine (an antipsychotic Thorazine), and Imipramine (an antidepressant related to Elavil called Tofranil) all interfere with riboflavin.

Cortisone increases the need for Vitamin D. Long term use of these drugs can cause generalized protein depletion and an increased need for Vitamins C, D, B6, and folic acid. They can also decrease wound healing, bone formation, absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and cause an increase in the excretion of Vitamin C, potassium, zinc, and nitrogen. Cortisone, hydrocortisone, and prednisone are among the most common. Some brand names are Decadion, Deltasone, Medral, and Merticorten.

Cough syrups, especially those containing alcohol, can drain all B vitamins, especially folic acid and B12, as well as iron, magnesium, and zinc.

Digotoxin or digitalis glycoside (crystodigin) can produce an abnormal heart rhythm when combined with Vitamin D. Digitalis also affects both magnesium and potassium utilization and, ultimately, calcium.

Diruetics interfere with riboflavin absorption. Hydrochlorothiazide and Furosemide interfere with potassium, magnesium, and zinc, which results in deficiencies of all nutrients. Such laxatives as phenolphthalein increase the need for Vitamin D. Other laxatives affect changes in the intestinal mucosa or lining, causing poor or inadequate absorption of many vitamins and minerals. Such fiber products as Metamucil (as well as wheat bran), used over an extended period of time, can affect the utilization of zinc, iron, manganese, copper, beta carotene, and Vitamin B2 (riboflavin).

Methotrexate is an anti-cancer drug that interferes with riboflavin absorption.

Mineral oil (liquid paraffin), which is sometimes used as a laxative, coats the intestinal lining, preventing the absorption of most nutrients, especially the delicate water-soluble B Complex, plus Vitamin A, C, D, E, K, calcium, phosphates, and essential fatty acids. Brand names include Agoral, Kondremul, Milkinol, Petrogalar, and Zymenol.

Oral contraceptives interfere with riboflavin, B6, and folic acid.

Penicillins, including ampicillin, deplete potassium.

Phenobarbital (Luminal etc.) depletes Vitamins B12, D, K, and folic acid.

Sulfonamides (for UTI’s) depletes Vitamin K.

Sunscreens of SPF (sun protective factor) of 8 or higher can block the formation of Vitamin D.

Tagamet, or Peptol (Cimetidine), and Xantac (ranitidine) reduce gastric acid secretions by 80% and meal stimulated acid secretions by 50%, inducing a B12 deficiency and iron malabsorption.

Tetracyclines and all “mycins” deplete Vitamins B2, C, K, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc and increases urinary excretion of Vitamin C, riboflavin, folic acid, and niacin.

See much more in Nature’s Pharmacy: Evidence-based Alternatives to Drugs