Learn About These Findings

You are doing your best to live a healthy lifestyle by eating the right foods to get the right nutrients. You make time to exercise, you get enough sleep, find leisure time to relax and you maybe even taking vitamin and mineral supplements to cover all your nutrition bases. However, if you are taking prescription or over-the-counter medication, you should become aware that some drugs are potential nutritional thieves. The question you maybe asking why is this?   Nutrition researchers know that drug-nutrient interaction is a
a potentially serious problem. Some drugs can remove nutrients from the body, prevent absorption of nutrients, or affect the body’s ability to convert nutrients into usable forms.

Over-the counter and prescription medications such as Prilosec used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease alter the pH of the stomach, and by doing so may inhibit the absorption of calcium. As a result, you are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis when you take these drugs for a long time, especially if you are elderly or at risk for developing the disease.

Diuretics and antihypertensive agents may deplete minerals and electrolytes in your body.
These are calcium, potassium and magnesium. Diuretics are used to treat hypertension and work to reduce salt in the body. Depletion of minerals and electrolytes can result in feelings of tiredness and drowsiness. If these symptoms go unnoticed, they could proceed to coma, seizures and even death.

The researchers said that of the top 25 drugs prescribed most often, 19 have the potential for causing serious nutrient deficiencies.

The groups most vulnerable and at risk are pregnant and nursing women, infants and the elderly.  These groups are likely to be deficient in the essential nutrients to begin with.

Here are some recommendations that you may want to follow:

  • Take your medication with water. Researchers learned that grapefruit juice can increase or decrease the effect of many drugs, including the blood pressure medication felodipine (Plendil), the cholesterol drugs atorvastatin calcium (Lipitor) and simvastatin (Zocor), and the antidepressant sertraline hydrochloride (Zoloft). Orange juice may also have an effect. Tip number one recommends taking your medication with water. This is the evidence and reason to use water. Furthermore water is the best nutrient for your body.
  • Shoot to drink at a minimum, eight 8-ounces of water daily, or at the optimum level, half your body’s weight in ounces of water.
  • Your vitamin and mineral supplements are considered medications, so you should always tell your doctor about everything you are taking.
  • It is important that you understand the patient information provided to you with your prescription drug. If you have any questions, ask the advice of your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Get into the habit of reading the label carefully when you buy over-the-counter products. If you don’t understand or you’re confused about the ingredients, don’t hesitate to ask your pharmacist.
  • Follow your doctor’s instruction about when to take a medication.
  • Remember that the actions of some drugs may be more potent or lessened by certain foods and beverages. Don’t be shy to ask your doctor or pharmacist how drugs may interact with your favorite foods, especially if you eat large amounts of them.
  • You should eat a nutritionally balanced diet with a wide variety of foods. Caffeine, alcohol, and even high-fat foods can affect the effectiveness of your drugs. For example, if you eat a fatty meal with the insomnia drug Zaleplon (Sonata), it can decrease the effectiveness of the medication. If you are taking a blood-thinning drug such as Warfarin, don’t increase your intake of green leafy vegetables, as they may affect the action of the drug.

If you are taking any of these drugs, you may want to check with your doctor to see whether you should increase your intake of the nutrients that the medication affects.

Author's Bio: 

Hope Anderson is a Registered Dietitian, Licensed Nutritionist Coach, specializing in Healthy Lifestyle. She is passionate about inspiring people how to engage and learn about food, nutrition and its impact on health in making informed decisions for themselves.

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