Every day is a balancing act for our vitamins and minerals. Long recognized for their incredible necessity for health, vitamins and minerals must be supplied on a daily basis. This means we have to include more than we use daily. Without adequate amounts, function is altered. Deficient long enough, and disease results. Most people don’t eat diets rich enough in vitamins and minerals, which I believe is widely known, but lesser known is what can deplete what little we’re getting!
Drugs and certain acid foods are the two biggest culprits. To avoid being too detailed (not enough room), I will categorize them. Taking medications on a regular basis can deplete a number of vitamins and minerals. They are as follows:
- Antacids: Deplete Vitamins: D, B12, thiamin, and folic acid. Minerals: calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus. And protein.
- Antibiotics: Deplete Vitamins: K, all B vitamins. Minerals: all. And beneficial “friendly” intestinal bacteria.
- Antidepressants: Deplete Vitamins: B12 and CoQ-10 and the SSRI’s deplete melatonin as well.
- Diabetic Meds: Vitamins: B12, Folic acid. And CoQ-10.
- Anti-inflammatories: NSAIDS: Vitamins: C, folic acid, Minerals: iron, potassium. Steroids: Vitamins C, D, folic acid. Minerals: zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium.
- Analgesics: Vitamins: C, folic acid. Minerals: iron, potassium.
- Blood Pressure Meds: Vitamins: B6, Mineral: Magnesium. And CoQ-10.
- Cholesterol Meds: Different meds create different deficiencies, but in general: Vitamins: A, B12, D, E, K. Minerals: selenium, zinc, copper, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus. And CoQ-10.
- Diuretics: Vitamins: B1, B6, folic acid, C. Minerals: magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium.
- Female Hormones: Vitamins: B6, B12, C. Minerals: zinc, magnesium. And CoQ-10.
- Birth Control Pills: Vitamins: B2, B6, B12, folic acid, C. Minerals: magnesium, zinc.
- Laxatives: potassium
- Tranquilizers: Vitamin B2, CoQ-10
- Anti-Epileptics: Vitamins: D, folic acid, K. Mineral: Calcium.
- Bronchodilators: Vitamin B6
- Synthetic Thyroid medications: calcium.
- Coffee/Caffeine: Vitamins: A & D. Minerals: calcium, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, magnesium, potassium, sodium and phosphate. Also the acids (even in decaffeinated products) deplete a whole array of minerals.
- Sugar (sweets, alcohol, bottled fruit juices, energy drinks, soda pop, etc.): Vitamins: All B vitamins and vitamin C. Minerals: magnesium, potassium, chromium. Sugar also results in other mineral losses due to excess insulin release trying to handle the sugar consumed!
- Cooked tomato sauces: Mostly calcium and magnesium.
- Smoking diminishes Vitamins A, B12, C, D & E Minerals: calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, causes toxic levels of copper.
- Low stomach enzymes – Hydrochloric acid (HCL) is essential in the breakdown of minerals and other nutrients. When HCL is deficient, an abundance of nutrients become depleted because they are not replaced.
When looking to supplement your medication or other habits that deplete your vitamins and minerals, consider two things: Only buy supplements that are made from “whole foods”, not synthetics. Consider resolving the issues that necessitate your current medications, by seeking the services of an alternative medical provider such as an Acupuncturist or Naturopath who can help guide you back to health with more natural means – not ones that deplete you!
©2015 Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.