Your Medication Could Be Depleting Vital Nutrients

“Many prescription drugs can reduce absorption and cause depletion of vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes crucial for good health.

 If you take prescription drugs, here are some nutritional facts especially for YOU. Many people who are on prescription drugs, as well as many doctors and pharmacist who administer them, don’t understand that some medications can reduce absorption and even cause depletion of vitamins, minerals, and  electrolytes crucial for good health.Dr. Jason Godo DC

Well Dr. Godo, I take prescription drugs, but I take vitamins, should I be concerned? With certain drugs I’d be concerned. Simply put, many drugs while intended to help people, deplete crucial nutrients in the body. Over time, if you don’t replenish the body, nutrients become seriously depleted and can cause a downhill slide to further health problems.

You may have heard that statin drugs deplete CoQ10. But did you know that statin drugs directly or indirectly deplete nutrients like beta-carotene, B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, folic acid, phosphorous, vitamin A, B12, vitamin E, vitamin K, zinc and vitamin D? Coenzyme Q10 is famous for its role in the mitochondria and for energy production. But minerals and vitamins are necessary for energy production as well, especially magnesium, which is deficient in most Americans and is a major influence on heart function. Think about it, you take statin drugs to reduce cholesterol; but in doing so, you deplete the nutrients that are needed for healthy muscle function. Hmmmm, isn’t the heart a muscle? What could possibly go wrong?

Another group of nutrient depletions are caused by diuretics. It makes sense that diuretics as a group will deplete minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium as forced increased urination is the goal of the drug. Increase urination and you will have a loss of minerals, probably all minerals. However, an important nutrient lost with diuretics is B1. Thiamin (B1) is essential for healthy sugar metabolism. Many people are not aware that B1 is a huge deficiency and should be supplemented with anyone who is taking diuretics.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs are another class of drugs that cause stomach bleeding. In fact over 16,000 people die every year from NSAID use.

Some gastroenterologists are aware of this phenomenon and routinely use a natural supplement by Biotics Research Corporation called Gastrazyme. Gastrazyme supports healing of the GI tract when you are taking NSAIDs for pain. If you take NSAIDs, ask Dr. Godo about Gastrazyme.

NitroGreensOral contraceptives are another class of drugs that deplete nutrients. It is very common for families to take oral contraceptives and plan a pregnancy only to find they can’t conceive. I wonder if maybe it is the lack of depleted nutrients that causes the systemic or metabolic inflammatory problems that prevent conception. It’s very possible. The deficiencies caused by oral contraceptives are beta-carotene, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, folic acid, biotin, vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, tryptophan, and tyrosine.

SSRIs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are antidepressant medications that deplete B6, B12, folic acid, vitamin D and sodium. Even if SSRIs don’t directly deplete essential fatty acids we know that “people who are depressed can benefit from supplementing essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids can help with inflammation and depression.”

Anti-diabetic medication will reduce Coenzyme Q10, folic acid and B12.

Do you take antibiotics frequently? Antibiotics obviously cause a need for flora replacement, but did you know that “antibiotics will cause depletions in biotin, inositol, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 and vitamin K?

The drugs I’ve mentioned and many more create nutrient deficiencies. If your medication was not mentioned, you may find them on the Nutrient Drug Chart. You may be taking one or more prescription drugs. I recommend that you see Dr. Godo and get examined for factors that cause nutrient deficiencies.

If you’ve made the decision to take pharmaceuticals, especially long term, you should at least compensate by supplementing the nutrients that are depleted by these drugs. Foundationally you need to take a quality multivitamin/mineral, balanced essential fatty acids, and an active probiotic.

Talk to Dr. Godo about the medications you take. They can help you replenish vital nutrients necessary for living healthy. Knowing the truth about your prescription drugs is the first step. The next step is doing something about it.

Dr. Jason Godo

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Is Your Brain Shrinking?

“I don’t like the thought of my brain shrinking; but as we age, our brains actually do start to shrink.“

Don’t take this the wrong way but is your brain shrinking? Maybe a better question might be “are you ready for your brain to start shrinking?” because in the elderly, the brain shows progressive atrophy. The atrophy occurs even in healthy cognitive adults. The greater the levels of cognitive decline, the greater the atrophy as seen on MRIs.

However, researchers found an interesting variable, plasma level of homocysteine. Homocysteine is an amino acid synthesized in the blood as the result of a multi-step process. Raised homocysteine is associated with both regional and whole brain atrophy, not only in Alzheimer’s disease but also in healthy adults. 168 participants, 70 years and older, were placed in 2 groups. The treatment group had 85 participants supplemented with the homocysteine lowering B vitamins: folic acid, B12 and B6. 83 remaining participants in the control group received a placebo. Both groups were given MRIs before and after the two year study. The mean rate of brain atrophy after 2 years was 1.08 % for the control group and .76% for the treatment group.

Ouch, I don’t like the thought of my brain atrophying even .76% in a 2 year period. The greatest rate of atrophy was associated with a lower final cognitive test score. In other words, the more your brain atrophies, the lower your ability to think, to remember and problem solve. Elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood have been associated with atherosclerosis, an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, blood clot formation, and Alzheimer’s disease. Elevated levels of homocysteine have also been linked to increased fractures in elderly persons. It appears that reducing homocysteine levels does not affect bone density. In a trial, subjects with prior stroke and elevated homocysteine levels were given folate and B12. There was an 80% reduction in fractures, mainly hip, after 2 years. Interestingly, bone density (and the number of falls) was identical in the vitamin and the placebo groups.

So homocysteine is a marker. No clear data indicates that reducing homocysteine will reverse these conditions. But the results of this study show by using these low dose B vitamins, you can slow down brain atrophy especially in the cases where elevated homocysteine is present. Let’s consider several key points of the study. First, the study took place over 2 years. Nutrients are needed on an ongoing basis to reduce the factors that cause the brain to be inflamed. Next, when plasma levels of homocysteine were greater than 13, treatment results were more dramatic. Most clinicians I know recommend levels of 10 or lower. If your levels of homocysteine rise, it’s an indicator you have a malfunctioning metabolism that is depleted of folic acid, B12, and B6.

Remember we need B12 and folic acid for our genes to work properly. I think of homocysteine as the canary that dies in the coal mine, warning the miners that gases are present. Why should we wait till it hits 13 before we start supplementing? Testing can be done on a regular basis to monitor your progress. Another factor in the study, low doses of nutrients were used yet significant changes were seen.

After reading the results of this study, I remembered that B12-2000 Lozenges from Biotics Research contains all the ingredients used in the study. B12- 2000 Lozenges has been a “go to” supplement I’ve recommended to many patients. People love the cherry taste. B12-2000 contains 800 mcg of folic acid, 2000 mcg of hydroxocobalamin and 2.5 mg of B6. As we age, it’s worthwhile to consider these and other factors that contribute to maintaining our ability to think, remember and problem solve.

Dr. Godo will coach you and give you the direction and encouragement you need. He may also suggest fish oil, reducing both sugar and trans fats, increasing antioxidants, mineral balance to keep heavy metals from accumulating, plant based diets to keep the bowel healthy with the good bacteria. Yep, we are talking about a Wellness life style, a lifestyle with many benefits and that includes a healthy brain. It’s kind of like that commercial we’ve seen for years, “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.” It’s true, no matter who you are or how old you get.