The Medication-Supplement-Food Minefield

Many people don’t realize that the medications prescribed to them by their doctors or other health care providers can seriously deplete the body of essential minerals and vitamins. Often, the only way to replace these lost nutrients is through nutritional supplements or other multi vitamins. Any time you put something into your body, it can affect the way that your body breaks down, digests and absorbs foods that are needed to provide energy and nutrients to every living cell within the human body.
Drug and Nutritional Supplement Interactions

Did you ever wonder why the pharmacist tells you not to eat or drink a certain food while taking medications for various health concerns? That is due to a thing called food-drug interaction. If you eat a certain food while on a specific medication, the food may alter or inhibit the way that drug is designed or supposed to work within your body. A drug-nutrient depletion, however, is where the drug works properly, but the vitamins and nutrients in your food are prevented from being absorbed into the body. This leads to a deficiency in certain minerals and vitamins, and the need for nutritional supplements, if various health concerns are to be avoided

For example, a laxative taken to relieve the symptoms of constipation also decreases the natural absorption of valuable vitamins and minerals released from food by the digestive process. Your constipation might be cured, but with vital nutrients and vitamins being flushed from your system other, unexpected, health concerns may suddenly arise.

However, it is not only heavy duty medications that can cause these nutrient depletions. That little antacid tablet you took a while ago has a component in it that latches onto phosphorus in your food. This prevents the phosphorus from being absorbed by bones, which can result in weak muscles as well as bone tissue problems with extended and regular use. Either cutting back on the antacid tabs, or nutritional supplements containing phosphorus is needed.

Not only do we have food-drug and drug-nutrient interactions, but also nutritional supplement – supplement interactions! Certain vitamins in nutritional supplements won’t be effective, or as effective, unless they’re taken in combination with other vitamins or mineral. A perfect example is the use of Vitamin D, which won’t be absorbed properly by the body unless accompanied by Vitamin C (as a nutritional supplement or otherwise).

It doesn’t matter how “natural” a nutritional supplement or alternative health treatment is, interactions can still occur. Many people taking water pills to lose weight are getting more than they bargained for. Sure, they may not have to deal with fat fingers or sock lines, but at the same time, diuretics like these remove an excess of potassium from the body along with those extra fluids. Potassium is a vital necessity for proper heart function and muscle contractions.
Keep it Safe

When taking any medication, whether it’s prescribed or not, always make sure that you know what it is supposed to do; and how it interacts with your body, your food, or any nutritional supplements/vitamins you may be taking. Using a drug selector will help some people to determine what some medications may do to your body, and ways to prevent such actions from having a detrimental affect on overall health. Information on medication you are taking will help to provide information on the best natural vitamins and nutritional supplements that you can take that won’t negatively affect either the prescribed medication or the course of treatment chosen by your doctor for your specific condition or disease.

While you don’t have to be a chemist or a pharmacologist to know some basics, many people just don’t have the time, or the inclination, to look up information themselves and rely on doctors or pharmacists to tell them exactly what they need to know. However, it’s your body, and you should always know as much as you can about anything you’re putting into it, whether it’s a medication prescribed by your doctor or a nutritional supplement bought on the web. Perhaps one of the best things people taking prescription medication can do is to have nutritional supplements custom made to ensure proper absorption of all necessary vitamins and minerals their bodies need on a daily basis, whether undergoing treatment or merely to enhance physical well being.