Does Medication Rob You Of Vitamins?
Health & Nutrition|HEALTH NOVEMBER-2016

Are your medications causing nutrient deficiency? Long-term doses of certain medications may rob you of calcium, folic acid and crucial B vitamins.

Medications are well-known for causing side effects such as nausea or drowsiness. These are the kinds of side effects you notice and can do something about. But sometimes a lesser known side effect happens without giving you any warning: Nutrient deficiency.

“If your doctor doesn’t tell you that it may be a possibility, or if you’re not reading medical literature to stay up to date, you might not know that some medications can cause nutrient deficiency with long-term use,” says Dr Laura Carr, a pharmacist at Harvard affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

Why It Happens

Dr Carr stresses that using most medications for a short amount of time won’t lead to nutrient deficiency. But long-term use is a different story. In some cases, a drug may interfere with your body’s ability to absorb a nutrient from dietary sources. Such is the case with proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), used to reduce acid reflux and heartburn. PPIs can keep you from absorbing vitamin B12, and low B12 levels in the blood can lead to confusion, muscle weakness and falls.

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