- Dr. Kate Henry
Drug-Nutrient Interactions & Tools for Checking
Updated: Mar 15, 2022
Pharmaceutical drugs usually work by doing one of two things
altering enzymatic reactions in our bodies
altering receptor function / sensitivity in our bodies.
These biochemical alterations, in turn, impact the use of enzymatic cofactors like minerals, vitamins, and more.
Most people know of some real-life examples of drug nutrient interactions.
Taking a diuretic for blood pressure could influence the amount of potassium in your blood stream.
Acid-blockers affect the absorption of minerals like calcium and magnesium, and inhibit the absorption of B12.
Oral contraceptives / birth control increase the need for B vitamins and sometimes even tryptophan (via B6 pathways).
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
The smartest way to use pharmaceuticals is to be aware of drug-drug and drug-nutrient interactions that they can cause.
Then, you and your doctor can make a plan to avoid / supplement around them.
Sometimes this is straight forward (take B12 away from your PPI and use a sublingual form). Other times it's more complicated (separate your meds by 4 hours, etc.).
I can help you determine which type of plan you need.
But you don't necessarily need me to get started on this pharmaceutical-optimization journey.
Here are some helpful links that you can use to see if your family members might be at risk for nutrient deficiences based on the medications you are taking.
Bookmark this post so you can come back to these resources as your health needs and prescriptions change. I'll update these links and add more as I find them.
You can take a look and determine for yourself if you or a loved one might be at risk for a nutrient deficiency, and then see if you can find information about how to address it.
If you feel like you need more help, know that every new patient gets a drug-nutrient interaction check when they come to my practice. It's part of doing good medicine, and I've designed my clinic to give me the time to do this for each new client.
I'm here for you and your loved ones.
Pharmaceuticals are an awesome part of modern medicine. By using them wisely and providing your body with the right nutrition to make them work optimally, you can get the most of out them and avoid side effects long-term.