Pharmacy: Many medications rob the body of vitamins

HealthMedicinePharmaceutical IndustryHeart DiseaseDiseases and IllnessesTulsa

Q: I heard you in a radio interview talking about medications and how they rob the body of vitamins. I take furosemide and ibuprofen. Are these meds considered "drug muggers"? If so, what vitamins do they rob? -- W.I., Tulsa, Oklahoma

A: Medications have always been capable of depleting our body's stores of vital life-sustaining nutrients, but the news is just getting out. A common example is with antibiotics, which are drug muggers for natural, healthy flora in the gut. Most of you know that eating yogurt, or supplementing with L. acidophilus or S. boulardii will restore gut integrity.

It's also fairly well-known these days that statin cholesterol reducers (Lipitor, Mevacor, Zocor, Advicor) deplete the body of Coenzyme Q10. This can cause muscle aches, cramps, weakness and heart disease, among other things.

Other drug muggers exist -- hundreds, in fact.

Ibuprofen and aspirin are both drug muggers for folic acid (5-MTHF). When you run low on folic acid, you raise bad homocysteine, and reduce happy brain chemicals, increasing your risk for cancer, depression and heart disease.

Furosemide (Lasix) is a drug mugger of Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine or P5P).

Some laxatives and antacids are drug muggers for calcium, and most blood pressure pills are drug muggers for magnesium.

Suzy Cohen writes for Tribune Media Services Inc.

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