September 2011

As many as 73% of people aged 55-64 take at least one prescription drug.   And as we know, medications produce side effects if we take them long enough.  One of the reasons they produce side effects is because prescription drugs can deplete essential nutrients.

Are you aware that the drugs you are taking are depleting essential nutrients?

Although It’s pretty common knowledge that statin drugs deplete CoQ10, I bet only 5% of the new patients I see that are on statin drugs are supplementing with the CoQ10.  Most people are not aware that statin drugs also directly or indirectly deplete other 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 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, doctors give statins to reduce cholesterol yet statins deplete the nutrients that are needed for healthy muscle function.  (Remember, the heart is a muscle.)

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 we will have a loss of minerals, probably all minerals. However, an important nutrient lost with diuretics is B1. 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.

Let’s look at another class of drugs, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. NSAIDs used for pain and inflammation can cause stomach bleeding. In fact over 16,000 people die every year from NSAID use. Several gastroenterologists are aware of this phenomenon and routinely use a product by to heal the gut as long as patients are using NSAIDs for pain.

Oral 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 often wonder if it is the lack of depleted nutrients that causes the systemic or metabolic inflammatory problems that prevent conception. The deficiencies caused by oral contraceptives are beta-carotene, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, folic acid, biotin, B5, vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, tryptophan and  tyrosine.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs, a type of antidepressant medication, deplete the B vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid. They also deplete vitamin D and sodium. Even if they don’t deplete essential fatty acids directly, we know that anyone who is depressed can benefit as essentials fatty acid have been shown to reduce inflammation.

Antidiabetic medication will also reduce Coenzyme Q10, folic acid and B12. Antibiotics obviously call for a need for flora replacement, but do your patients know that antibiotic use will cause depletions in biotin, inositol, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 and vitamin K?

These and many more drugs are used commonly and cause nutrient depletions. You need to be aware of them and their dangers; and if you take pharmaceuticals, especially long term, you should at least compensate by taking the nutrients that will be depleted by these drugs.

{ 1 comment }

Dr. Chris Heimlich DC, Scottsdale Thyroid Doctor Comments:


I read an article yesterday from Biotics Research that I just have to share.  Many dieters, in their quest to consume fewer calories, often opt to drink diet soda instead of sodas with sugar in them. It turns out that drinking diet soda may not be a very good strategy for losing weight.

Research was performed at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (and presented at the June 25, 2011 American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions) found a connection between diet soda consumption and girth. The researchers monitored 474 subjects between the ages of 65 to 74 years for nearly a decade. They measured the weight, height, and waist circumference of the subjects every 3.6 years. They also kept track of diet soft drink intake.

They found that the weight and waist circumference of the subjects increased proportionally to the amount of diet soda consumed.

“On average, for each diet soft drink our participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41 percent more likely to become obese,” said Sharon Fowler, who was a faculty associate in the division of clinical epidemiology in the Health Science Center’s department of medicine at the time.

The fact that something that does not have any calories can actually cause weight gain may change how we think about calories and weight loss. Another study, presented at the same meeting by Sharon Parten Fowler, Ganesh V. Halade, and Gabriel Fernandes showed a connect ion between aspartame consumption and weight gain in mice. Mice fed food that was high in aspartame (an artificial sweetener sold under the brand name Nutrasweet) actually had higher blood sugar levels than mice not fed aspartame. Fowler postulated that aspartame could trigger an increase in appetite, but it does nothing to satisfy it. It can also interfere with the body’s ability to feel full and can cause overeating. The taste buds may perceive that the drink is sweet, but the brain knows the difference.

One study found that women could not tell the difference between sugar and Splenda in taste tests. When the brain was viewed with functional MRI scans, it was determined that the brain’s reward center responded more completely to sugar than to artificial sweetener.

“Your senses tell you there’s something sweet that you’re tasting, but your brain tells you, ‘actually, it’s not as much of a reward as I expected,’” stated Dr. Martin P. Paulus, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego and one of the authors of the study.

Even if  you don’t have a chronic health problem like Fibromyalgia or Hypothyroidism, you should not be putting artificial sweeteners into your body.


Celiac Disease: A Precursor to Fibromyalgia and Thyroid Dysfunction

September 4, 2011

  Dr. Chris Heimlich DC, Phoenix Metro Area Fibromyalgia Doctor Comments On The Connection Between Celiac Disease and Thyroid Dysfunction … So what do we know for sure? As early as 2003, the Celiac Disease Center at the University of Chicago reported some startling numbers regarding the prevalence of Celiac disease in America. A fact […]

Read the full article →

How Do You Know If You Have An Autoimmune Condition?

September 4, 2011

  Dr. Chris Heimlich DC, Scottsdale Phoenix Metro Area Doctor Shares how to know if you are autoimmune How to know if you are autoimmune? How do you know if you’re autoimmune?  How do you know if your immune system is attacking your body?  We run tests to see if you have an autoimmune thyroid […]

Read the full article →

Hashimoto’s Hypothryoidism – What Are The Treatment Options?

September 3, 2011

  Eighty percent of hypothyroidism in the United States is caused by an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. An autoimmune disease is an illness that occurs when the tissues of your body are attacked by its own immune system. With Hashimoto’s it is the thyroid gland that is under attack. The recent research also shows […]

Read the full article →

If I don’t get the proper Fibromyalgia Treatment, Will It Just Go Away Over Time?

September 3, 2011

  I commonly get asked this question as I am in consultation with a fibromyalgia sufferer. Of course this is usually only asked by the newly diagnosed or those who exhibit mild signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia. Anyone who has suffered with this dreaded condition for any significant period of time will tell you it […]

Read the full article →

A Huge Fibromyalgia Treatment Mistake To Avoid

September 3, 2011

  One of the biggest mistakes I see with patients that are not getting good results from their Fibromyalgia Treatment is thinking that they have had all the correct tests to figure out what is causing the Fibromyalgia Symptoms. Well, usually many of you woman have seemingly had every test done under the sun. Most […]

Read the full article →