Sometimes I read journal articles implying that vitamins are harmful. Then the media spins out of control with headlines about our God-given nutrients, and how they could hasten our death. The naive public (their target audience) is suddenly afraid, rushing into the arms of tested and FDA approved – so, therefore, they have to be GOOD for you – pharmaceuticals. This kind of marketing is ludicrous.
Many Americans today are savvy and understand that micronutrients are not harmful, nor are they an option. They are absolutely essential to good health!
Let’s take a step back now, and just consider the bigger picture. Aside from our essential oxygen and water, there are two other ingredients to life, the macronutrients, and the micronutrients. The macronutrients are large (hence “macro”) and you need larger amounts of them to cross a threshold and give you energy. These include healthy fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Under the specific heading of “protein”, you need amino acids including arginine, glycine, proline, leucine, tyrosine, and threonine. There are others, but again these amino acids are building blocks to create the larger protein molecules.
The micronutrients include vitamins and minerals, and we reduced amounts or even “micro” amounts of these. But we DO need them. That is contrary to what you may think, especially because older practitioners seemed to think that vitamins “make expensive urine.” To that, I say YES they do if you are taking cheap, poor forms of vitamins. Not only will your bargain supplement give you “expensive urine” but it can very well cause kidney stones, liver compromise and worst of all, block you from absorbing real authentic nutrients (from food) because the cheap form is sitting there occupying your receptor sites. Case in point, folic acid blocking your ability to absorb natural methylfolate. For more on that read my article, Medicine Messes Up Your Methylation.
Do you honestly deep-down think vitamins and minerals are bad for you?
By that token, you would have to believe that eating vegetables, fruits, and nuts are bad too because they contain the same nutrients as those proposed to be deadly in this study! It’s the vitamins and minerals that actually drive and run your biochemical processes.
You need vitamin C and folate to create dopamine, not an antidepressant drug. The catalysts to make “happy” dopamine happen are natural vitamin C and natural folate, not Zoloft and Wellbutrin.
You need B complex to improve methylation function as well as nourish your adrenal glands, stimulants like methylphenidate or Provigil crank you up for sure, make you feel good but they don’t nourish tired, worn-out adrenals.
You need selenium to improve thyroid function, especially if you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Selenium is also helpful for male sexual function. No amount of Viagra will improve the metabolic and physiologic processes that must occur for healthy sexual function in the way that selenium (and other minerals and vitamins) help.
You need calcitriol (from vitamin D) to help with T cell production and function. No anti-viral, antibiotic or antimalarial drug will improve immune function in the way that D does. (Of course there are other great immune boosters, but you get my point … drugs aren’t the thing that runs your system, natural nutrients are – and spoken with tongue in cheek – these natural entities are not FDA approved for the purposes of disease, good luck gettin’ em approved. 😉
All kidding aside, I want you to know that high-quality vitamins like the professional-grade sort are always produced in FDA-approved lab settings, but still, they are not FDA-approved for use in disease with the exception of 3 or 4 high dose vitamins (Deplin for example).
Vitamins and minerals help fill a nutritional gap. Your cells are hungry for nutrients. They make all your biochemical reactions go off without a hitch. Millions of people are taking medications, even over-the-counter ones, that steal their nutrients. That’s when supplementation becomes important. If you have been diagnosed with a disorder, please consider if you are missing a micronutrient before you start that expensive prescription. I’m trying to save you hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars over the years.
I’m trying to save you grief and suffering in the form of uncomfortable, unwanted side effects. I’m referring to the “drug mugging” effect where drugs mug your body of vital nutrients. This is covered in my book, Drug Muggers, where I told you what vitamins and minerals to take if you use a particular medication. Thousands of medications are listed there, and the book is in numerous languages. Now, let’s take a look at what so-called “diseases” you may have been diagnosed with, that you may not even have! You better sit down for this:
Backaches, muscle spasms, fibromyalgia.
It could be a deficiency of CoQ10 which will make your muscles hurt. Cholesterol drugs, especially the statins (as well as red yeast rice) will deplete levels. So will Mepron (atovaquone) and Malarone, two drugs commonly used for Babesia infections, related to Lyme. To read my article on that, click here: If you think Lyme is bad, meet BABESIA!
Depression, osteoporosis or irregular heartbeat.
It could be caused by a deficiency of the mineral magnesium. Common drug muggers include synthetic female hormones (think oral contraceptives or menopause medications and yes, even the intra-vaginally applied meds), diuretics, raloxifene, tea/coffee, anti-inflammatories and aspirin (enteric-coated or chewable). If you have been searching for a form of magnesium that is easy on the tummy, and clinically proven to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, try my own powdered formula called MagFocus. If you have constipation and need a form of magnesium that helps relieve it, stick to something like Magnesium Citrate, sold from various sellers and at health food stores nationwide. (I never recommend magnesium chloride or aspartate).
Leg cramps, muscle aches, memory loss, Alzheimer’s, dementia or fatigue.
Maybe a deficiency of Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 for short. Ubiquinol is the more biologically active form and that is fine to take as well, I often recommend it. This life-sustaining antioxidant gets demolished by hundreds of medications, including statin cholesterol drugs, metformin, anti-depressants, beta-blockers, and diuretics.
Heart palpitations, thudding or chest pain.
It could be a deficiency of potassium from a diuretic like furosemide, or even acetazolamide (Diamox) used to reduce high intracranial pressure from encephalopathy or high altitude sickness.
Digestive troubles, any sort.
You have to consider your microbiome, your probiotics. Every drug you put into your mouth has the capacity to kill healthy intestinal bacteria. So if you take oral medications, the place to start is with probiotics. There are many good brands on the market, the one I take every day (and represent) is Dr. Ohhira’s probiotic.
Bald patches, loss of taste or smell, erectile dysfunction, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or chronic diarrhea.
It might be zinc deficiency. Common drug muggers are anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, antacids, ulcer or heartburn medications, diuretics and estrogen drugs used for birth control and menopause.
Elevated homocysteine, cataracts, macular degeneration, liver problems.
It could be tied to low glutathione, a powerful antioxidant needed to detoxify poisons in your body. Acetaminophen is a possible drug mugger of glutathione, most people supplement with NAC (N-acetylcysteine) or liposomal glutathione or SAG (S-acetylglutathione).
It could be tied to folate depletion which is mugged by Celebrex (celecoxib) and Coumadin (warfarin). Supplementing with folic acid doesn’t help, it’s actually possible that “folic acid” tablets might make you worse, you would need natural methylfolate since that is what your cell receptor sites understand and recognize. Methylfolate is found in leafy greens.
It could be tied to low selenium, a mineral needed to help you make thyroid hormone (along with iodine) and to help activate your hormone to a body-ready form. Acid blockers, corticosteroids, and statin cholesterol drugs are culprits. The topic of the thyroid is huge, and I would be remiss to not mention to new visitors that I have an excellent, easy to read the book on this topic called Thyroid Healthy – Lose Weight, Look Beautiful and Live the Life You Imagine.
Fatigue, peripheral neuropathy, depression, anemia, weight gain.
This could be related to a deficiency of B vitamins and it is usually all the Bs not just one or two of them. Your stash gets depleted by female hormones (menopause and birth control), antacids, ulcer meds, diuretics, raloxifene, cholestyramine, diabetic drugs, tea/coffee. A B complex supplement is usually enough, and less expensive than buying riboflavin, methylfolate, methylcobalamin, niacin and the rest of the gang. These are sold at health food stores and pharmacies nationwide, or you can check out my own biologically active (methyl friendly) B vitamin Complex.
Do you take acetaminophen every day? It steals glutathione, so a precursor-like NAC (N-acetylcysteine) may be needed.
It’s not just about the drug-nutrient depletion effect.
Let’s take a look at how other micronutrients prevent disease based on solid clinical trials:
• Vitamin B complex was associated with a 7% reduction in mortality
• Vitamin C was associated with a 4% reduction in mortality
• Vitamin D was associated with an 8% reduction in mortality
• Magnesium was associated with a 3% reduction in mortality
• Selenium was associated with a 3% reduction in mortality
• Zinc was associated with a 3% reduction in mortality
What about CoQ10?
This is a very common deficiency. You make this in your liver. Statin cholesterol drugs rob you of this! In fact, eating a lot of junk food can waste your CoQ10 too. Luckily, you can buy CoQ10. It may come as a shock, but I want you to know that CoQ10 deficiencies can contribute to (if not lead to) congestive heart failure. Some people suffer through invasive cardiac procedures without relief, and it could be as simple as restoring CoQ10. You can evaluate your levels through micronutrient testing.
If you read this and just said “Aha,” then get approval from your doctor to supplement, or order “micronutrient” testing, which can get pricy. I don’t typically recommend testing but maybe that’s because I just know what nutrients are missing based upon the medication you take, combined with your clinical presentation. Still, many people (and physicians) like to test and you can ask your physician for Genova’s “Optimal Nutritional Evaluation” or ONE test. They will have to fax or call and sign up as a provider for Genova, and then order the test kit. Most doctors can do this but it takes time. Once the test kit arrives at the office, your doctor will fill out the requisition form, then you go to the office, pick up the kit and filled out a requisition, and do your urine test (it is not blood). Then you send it in and wait for results. I have another way for you to take Genova’s ONE test is order it yourself from Direct Labs, because I am a provider for them.
Buying like this (direct-to-consumer) through my link gets you a big discount (retail $1,271.00) compared to 699.00 (told you it was not cheap!). Anyway, after receiving the test kit to your home, you do the urine test as instructed and mail in your sample via FedEx pre-paid envelope (you don’t pay for that) and in fact, FedEx comes to your doorstep to pick it up. Look below to see a screenshot of how the report looks when the results come in.
This is from Genova ONE urine test (Optimal Nutritional Evaluation). Again, I’m not telling you that you need this, but it’s available, we have the technology and I’m certain that some of you will insist upon testing rather than supplementing with an educated guess. I totally understand, so in summary, I’m providing two options for you (have doctor arrange your testing, or just buy the test directly). Here’s what it looks like.
Testing or no testing, the fact is restoring nutrients for pennies a day is an easy way to get your life back!
If you decide to wait and see if I’m right (and not replenish what the drug mugger is stealing), then expect these so-called side effects to get diagnosed as a new disease. You’ll get on a medication merry-go-round, a hard ride to get off!
If you have any comments, leave them below in my forum. If you have a question about whether a drug you take is mugging you, I answer those questions in my best-selling book on drug-nutrient depletions. This is where you can look up your medicine by name, and find out which nutrients it mugs. Most drugs steal more than one nutrient. Here’s the link: Drug Muggers, Which Medications are Robbing Your Body of Essential Nutrients and Natural Ways to Restore Them.
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.