The worldwide struggles with infection have caused enormous public health problems and substantial mortality, so it is important that vulnerable groups of people know the information that I’m sharing today.
If you’ve followed my life’s work, you know that one of my passions is the phenomena of drug nutrient depletion. This describes how medications rob the body of essential nutrients via their mechanism of action. It’s something I call the “drug mugger” effect, and I have a book by the same name. [Drug Muggers sold HERE]
The classic example that everyone understands is with antibiotics. These drugs will rob the body of essential microflora in the intestines because they cannot discriminate between good “bugs” and bad ones. Another classic example is with oral contraceptives which mug you of various B vitamins and minerals, leading to a higher risk of hypothyroidism.
Today’s article is to explain the relationship between certain prescribed medications and complications that arise from the depletion of essential nutrients. That said, you should never discontinue a medication simply because it is suppressing a particular nutrient. Instead, you should install a security system in your body by simply taking the nutrients that are being mugged. This allows you to remain on your medication, while mitigating side effects that would have occurred if you didn’t restore the nutrients being stolen.
In the case of C*V1D – 19 it has been shown that specific nutrients support one’s immunity, and the partial list includes zinc. But if you are taking one of the dozens of medications that depletes this nutrient, it’s fair to say that you might be at higher risk for lung complications, specifically pneumonia. Zinc is not the only nutrient either. I’m just listing it now as my first so we can elaborate together. You may not realize this, but two major categories of medication can suppress zinc in the human body.
1. Antihypertensives to lower blood pressure
2. Acid blockers used for GERD, heartburn, and ulcers
The aforementioned drug categories (and dozens of other medications) can negatively influence the status of zinc in your body which participates in hundreds of important metabolic reactions including those which allow you to hear well, have lovely skin, and improve fertility. But as it pertains to immune function, and lung complications, it is fair to say this: When zinc levels decline it impairs one’s immunity, and lowers your resistance to pathogens. There are several studies showing that people with C*V1D – 19 infections that were also zinc deficient, didn’t do so well. (Selenium was another nutrient studied for beneficial effects.) Zinc deficiencies also suppress your ability to do good cellular housekeeping because you can’t effectively make glutathione anymore in your liver. So one way to better zinc levels is through eating. Foods that are rich in zinc include beef, dairy, oysters, seafood, whole grains and nuts/seeds.
Several other micronutrients are important and these include vitamin D, vitamin C and probiotics. Malnutrition, medications and/or a diet consisting of nutritionally naked foods will lead to deficiencies in all of these.
Medications which impact levels of the nutrients are vast, too many to list here. Here are the most important and surprising categories of medications that reduce micronutrients. I’ve also included a few lifestyle factors that you can control:
Zinc – Acid blockers, Antihypertensives, Corticosteroids, Excessive Calcium, Coffee and Smoking
Vitamin D – Antacids, Cholesterol binders, Anticonvulsants, Kidney Damage and Lack of Sunlight
Vitamin C – Anti-hypertensives, Aspirin, Corticosteroids, Hormones and SERMs
Probiotics – Antibiotics, Estrogen containing drugs, Acid blockers and NSAIDs
For a comprehensive list of each nutrient, and all the drug muggers, please refer to my book by the same name. It is sold nationwide at book stores, as well as Amazon.
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.