The side effects of prescription drugs are more insidious than those listed on the side of the box. In fact, common drugs like statins, acid reflux drugs and antidepressants rob your body of the very nutrients you need to have healthy blood cholesterol, easy digestion, and a positive outlook.
Prescription drugs may be the blessing and the curse of our times.
In some situations they can be necessary for restoring health. Unfortunately, in many others, long-term use of prescription drugs -- and their side effects -- cause more harm than good.
But whether you like it or not, you and the people you love are likely to take prescription drugs at some point in your life.
According to the Center for Disease Control, 45% of Americans used a prescription drug in the past month. And over the course of a year, over 2 billion prescriptions are written!1
Still, many people don't know about the real damage that some drugs can do to your overall health, even while they seem to be helping a specific symptom.
One of the most important keys to remember is that drugs make your blood more acidic and when you are on them you must eat a more alkaline diet.
If you must take prescription drugs, we've outlined some common drugs that zap nutrients from your body and the recommend foods and supplements that can counteract the negative side effects.
Drugs: The 5 Worst Offenders
- The Drugs: Cholesterol drugs, also known as statins, including brands like Lipitor, Provacol and Zocor
- The Damage: Statins deplete your body of coenzyme Q10, an essential enzyme that protects your body from heart disease and cancer2,3 and is considered an effective treatment for heart attacks and heart failure. Drug manufacturers know that statins dramatically reduce your body's level of this heart-healthy enzyme but have managed to keep it quiet.
- The Defense: If you take statins, consider taking a hefty coenzyme Q10 supplement. You can get CoQ10 by eating organ meats as well.
- To further reduce your risk for artherosclerosis and heart disease, up your exercise to increase your good cholesterol (HDL) levels. For a dietary approach, read Why the Body Ecology Diet Is Ideal to Lower Cholesterol LDL Levels and Raise HDL Levels.
2. Diabetes Drugs
- The Drugs: Diabetes drugs like Diabinese, Tolinase, and Metformin
- The Damage: Diabetes drugs deplete magnesium and vitamin C, two substances essential for metabolic health.4
The Defense: Avoid Sugar - use Lakanto instead. The Body Ecology System of Health and Healing provides you with a high plant fiber, gluten-free, sugar-free diet that is excellent for anyone with diabetes now or for anyone who wants to prevent it. Research shows that even if you have a genetic tendency toward this disease the right foods can "silence" the gene that causes diabetes.
Fermented foods and probiotic liquids are enzyme-rich, microflora rich, nutrient-dense and are ideal for anyone sensitive to sugar because they negate many of the negative side effects of sugar.
3. Heartburn and Acid Reflux Drugs
The Drugs: Heartburn and acid reflux drugs, including brands like Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec
The Damage: Proton-pump inhibitors that are used to treat acid reflux, heart burn and GERD rob your body of calcium and vitamin B 12.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that "people over age 50 who take the drugs for more than one year have a 44% increased risk of breaking a hip." Higher doses taken for longer periods of time significantly increase the risk.
If you are deficient in vitamin B 12, you could experience symptoms ranging from hair loss, anemia, fatigue, mental confusion to signs of nerve damage such as tingling or numbness. 6
The Defense: Find a colon therapist (see I-ACT.org) and have a series of colon therapy sessions. Follow the Proper Food Combining Rules so that foods are easier to digest. Eat cultured veggies and probiotic liquids.
If you feel you must take an acid reflux or heartburn drugs, increase your intake of magnesium and get outside for some sunshine (a natural source of vitamin D).
Magnesium and vitamin D from the sun both help you build strong bones.
Also have your doctor test your B 12 levels and consider supplementation and some dietary changes. Fortunately, the Body Ecology diet is full of foods rich in B vitamins! Excellent sources of B 12 are fermented foods and drinks and grain-like seeds.
If you have acid reflux or heartburn on a regular basis, read GERD in Children and Adults Part One: The Symptoms and the TRUE Causes to find out more about your condition and the natural steps to treat it.
- The Drugs: Antidepressants, including brands like Prozac and Zoloft
- The Damage: Even researchers use B12 to increase the effectiveness of anti-depressants and recognize that most depressed people are mildly to severely deficient in B vitamins.
- The Defense: Serotonin, the feel good, antidepression brain chemical is actually made down in our gut. So a healthy inner ecosystem is going to help many of us feel much happier. The word "kefir" means "feel good" in Turkish. The Turks have consumed this delicious milk drink for thousands of years and it really does make you feel good. You can make kefir at home in your own kitchen and even use raw or pasteurized milk. It's fun and easy to make.
- Taking a B vitamin supplement enhances the effects of antidepressants and can correct deficiencies that may have triggered your depression in the first place. Donna Gates recommends Max Stress B Nano-Plex by Premier Research. This liquid B vitamin is derived from natural sources,Guess where? Friendly microflora! It tastes great sprinkled into one of our probiotic liquids.
You probably know this already but one of the most efficient ways to get B 12 is to consume fermented foods and drinks. The friendly microorganisms in fermented foods and drinks, like InnergyBiotic, actually manufacture B vitamins right down inside your intestines where they are immediately absorbed.
5. Arthritis Drugs
- The Drugs: Arthritis drugs, like prednisone, and hydrocortisone are often prescribed for inflammatory conditions.
- The Damage: Corticosteroids decrease the absorption of calcium and cause your body to excrete it. They also deplete magnesium, which is vital to absorbing calcium and building bone density.
Corticosteroids are also linked to decreased levels of trace minerals like copper, selenium and zinc.8
- The Defense: Once again a sugar-free, cleansing, nutrient-dense diet coupled with colon therapy should be the first steps to take when arthritic symptoms develop. You can also counteract some of the effects of arthritis drugs with a healthy calcium and magnesium supplement and by eating an alkalizing diet. Eating vegetables that come from the ocean will help you obtain these minerals. Also consider taking Body Ecology's Ocean Plant Extract, which packs the vital nutrients of sea vegetables into an easy supplement.
Is your over-the-counter or prescription drug depleting your body of vital nutrients and trace minerals? Then make sure you replenish those vitamins and minerals with the sea vegetable laminaria Japonica, one of the world's perfect foods. Body Ecology's Ocean Plant Extract is a potent and concentrated source of this amazing sea vegetable. Try
Ocean Plant Extract to enhance your nutrition today.
A Word About Antibiotics and Antifungals
Drugs and Your Diet
Here at Body Ecology, we treat food as medicine and urge you to see how you can heal your body with nutrition, possibly rendering drugs unnecessary. In fact, if you create a hardy inner ecosystem inside your body, you will be establishing the foundation for a strong immune system and a cleaner, less toxic body. Even aging (which is called a disease by some) is slowed down tremendously when you eat the nutrient-dense foods in our amazing system of healing.
Side effects of prescription drugs are a real danger, so if you are taking prescription (and even over-the-counter) drugs, you need to pay extra attention to your diet and colon cleansing. Make sure that you are informed about which nutrients are being depleted so that you can help nourish your body to health.
- Therapeutic Drug Use, CDC.gov. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/drugs.htm
- Wagner, Daniel, "Common Drugs Deplete Nutrients," Alive.com.http://www.alive.com/3761a1a2.php?subject_bread_cramb=181
- Gupta, Chris, "Statin Drugs & Coenzyme Q10 Depletion," NewMediaExplorer.org.
- Gupta, Chris, "Statin Drugs & Coenzyme Q10 Depletion," NewMediaExplorer.org.
- DeNoon, Daniel, "Acid Reflux Drugs May Up Fractures," WebMD.com, 26 Dec 2006.
- Graedon, Joe and Teresa, "Drugs may cause B-12 deficiency," LATimes.com, 13 Mar 2006. http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he-pharmacy13mar13,1,50828.column?coll=la-headlines-health&ctrack=1&cset=true
- Guthrie, Catherine, "Vitamin B for the Blues," NaturalSolutionsMag.com.
- Melitis, Chris, "Nutrition Depletion and ," VRP.com.