Combating Nutrient Depletion from Medications

  Posted on Nov 21,2016

It’s a little known fact that many prescription and over-the-counter medications cause nutrient depletion.  While prescribers must weigh the potential benefits against side-effects of pharmaceuticals and often deem them worth the risk, those who are quick to grab medications for relief may unknowingly experience significant nutrient depletion.  Today we’re taking a look at the most common nutrient depletion from medications and how to avoid them.

It is estimated that nutrient depletion is responsible for approximately 30% of pharmaceutical side-effects.  The epidemic of nutrient depletion from medications can occur for several reasons.  It is common for some drugs – such as those that address gastrointestinal problems, help lower cholesterol, support weight loss, as well as some antibiotics like tetracycline – to block the absorption of key nutrients.  This happens when nutrients are not absorbed into the bloodstream at all, or when the drug binds to vitamins, minerals or fats preventing these nutrients from being absorbed and metabolized for their vast benefits.  Furthermore, medications can inhibit cells from synthesizing nutrients due to an impact on enzymes and receptors. 

Other pharmaceuticals can cause nutrient depletion through a change of appetite.  Some drugs that treat attention deficit disorder and depression are known to suppress the appetite, which prevents patients from consuming enough food to achieve the daily recommendations of specific nutrients.  Other drugs have the opposite effect.  That is, they increase one’s appetite or cravings for unhealthy foods such as fats and simple carbohydrates.  Many steroids, some contraceptives, antidepressants and anti-psychotic medications can have this effect.  Also, drugs that have a diuretic effect such as many that treat hypertension can cause water-soluble nutrient depletion through urination.

Below is a chart providing common nutrient depletions for specific drug categories: 



Nutrients That May Be Depleted


Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin K

Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug

(e.g. Ibuprofen)

Iron, Folic Acid, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C



Oral Contraceptives

Zinc, B-Vitamins, Magnesium

Proton Pump Inhibitors (e.g. Omeprazole)

Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Iron, Folic Acid, Calcium


Vitamin E, Folic Acid




Chromium, Zinc, Magnesium, Calcium, Folic Acid, Potassium, Vitamin D


Nutrient depletion from medications often goes undiagnosed because patients may be unaware that drugs are “robbing” them on essential vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and other vital nutrients their bodies need to thrive.  When negative side-effects arise, often patients and prescribers alike believe they are symptoms of the original health concern.  For these reasons, nutrient depletion is a vicious cycle that can lead to serious health concerns if left untreated. 

Combating nutrient depletion from medications can be tackled on several levels.  First, taking a natural daily supplement may help you avoid many future health issues.  Natural multi-nutrient supplements like Moringa Oleifera may be one of the best forms of preventative healthcare.  Moringa supports full-body health because it contains potent antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids that help sustain heart, brain, immune, emotional and physical health, among other areas of the body. 

Next, opting for natural nutraceuticals when they may help you avoid pharmaceuticals is always preferred.  Natural nutritional supplements like the wholesome superfood Moringa can be incredible at addressing a variety of health concerns without resorting to prescription or OTC medications.  Always express your interest in all-natural nutraceuitcals when they are a viable option for your symptoms.

When pharmaceuticals are required based on your individual health outlook, become knowledgeable and vigilant about potential nutrient depletion.  Research and discuss with your prescriber common nutrients depleted by the recommended medications and how to combat them.  Your prescriber may recommend dietary alterations or supplementation to incorporate certain nutrients.  Moringa is also a wonderful natural supplemental way to add depleted nutrients into your diet, either though daily Moringa capsules, Moringa tea or Moringa powder.  The nearly 100 phyto-nutrients in Moringa help boost nutrition in areas that often suffer due to medications.

Nutrient depletion from medications is a common dietary and health problem.  Take control of your health by first seeking all-natural nutraceuticals.  When prescription or OTC medication is necessary and you experience side-effects, consider whether nutrient depletion can be the culprit.  Natural supplements like Moringa may be the best way to combat nutrient depletion from medications.