Prescription Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion.

 Michael Grant White

In 2000 I found my mom in a rest home in Bradenton Florida on 29 medications. She did not recognize her only son.  Moved her up to Waynesville, NC where they treat people like humans,  not guinea pigs.

There are over 500 studies reporting drug induced to nutrient depletion's which have been published in nearly 100 different medical journals over the past 50 years and although these studies get published, they very seldom get published to physicians; and most physicians don't take the time to get through the scientific literature to log in these studies.  Although this information is well organized in Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD’s handbook titled Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion it is a book most physicians do not have a copy, and many are not aware or only minimally aware of this body of knowledge. “Virtually all major classes of drugs, which include both prescription medication and over the counter drugs, cause nutrient depletion” Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD.

Pharmaceutical companies have enormous financial resources, but they are not interested in spending their money to fund a study that will announce to the world that their new drug is causing nutrient depletions.

Drugs are often on the market for a number of years before side effects, especially those caused by drug induced nutrient depletions, begin to surface, and get reported. Hence there is frequently a time lag before side DRUG INDUCED NUTRIENT DEPLETION effects began to develop .

I hope that one day, government authorities and or politicians will recognize the importance and seriousness of this topic and mandate that part of the FDA's New Drug Approval (NDA) process would require/demand that drug companies research and report on the drug induced nutrient depletions that their drug causes, however, due to the well known cozy relationship between drug companies and the FDA, I doubt this will happen in my or my son’s lifetime.

Factory farming, Fast and Processed foods, Polypharmacy (using 5 or more prescription drugs), Environmental: 85,000 toxic chemicals are approved for use in the USA and the vast majority have not been tested for toxicity.

Microbiome Disrupting Drugs
Is at last getting its much overlooked and deserved attention.  
Certain type of Drugs that disrupt the microbiome can also cause nutrient depletion because certain strains of probiotic bacteria synthesize the vitamins, vitamin K and various amino acids.

Antibiotics and acid suppressing medications and antacids create amore alkaline microbiome ecosystem which inhibits the growth of probiotic bacteria and promotes the growth of pathogens.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) inhibit prostaglandins where the protective mucosal layer of probiotics live. They destroy the home where the probiotics live.

Statins. Gastrointestinal side effects such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation are common.

Opioids. Can cause Constipation, bloating, nausea, vomiting and intestinal permeability aka leaky gut.   

Atypical antipsychotics. Drug induced obesity and changes in the gut microbiome.

Chemotherapy And radiation. Chemotherapy dysbiosis may well be a primary cause of the drug and radiation side effects.

Metformin. May cause beneficial changes. Lots still to learn about its pros and cons.

CoQ10 is one of the biggest losers. This is what I take.

Why doesn't my doctor know about this? Why didn’t my doctor tell me about this? Like the ads say “’Ask your doctor”. LOL

Scientific literature recognizes that prescription medication can alter the way our bodies use nutrients, therefore, we must find a way to reduce the side effects and counter the negative long-term effects of medications through natural means.

For instance, birth control pills reduce the uptake of folic acid and we know that a folic acid depletion in women of child bearing age can lead to disastrous effects for an unborn child (spina bifida being the most known). To counter this, every woman taking birth control pills should also take a supplement of folic acid. This is now widely accepted.

Another good example is cholesterol lowering drugs. The statins (a class of heart drugs), apart from lowering cholesterol levels, reduce coenzyme Q10 synthesis and coQ10 deficiency is associated with a higher incidence of heart failure. (How strange, to reduce one heart disease risk factor to increase another!) But a supplement of coQ10 could correct this threat.

A last example to prove the point is estrogens, prescribed to relieve menopause symptoms and prevent osteoporosis. But estrogens also affect the uptake of magnesium from the diet! To build strong bones (not to mention relieving nocturnal leg cramps) we need magnesium how many women on hormones do you know that complain of leg cramps? Those cramps could be prevented by a simple addition of magnesium.

There are many other examples of drug-induced nutritional deficiency being connected with dietary supplements.

If you’re taking drugs be aware of the side effects and counteract them with essential nutrients in supplement form that will help the body heal!

The scientific data concerning drug-induced nutrient depletion has been collected into a book written by two American pharmacists: Ross Pelton and James B. Lavalle. The Nutritional Cost of Prescription Drugs is published by Morton Publishing Co. It’s easy to read and answers all drug and nutrient related questions.

Drug Depletion Chart


Drug CategoryNutrients DepletedHealth Risks
Blood PressureCoenzyme Q10,
Magnesium, Vitamin B6
Vitamin C, Zinc


Vitamin B1
Folic acid*
Increased risk of heart disease, lower energy
Lowered immunity, slow healing

Depression, memory loss
Heartbeat irregularity, fatigue
Osteoporosis, tooth decay
Birth defects, anemia

Antacids, Upset Stomach, Ulcer and Intestinal Cramps

Vitamin D, Calcium

Vitamin B12


Folic acid


Increased risk of osteoporosis

Increased risk of heart disease

Fatigue, anemia

Birth defects, anemia, heart disease

Lowered immunity, slow wound healing

CholesterolCoenzyme Q10Increased risk of heart disease, low energy, suppressed immune system

Coenzyme Q10

Vitamin B2

Increased risk of heart disease, fatigue, suppressed immune system
Disorders of the skin, eye and nerves

Vitamin B1, B2, Niacinamide, B6, B12,
and Biotin

Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium bifidum

Vulnerability to physical and emotional stress causing sleep disturbances and skin disorders

Poor digestion and nutrient absorption, diarrhea, suppressed immune system

Arthritis or Pain Relief
(including aspirin and ibuprofen)

Vitamin C, Zinc,
Vitamin D, Calcium

Folic acid

Depressed immune system, slow wound healing
Increased risk of osteoporosis
Increased risk of heart disorders, osteoporosis
Irregular heartbeat, fatigue
Birth defects, anemia
Anemia, fatigue

Birth Control


Vitamin B2
Vitamin B6, B12

Vitamin C, Zinc

Folic acid

Increased risk of osteoporosis
and heart disease
Skin, eye and nerve disorders Increased risk of heart disease, fatigue
Lower immunity, slow wound healing
Birth defects, anemia

Vitamin B6



Increased risk of cardiovascular disease, depression, sleep disturbances
Cardiovascular problems, increased risk of osteoporosis
Lower immunity, slow wound healing


*While some blood pressure prescriptions deplete folic acid, potassium and calcium, it is not advisable to take these nutrients with certain types of blood pressure prescriptions. Therefore, they are not recommended.

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Michael Grant White