Medications and Nutritional Deficiencies

In CategoryHealth News, Pharmacy

Until recently, I’d never really been into “vitamins.” I eat a fairly well rounded diet. OK, I eat a lot of food, and I’m well rounded. I’ve been fortunate to have good health and even better genes. So, like many healthcare professionals, to some extent I probably take for granted the nutritional status of my patients.

I attended a conference a few weeks ago on nutritional and hormone balance in healthy aging, however, and my eyes were really opened to the importance of nutrition in all aspects of health. Often times we as health care professionals give lip service to a healthy diet, or a multivitamin, but don’t spend the time emphasizing specific nutritional changes or needs that can ensure optimal health in our patients.

In all truthfulness, I didn’t learn a lot about nutrition in pharmacy school. I did, however, learn a lot of biochemistry and pharmacology. It turns out that understanding those disciplines is key in understanding the importance of nutrition.

In pharmacy school ,we were forced to memorize mountains of equations and biochemical pathways. To be honest, I figured I would never use that information again. It turns out, understanding those pathways is crucial in understanding nutrition’s role in health. So as I’ve dredged my memory remembering things like the “Kreb’s cycle” or “liver enzymes,” I’ve really gained a new appreciation for our bodies’ reliance on proper nutrition.

So, since I’m a pharmacist, the follow-up question might be as follows: do medications affect our overall nutritional health?

Simply put: Yes! Medications can cause deficiencies of nutrients necessary for the normal functioning of the human body.

One estimate suggests that 25% of all adverse reactions to medications are caused by nutrient depletion!

Medications have great potential to improve our health, cure diseases, and improve our quality of life. However, medicines are rarely “magic bullets.” My high school social studies teacher, Mr. Nakonechny once said “You can figure out how to dig a perfectly square hole, but you still have to find someplace to hide the dirt.” In my next post, we’re going to examine the dirt: several commonly prescribed medications and nutritional depletions they may cause.

If you just can’t wait, feel free to contact us for more information about the importance of recognizing drug-induced nutritional deficiencies and how they can be corrected to achieve wellness.  You can e-mail me at or give us a call at 815-758-0911 or 815-217-3890 for more information!