Magazine article Drug Topics

For Rx-Induced Nutrient Loss, Try Integrative Medicine

Magazine article Drug Topics

For Rx-Induced Nutrient Loss, Try Integrative Medicine

Article excerpt

Nutrient depletions in the body that are caused by prescription medications can be restored by integrating an appropriate repletion formula into the patient's therapeutic regimen. So suggested Derrick DeSilva Jr., M.D., president of the American Nutraceutical Association (ANA).

At the Foundation for Innovation in Medicine's 11th nutraceutical conference, held recently in New York City, DeSilva informed his audience about integrative approaches available for replenishing the nutritional depletions experienced by many patients taking today's Rx medications.

Noting that estrogen replacement therapy is widely prescribed, DeSilva said hormone replacement therapy depletes the body of vitamin B6. This is a deficiency that can contribute to fatigue, increased PMS symptoms, sleep disturbances, and increased homocysteine levels. And as homocysteine levels increase, the risk for heart disease accelerates, he explained.

Estrogen also depletes the body of magnesium. "Eighty-five percent of this country is deficient in magnesium," said DeSilva. When magnesium is depleted, it causes weakening of muscles and nerves, twitching, depression, dizziness, hypertension, heart disease, and cardiac arrhythmias. "With the help of an integrative physician/ pharmacist, therapies like black cohosh, dong quaff, and evening primrose may become part of the therapeutic regimen," he said.

"This is not alternative medicine. This is integrative medicine-a coming together of the best of what we have from both worlds," he emphasized.

When digoxin is taken for arrythmias, he noted, it causes calcium and magnesium depletion. Complications from calcium depletion include osteoporosis, cardiac arrythmias, muscle cramps, tooth decay, and sleep disturbances. He suggested integration of this drug with CoQlO (ubiquinone), an essential nutrient that is also an antioxidant, and red raspberry.

According to DeSilva, beta-blockers deplete the body of CoQlO and exacerbate fatigue, asthma, allergies, respiratory disorders, periodontal disease, and cardiac dysfunction. "CoQlO stabilizes the cell membrane and gives the cell the energy to function. The compliant cardiac rehab patient may go to rehab, get control of his/her risk factors, and then have a heart attack. We forgot about the homocysteine and the depletions," he said.

Potassium supplementation depletes the body of vitamin B12, DeSilva continued. …

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