Nonprescription Drugs That Deplete Important Nutrients, Part 1 – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 482
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Nonprescription Drugs That Deplete Important Nutrients, Part 1 – InViteⓇ Health Podcast, Episode 482
Hosted by Jerry Hickey, Ph.
InVite Health Podcast Intro: Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, where our degreed healthcare professionals are excited to offer you the most important health and wellness information you need to make informed choices about your health. You can learn more about the products discussed in each of these episodes and all that InViteⓇ Health has to offer at www.invitehealth.com/podcast. First time customers can use promo code PODCAST at checkout for an additional 15% off your first purchase. Let’s get started!
Jerry Hickey, Ph.: You could walk into a grocery store and buy drugs without a prescription. There’s a lot of drugs like that: drugs for pain, drugs for an upset stomach, drugs for… laxatives, constipation treatment. And what you’re not told is these drugs can really deplete you of common nutrients.†
So welcome to the fifth installment in my series of drug-induced nutrient depletions. This time we’re talking about nonprescription medication, which is also called over-the-counter medication, medication you can sometimes buy at a gas station store, and the important nutrients they deplete. Thanks for tuning in today to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast. You can find all of our episodes for free wherever you listen or visit invitehealth.com/podcast. Please subscribe and leave us a review. You can also follow us on Metaverse, Twitter and Instagram @invitehealth and the information on this episode is linked at the episode description, so let’s get going.†
We already did a podcast episode on NSAID drugs. I did that about a month ago. NSAID drugs include Advil and Aleve and how there are problems with nutrients such as folate and iron and Vitamin C, so I’m not going to discuss that today. We did an entire podcast on it.†
But let’s talk about acetaminophen, which is also called Tylenol. If you’re in Europe, they have a cousin of Tylenol that’s called Panadol, a very commonly used prescription drug in Europe. Acetaminophen is commonly used for pain, even arthritis pain. It works pretty well. It’s used for fevers. It depletes two very important nutrients. One of them is glutathione. Glutathione is an enzyme system antioxidant that works for about 24 hours, so it’s a very important nutrient in the body. It protects your brain. It’s a very powerful antioxidant. It protects your brain. It protects your eyes. It protects your heart. It protects your kidneys and liver. It protects your muscles. I mean, it’s just really important all over the body and the amount of glutathione can vary from person to person. And glutathione protects you from energy utilization. When you eat food and breathe in oxygen, a byproduct of that is peroxides. Peroxides are solvents, they’re toxins. They’re free radical generators and they can kill your cells. So glutathione is there to break down peroxides. That’s one of the free radicals it neutralizes. And there’s evidence that people who lack glutathione in the eye, they have a higher risk of eye diseases such as cataracts. People who lack glutathione in general, pollution is more dangerous to them. Cigarette smoke is more dangerous to them. Glutathione is incredibly important for protecting the liver and there’s been studies showing that drugs that can hurt the liver, sometimes it’s simply because they deplete the body of glutathione. You could take glutathione, but you need to take a lot of it because it’s very poorly absorbed. It’s a big molecule. It’s a tripeptide. It’s made out of three amino acids. But it’s… you’re probably better off taking NAC (N-acetyl cysteine), the stabilized version of the amino acid cysteine. N-acetyl cysteine is very easily converted into glutathione and it’s not expensive, it’s readily available and it works. So if you’re taking acetaminophen, you should be taking something to promote glutathione production, otherwise you could have issues. You’ll age at a more rapid rate.†
Now, the other thing that acetaminophen lowers is your level of ubiquinol, which is the active version of coenzyme Q10. That’s very bad for your muscles. It’s not as big a depletion as you would see with some statin drugs like atorvastatin or simvastatin, but it is a depletion. And without ubiquinol, your muscles have less endurance. You might even have less strength. But think of your most important muscle, your heart. Your heart really depends on ubiquinol so it can beat like 80 times a minute or 120 times a minute when you’re exercising, for most people. As you grow older, you have less and less ubiquinol and also diabetics are very poor at converting regular CoQ10 into ubiquinol. So if you’re on Tylenol consistently, not if you take it once in a while, but if you’re on it consistently, if you’re on acetaminophen consistently, you really need to take some ubiquinol and you really need to pay attention to your glutathione. And like I said, it’s simple, just take NAC.†
What about antacids? There’s a whole bunch of them: Maalox, Mylanta, Gaviscon, Amphojel, Basojel. They use them for heartburn, upset stomach, gassiness and bloating. They deplete your beta carotene. Now, beta carotene is found in vegetables and the body uses beta carotene to make skin and the lining of your intestines and the lining of your blood vessels, etc. But beta carotene is also needed by the immune system and beta carotene is also needed for your vision. You can get natural beta carotene in supplements. Don’t get the synthetic, it doesn’t seem to work as well.†
Folate… antacids inhibit folate. We just spoke about folate recently. I was doing a podcast episode recently on metformin, a diabetes drug, that also depletes folate. So folate is needed to lower homocysteine. Homocysteine is an intermediary in protein metabolism. It’s not what the body is trying to make, but its level can increase if you lack folate. Homocysteine could be toxic to your bones. It could hollow out your bones a little bit and contribute to bone loss with aging. Homocysteine is toxic to the heart if you have other issues to the heart, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, and also, if your homocysteine goes up, it could be pretty dangerous for the heart. It could be involved with developing hardening of the arteries, where your blood vessels in your heart, which are already smaller than other blood vessels, are thickening and stiffening, and of course, this can lead to really scary circumstances, like a heart attack or a stroke. But homocysteine in the brain is really toxic. It can contribute to depression. It can contribute to brain shrinkage, which occurs with aging anyway, but it can strongly contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. So if you’re on an antacid consistently, once again, it’s not using it once in a while, but if you’re consistently using an antacid like Maalox or Mylanta, you need to get some natural beta carotene. You need to get folate and the best form of folate, cause some people have trouble getting the synthetic folic acid and converting it into the active form of folate, would be methyltetrahydrofolate.†
Antacids also deplete you of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is needed just for muscle strength, the health of your teeth, the health of your bones, the health of your brain, lowering your risk of cancer, helping you survive cancer, immune system function, protecting your lungs from your own immune system and from infections. So lacking Vitamin D is a terrible thing, so if you’re consistently using an antacid, you need Vitamin D.†
But also bone minerals: calcium and magnesium. Calcium and magnesium are both intimately involved with creating energy out of food. There’s little powerplants that create energy in your body. They’re called mitochondria. They will not work if you lack calcium. It’s at the core of triggering these mitochondria to convert sugar from food into energy. But the other thing is, that energy that’s produced is something called ATP, it’s a nucleotide. The ATP is very unstable. You need magnesium attached to it so you have a stable source of energy. So depleting calcium and magnesium with an antacid is bad for your energy, which is bad for everything else in your body, of course, because everything follows suit from that. But it’s bad for your bones. Calcium makes the collagen in your bones harden to bone and magnesium seals the calcium to the bone, so lacking magnesium or calcium is terrible for your bones. But you also need both of them for the rhythm of your heart and for blood pressure control. So, if you’re on an antacid, you need calcium and magnesium more than likely.†
You need chromium. Chromium is one of the nutrients that interact with glutathione and Vitamin B3 to hold insulin onto the cell so you don’t have diabetes or prediabetes. So if you lack chromium, you have problems with your blood sugar. And, in fact, they’ve shown that diabetics need a lot more chromium than the general public. Someone else who needs more chromium than the general public are elite athletes. The general public, 200mcg of chromium every day is sufficient for their blood sugar needs. Athletes lose chromium in their urine and they need about 400mcg a day, where diabetics need about 1000mcg a day to get any benefit out of it.†
With antacids, you lose iron, because the iron gets bound into the antacid. You need iron for everything. I mean, you need iron for the brain to work. You need iron to protect the brain cause iron is converted into neuroglobin in the brain that protects the brain. We need iron for muscle energy. Iron is converted into myoglobin in the muscles, so you can’t use oxygen in the muscles without iron. In the body, it’s hemoglobin. That’s the red stuff in your blood cells that carries oxygen, so without iron, obviously you’re gonna be fatigued. And women, if they’re just a little lacking in iron, we’re not talking about anemia, they can have a real drop in their strength, their endurance and they can’t work out or anything. So you need a little bit of iron if you’re on an antacid.†
Iron is also core to antioxidant production. There’s a powerful antioxidant called catalase. When you use sugar and oxygen for energy, a byproduct is peroxide. Catalase breaks peroxides down into oxygen and water, which, of course, the body needs. And one molecule of catalase is said to convert a million molecules of peroxide into oxygen and water. So if you’re low in catalase, one of the places it’s really bad for is the liver, cause catalase is super high energy in the liver, cause the liver does so many jobs. So, if you lack iron, you don’t have catalase. Also, if you don’t have iron, your immune system won’t work. You’ll get every infection in the world. Every cold that comes by, you’ll get, cause the immune system uses iron to kill viruses. How do you know you’re lacking in iron? Well, I mean, you can look at your palm. In your palm, you see the red stuff. That’s your blood, that’s your hemoglobin. You can look at your lips, if they’re pale, but also if you get sick really easily with a cold. That’s a sign you lack iron. So if you’re on antacids consistently, you probably need some iron.†
Zinc. Zinc does so many things. You need zinc to see. You need zinc for protecting your brain. Zinc interacts with an antioxidant called superoxide dismutase to shield the brain. You need zinc for the immune system. Immune cells are not made and they don’t work without zinc, including your antibodies against specific infections. But you also need zinc to protect your organs from your own immune system during an infection. Zinc is also needed to keep your arteries in your heart clean. Zinc is needed by the pancreas to control your blood sugar. It interacts with Vitamin D and magnesium to control your blood sugar. Zinc is needed by the pancreas to release enzymes to digest your food. Zinc is needed for your thyroid to function for metabolism. Zinc is needed for healing, so if you lack zinc, you’re in trouble. So if you’re constantly on an antacid, you need some zinc. And phosphorous, but phosphorous is all over your food, so we don’t worry about that. If you’re on an antacid, you need beta carotene, folic acid, Vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, chromium, iron and zinc.†
Aspirin. I mean, you know what you use aspirin for. They use a low-dose aspirin to help prevent a second heart attack. They use aspirin for fevers, some pain and inflammation, but only in adults. If you give aspirin to an infant or a young child and they have certain viruses, it’s incredibly dangerous. They could develop something called Reye’s syndrome, so you never give aspirin to a kid. But for adults, even low-dose aspirin… they used to call it baby aspirin, but you can’t give aspirin to a baby. Low-dose aspirin, that daily dose of aspirin, even that can cause intestinal bleeding. That can cause a loss of nutrients like iron, but it’s not unusual, if you use aspirin on a daily basis, to lack folate. We already discussed that twice now. Without folate, it’s bad for your bones, it’s bad for your heart, it’s bad for your brain. You have an increased risk of depression and Alzheimer’s.†
You lack Vitamin C. You need Vitamin C for your immune system. Vitamin C is needed for respiratory burst, where your body releases its weapons to kill infections. And you also need Vitamin C for your immune system to travel to the site of an infection. That’s called chemotaxis. So, without Vitamin C, your immune system isn’t working, but without Vitamin C, you literally melt. Look up scurvy. So if you take aspirin all the time, you probably lack Vitamin C, you probably lack iron, you probably lack folate.†
Potassium. Without potassium, you lose muscle. Now, that’s a problem for older people cause they’re already losing muscle. It’s a process called sarcopenia. So lacking potassium leads to metabolic low-grade acidosis, so you lose more muscle at an accelerated rate than you normally would with aging. You need muscle for survival. Without potassium, you’re much more likely to lose bone and there’s a reason for that. Your blood is supposed to be slightly alkaline. Alkaline is the opposite of acid, so the blood’s supposed to be slightly alkaline. Potassium from your food is one of the major ways that you maintain alkalinity in your blood. If the blood is going towards acid, you can go into a state called ketoacidosis, where you can literally go into a coma and your organs like your lungs, your heart and your kidneys can shut down and then what do you have? But also without potassium, you have a much higher risk of a kidney stone, a stroke, high blood pressure. So if you’re on low-dose aspirin, you probably need some potassium, but you can get that very easily from fresh vegetables and fruits.†
And the last thing is zinc. The last thing is zinc. I think we’re going to stop there. There’s a couple other nonprescription drugs that cause depletions, but today… We didn’t discuss NSAIDs cause I already did a whole podcast on NSAIDs alone, you know, like Advil and Aleve, you know, Naproxin and Ibuprofen. But today we discussed acetaminophen, antacids and aspirin, so I’m gonna end it at that point. So thanks for tuning in today to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast. You can find all of our episodes for free wherever you listen or by visiting invitehealth.com/podcast. Please subscribe and leave us a review. You can also find us on Metaverse, Twitter and Instagram @invitehealth. Hope to see you next time on another episode of the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, which will be dealing with other nonprescription drugs that you can buy in any supermarket and the important nutrients that they deplete. So thanks for listening, Jerry Hickey signing off.†