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Monday, April 28, 2008

Just Say YES to Vitamins

So you are one of those millions taking expensive drugs or you are in the next 'cash-cow' wave of Baby Boomers targeted by the pharmaceutical industry to be put on the drug wagon.

You, like many people taking Rx drugs I hear from daily, complain about how you feel and you don't like it.

So what's a body to do about it?

Here is a short list of vitamin deficiencies created by commonly prescribed drugs. Reading this over you just might find a reason to look to supplements.

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"A healthy diet that provides sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals is essential to good health, but many studies have shown that numerous common medications can drain vital nutrients from your body. A lack of proper nutrients can contribute to the development of many diseases including cardiovascular disease and cancer.

For example, birth control pills are known to drain vitamins C, B6, B12, folate, riboflavin, selenium and the amino acid tyrosine. And low vitamin C levels are associated with a dramatically increased risk of cervical cancer. Birth control pills also sap magnesium, and women taking these over many years are not only more prone to developing cancer, but they are at greater risk during subsequent surgery and chemotherapy.

Low folate (folic acid) levels have been linked to a variety of cancers, especially those of the breast, cervix and colon. New studies have consistently shown that folate powerfully prevents colon cancer and may slow the growth of other existing cancers.

At least one type of diabetes medication (biguanides) significantly exhausts folate. And aspirin, as well as other over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen, greatly lower folate levels.

A number of medications used to treat high blood pressure are known to reduce levels of such vital nutrients as vitamins B1, K and B6, ascorbate, as well as magnesium, zinc, calcium and CoQ10. In particular, the body’s supply of CoQ10, a critical anticancer nutrient, is siphoned off through use of hypertensive and antidiabetic medications, statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs) and certain antidepressants (phenothiazines and tricyclics).

Statin drugs are notorious when it comes to robbing the body of nutrients. Studies show that they pilfer vitamins A, B12, D, E and K, beta-carotene and folate, as well as calcium, zinc, phosphorus and magnesium.

Magnesium depletion is especially associated with the use of certain chemotherapy drugs, such as cisplatin. In fact, levels can fall so low that the result is heart damage and brain injury.

If you have been taking vitamin-depleting medications for years, you are at great risk, and most doctors are either unaware of the problems or simply choose to ignore the danger."

And how about these comments -

Dozens of factors can cause memory loss like that associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Another one that’s currently overlooked is the use of the highly popular statin drugs. One of my first recommendations would be to avoid the use of all drugs if possible. And for any that you decide to take, make sure you know the stated side effects and keep an eye out for those such as dementia and other neurological problems.

The public is constantly being prescribed drugs without being informed of the ultimate consequences. I have serious doubts that “preventive” drug treatment prolongs life; instead, I think it just changes the cause of death. Examples could fill a book.

One example is the anti-cholesterol statin drugs. Two large drug trials come to mind. One trial known as CARE (Cholesterol And Recurrent Events) found that the drug Pravachol reduced the risk of a heart attack by 24 percent. It also found that it increased the risk of women developing breast cancer by 1,100 percent.

The PROSPER trial followed 5,000 participants, aged 70 to 82 years old, who took a statin for three years. The drugs reduced deaths from cardiovascular disease by a remarkable 24 percent. What wasn’t well publicized, however, was that those on statins developed cancer at a higher rate, and the drug showed no benefits whatsoever in women.

And statins aren’t the only drugs where the patients don’t get the full story. The list is seemingly endless.

One of the most common methods of treating high blood pressure is through use of diuretics or “water pills,” and hydrochlorothiazide is one of ones most frequently used. Studies have consistently shown that these diuretics significantly increase the likelihood of developing diabetes. How many doctors tell their patients that?

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