Understand Nutrient Depletions Associated To Pharmaceuticals

Fact Checked
Written by
Blog Blog
Understand Nutrient Depletions Associated To Pharma...

Last updated: February 20, 2019

practitioner handing a patient a paper recommendation

Specific pharmaceuticals will deplete the body of vital nutrients needed to maintain optimal wellness.

Pharmaceutical drugs can affect the nutritional status of patients and contribute to nutrient depletions, even when they are prescribed according to the label instructions.

Did you know?
Common medications may deplete the body of vital nutrients that are important to health and wellness? Almost 50% of American adults currently take one prescription pharmaceutical drug, but nearly 20% (and 55% of those over 65) take three or more. (1)

Also, often forgotten is that any chemical consumed by the body requires detoxification, which further utilizes nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The evidence is now showing us that many common ailments may, in fact, be caused by nutritional deficiencies (2), but treating those ailments with pharmaceuticals could make the problem worse.

For example, certain drugs may:

  • Impact the absorption of nutrients in the digestive tract
  • Accelerate the metabolism of certain nutrients
  • Impact the excretion of nutrients (2)

Understanding the interactions between drugs and nutrients can help to prevent nutrient depletions in patients, as well as some of the negative health outcomes associated with the use of certain pharmaceuticals. Further, optimizing the nutritional status of patients may positively impact the intended therapeutic effects of the drugs administered, improving outcomes.

Click on the images for an expanded view!

List of nutrients affected by common pharmaceuticals.

The Fullscript Integrative Medical Advisory Team (IMAT) conducted a review of existing literature to develop a reference chart and white paper summarizing common drug-nutrient depletions. The preliminary report included over 200 citations, including human, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled (RDBPC) trials, in-vivo animals studies, and in-vitro studies. Periodic review will take place to ensure the content is up-to-date.

The original content review included all literature posted/published via:

  • Pubmed
  • U.S. Food & Drug Administration
  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • Journal of the American Medical Association
  • Science Direct

Note: The information provided in this content is based on a review of the literature available at the time of publication. While the content is considered to be accurate at the time of publication, new or updated research released after the publication date may impact the accuracy of the information.

Please use your discretion when using this resource and if you’re not a practitioner, always consult with your practitioner first when considering how to address drug-nutrient depletions.

Fullscript simplifies supplement dispensing

Create your dispensary today I'm a patient
  2. Bellows, L., & Moore, R. (2013). Nutrient-drug interactions and food. Health: Food and Nutrition Series. (


The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.

Fullscript content philosophy

At Fullscript, we are committed to curating accurate, and reliable educational content for practitioners and patients alike. Our educational offerings cover a broad range of topics related to integrative medicine, such as supplement ingredients, diet, lifestyle, and health conditions.

Medically reviewed by expert practitioners and our internal Integrative Medical Advisory team, all Fullscript content adheres to the following guidelines:

  1. In order to provide unbiased and transparent education, information is based on a research review and obtained from trustworthy sources, such as peer-reviewed articles and government websites. All medical statements are linked to the original reference and all sources of information are disclosed within the article.
  2. Information about supplements is always based on ingredients. No specific products are mentioned or promoted within educational content.
  3. A strict policy against plagiarism is maintained; all our content is unique, curated by our team of writers and editors at Fullscript. Attribution to individual writers and editors is clearly stated in each article.
  4. Resources for patients are intended to be educational and do not replace the relationship between health practitioners and patients. In all content, we clearly recommend that readers refer back to their healthcare practitioners for all health-related questions.
  5. All content is updated on a regular basis to account for new research and industry trends, and the last update date is listed at the top of every article.
  6. Potential conflicts of interest are clearly disclosed.
Send this to a friend