Drug Induced Nutrient Depletions: Antibiotics

 

Drug induced nutrient depletions (DIND) refers to the nutrients that are depleted from our bodies as a result of the prescription and over-the-counter medications that we take every day.  This will be a multi-part series in which I will focus on a different drug classes each week. Last week, we focused on the nutrients depleted from the use of oral contraceptives. This week for part two, we will explore the nutrients that are depleted due to the use of antibiotics.

 

As a reminder, antibiotics are only useful for bacterial infections and NOT for viral infections.  Before taking antibiotics, try to have a thoughtful conversation with your health care provider to ensure they are truly necessary.

 

 

Below are a few statistics, from 2014, to show you how frequently antibiotics are currently being prescribed in our doctor’s offices in the United States (1):

  • 266.1 million courses of antibiotics were prescribed in outpatient settings (like doctor offices). This averages more than 5 prescriptions written each year for every 6 people in the United States.

  • At least 30% of the antibiotics prescribed were unnecessary.

  • Azithromycin and amoxicillin are among the most commonly prescribed antibiotics.

While this week’s blog is about nutrient depletions associated with antibiotic use, I also want to mention that antibiotics also wreak havoc on your overall gut health.  While they can be beneficial for bacterial infections, they also kill the healthy bacteria that lives in the gut. That will be a more detailed discussion for another day.   

 

If you take antibiotics, talk to your health care provider or nutritionist about whether supplementation may be needed.

 

Below, you will find information on the amount of each nutrient you need per day as a supplement, as well as the best sources of foods for each.

 

Biotin

 

How much you may need per day if you use a supplement:  500-1000 mcg (2)

 

Good Food Sources:  beef liver, soybeans, rice bran, peanut butter, barley (2)

 

Inositol

 

How much you may need per day if you use a supplement:  250-1000 mg (2)

 

Good Food Sources:  cantaloupe, oranges, green beans, grape fruit juice, limes (2)

 

Thiamin

 

How much you may need per day if you use a supplement:  25-100 mg (2)

 

Good Food Sources:  braised liver, turkey heart, roasted chicken, gefilte fish, sardines (2)

 

Riboflavin

 

How much you may need per day if you use a supplement:  25-100 mg (2)

 

Good Food Sources:  dried sunflower seeds, orange juice, bulgur, spinach noodles, pine nuts, dairy products, eggs, green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts (2,3)

 

Niacin

 

How much you may need per day if you use a supplement:  50-100 mg (2)

 

Good Food Sources:  Milk, eggs, enriched breads, rice, fish, lean meats, legumes, peanuts, poultry (3)

 

B6

 

How much you may need per day if you use a supplement:  50-100 mg (2)

 

Good Food Sources:  Chick peas, beef liver, tuna, salmon, chicken, fortified breakfast cereals, banana, bulgur, squash, nuts, raisins, tofu, watermelon (3)

 

Vitamin B12

 

How much you may need per day if you use a supplement:  500-1000 mcg (2)

 

Good Food Sources:  beef liver, rainbow trout, salmon, beef, haddock, clams, fortified breakfast cereals, light tuna, milk, eggs, chicken (2,3)

 

Vitamin K

 

How much you may need per day if you use a supplement:  60-80 mcg (2)

 

Good Food Sources:  kale, broccoli, parsley, spinach, swiss chard, brussel sprouts, cabbage, dark leafy greens (2,3)

 

Potassium

 

How much you may need per day if you use a supplement:  100-300 mg (2)

 

Good Food Sources:  dried figs, California avocado, papaya, banana, dates, citrus fruits, milk, yogurt, nuts, beef, chicken, fish, potatoes (with skins) (2,3)

 

Bifidobacterium bifidum (B. Bifidum)

How much you may need per day if you use a supplement:  15 billion live organisms (2)

 

Good Food Sources:  Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, garlic, onions may stimulate growth of this organism (2)

Candida and yeast infections are frequently related to having low concentrations of

B. Bifidum (4).

 

Lactobacillus acidophilus

 

How much you may need per day if you use a supplement:  15 billion live organisms (2)

 

Good Food Sources:  yogurt, kefir, acidophilus milk, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, buttermilk, sour Cream, cheese (2, 5)

 

* Individual needs may vary.  Speak with your health care provider or nutritionist for your personalized recommendations. 

 

About the Author: Leanne DiMaio earned her Master’s degree in Applied Clinical Nutrition from New York Chiropractic College in December 2017. She is currently working on her Doctorate degree in Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health. Leanne is passionate about helping others achieve their optimal state of health and wellness. She is currently earning clinical hours toward the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) credential under Kim Ross's supervision.

 

References

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Measuring Outpatient Antibiotic Prescribing. CDC.gov. 2017. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/community/programs-measurement/measuring-antibiotic-prescribing.html. Accessed June 10, 2018.

2. Vagnini F, Fox B. The Side Effects Bible. New York: Broadway Books; 2005.

3. United States Department of Agriculture. Vitamins and Minerals | Food and Nutrition Information Center. Nalusda.gov. 2018. Available at: https://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/vitamins-and-minerals. Accessed June 3, 2018.

4. Probiotics.org. B. Bifidum Probiotic Benefits & Side Effects. Probiotics.org. 2015. Available at: http://probiotics.org/b-bifidum/. Accessed June 10, 2018.

5. Lipski, E. (2013). Digestion Connection (1st ed., p. 63). New York: Rodale.

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