Are Drug Interactions to be Avoided When Taking Vitamins?

Learn about potential drug interactions when taking vitamins such as multivitamins (MVMs), calcium supplements, vitamin A supplements etc., their risks & benefits.

Are Drug Interactions to be Avoided When Taking Vitamins?

The complex relationship between foods, medications, and nutrients can be difficult to accurately assess. Drugs are substances used in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a disease or a component of a drug. Interactions between food, medication, and alcohol can lead to many complications and vary from person to person. Drug-nutrient interactions involve changes in a drug caused by a nutrient or changes in a nutrient as a result of the drug.

Food and drug interactions are a broader term that describes the effects of a drug on nutritional status. Table 1 summarizes several possible drug interactions with foods, nutrients, supplements, or other medications, which may cause unexpected side effects or cause additional health problems. Dietary supplements can sometimes interact with each other, as well as with over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs. Unlike drugs, the U.

S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not authorized to review the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements before they are marketed. It is up to manufacturers to ensure that their products do not contain contaminants or impurities, are properly labeled and contain what they claim. In other words, the regulation of dietary supplements is much less stringent than that of prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

Researchers define multivitamin supplements differently in their studies to assess the possible health effects of these products. For example, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality defined multivitamin supplements as products that contain at least three vitamins and minerals in amounts lower than the recommended amount, but do not contain herbs, hormones, or medications. A team of researchers classified multivitamins more ambiguously as stress pills, therapeutic type and once-a-day type, so it's likely that these products also include MVs. Another team defined multivitamin supplements as full-spectrum products that provide all 12 vitamins and 10 minerals.

Although multivitamins pose a low risk of drug interactions, the NIH recommends that smokers and former smokers avoid taking multivitamins with high levels of vitamin A or beta-carotene, as these nutrients may increase the risk of lung cancer when consumed as supplements. The DGA lists nutrients of special public health interest in U. diets, such as calcium, potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamin D in both adults and children. St.

John's Wort should be researched for possible drug interactions and patients should ask their doctor about the risks and benefits of this supplement compared to other options. Vitamin D supplements are popular because it's difficult (if not impossible for some) to get enough from food. The data showed that people who consumed adequate amounts of magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A and K had a lower risk of death when they got those nutrients from food rather than supplements. While it is true that vitamins and minerals are essential for health, it is not true that taking them in the form of pills, capsules or powder is necessary or safe.

They have examined associations between the use of MVM and the general risk of cancer or the risk of several types of cancer (including breast, prostate and colon cancers), as well as associations with cancer-related death. If you have low levels of calcium in your blood despite having an adequate dietary intake, your doctor may prescribe a calcium supplement. Patients should also be informed about the signs and symptoms of vitamin A toxicity such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, and poor muscle coordination. Vitamin A deficiency often leads to vision problems which are less common in the United States than in underdeveloped countries where nutrition may be deficient.

Taking too much vitamin A (in the form of retinol or other preformed forms of vitamin A but not beta-carotene) during pregnancy may increase the risk of birth defects in infants. Multivitamins did little or nothing to protect against common cancers cardiovascular disease or death when all results were adjusted to exclude possible confounding factors such as the use of individual vitamin or mineral supplements. The academy also recommends that non-breastfed babies and older children who consume less than 1 liter of vitamin D-fortified milk or formula receive 400 IU (10 mcg) of supplemental vitamin D per day.

Elise Ledwig
Elise Ledwig

Professional tv expert. Freelance zombie guru. Proud gamer. Proud bacon fanatic. Proud pop culture practitioner.

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