Ask The Pharmacist: Don’t get pinned with diseases you don’t have

Suzy Cohen
Assorted pharmaceutical medicine pills, tablets and capsules and bottle on red background. Drugs and various narcotic substances. Copy space for text. Stock photo for design

When you purchase over-the-counter medications or receive a prescription, you take the pills with sincere hope that you’ll feel better.

More:Ask the Pharmacist: Natural remedies for reflux and esophagitis

For sure, the pills may do the trick, for example, stop reflux, or relieve arthritis, but I also wonder if you know that the medications can suppress and deplete nutrients. You can fix this situation immediately if you know what nutrients are getting mugged out of your body. 

In the process of carrying out their intended effect, drugs can slowly deprive your body of the nutrients it needs to feel well and stay healthy. I call this nutrient depletion effect “drug mugging.”

As an example, acid blockers can suppress absorption and act as “drug muggers” by reducing your levels of many nutrients, including calcium, folate, iron, vitamin D and B12. This impacts your energy levels, bones, mood, teeth and immunity.

Another example is with statins which reduce CoQ10, vitamin D and selenium. This diminishes your mood, sexual abilities, immune function and thyroid levels. It can impact heart rhythm. 

As you take medications and therefore become deficient in vital nutrients, you begin to feel sick in different ways, or like something is amiss with you. You can’t put your finger on it. Doctor’s don’t think in terms of drug mugging, they think in terms of symptoms and diseases, so inevitably you get pinned with more diseases.

More:Ask the Pharmacist: Pancreatic cancer is our next epidemic

For example, some drugs induce diabetes, by increasing your blood glucose, others cause depression by stealing magnesium. This situation is preventable.

Another example is with medications used for menopause, oral contraception or hormone replacement. These estrogen or progestin-based drugs appear to suppress many nutrients including the B vitamins, in particular B6, riboflavin and folate, along with the mineral magnesium. This can cause a woman to sink into depression or develop nerve pain or hypothyroidism.

I’m not suggesting you stop anything, but it’s common sense to restore what is being depleted from your body. If you must be on a medicine, then for pennies a day, you can ‘insure’ your health and well-being. 

It’s not just medication, it’s also food and lifestyle habits. For example, coffee drinkers lose a lot of minerals. This impacts your bones and teeth, as well as your energy levels. If you love these beverages like I do, you can offset the loss of the nutrients by eating a lot of healthy green vegetables, especially leafy ones. You can also supplement. Staying indoors and not getting enough sunshine can suppress vitamin D.

The drug-mugging effect is very real, and it happens with every medication. It is a well-documented phenomenon that’s been known for decades. To protect you, I wrote a book on this topic that is available on Amazon, and in the German, Korean, Greek and Hebrew languages. It’s called “Drug Muggers, Which Medications are Robbing Your Body of Essential Nutrients and Natural Ways to Restore Them.” When you get a copy of that you can look up your medications and know which nutrients to restore. 

More:Ask the Pharmacist: Study suggests colon cancer grows faster with sugary drinks

Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit