Vitamins and Drug Interactions - Are Personalized Vitamins the Answer?
The key to personalized vitamins: Understanding medication and nutrient interactionsTechnology, science and research are turning our world into a personalized powerhouse at our fingertips, including products made specifically for us delivered to our doorsteps. We wear personal fitness trackers to track our steps, sleep and heart rates. Personal trainers are commonplace to design fitness routines that are made just for us. Today, we understand that our family history, lifestyle choices and even genetics are predictive of our health needs and this information is integrated into our health care plans. With all of this personalization, our nutritional supplement options still deliver the same cookie-cutter solutions found in store aisles.
According to New Nutrition Business and its report “10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition and Health 2017,” personalized nutrition is the next
big nutrition movement, as people want individually tailored diets. Personalized or precision nutrition is nutrition health care that considers the uniqueness of an individual to provide recommendations that are tailored to their needs and specific goals. When creating a personalized nutrition plan, it’s important to take into account holistic well-being; however, deciding what is truly right for you can be confusing.
“Personalized nutrition shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s not a catchy-named pack of vitamins or nutrition plans curated from a few questions about how you want to feel, it needs to include everything that makes you unique, down to the medications prescribed by your doctor,” said Michael Roizen, MD, chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic, co-author of the new book "Age-Proof: Living Longer without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip" and Vitamin Packs science advisory board member. “Technology is creating amazing advances in personalized nutrition, but it’s only as good as the data it can collect and the information you are willing to share.”
Medication and Nutrition InteractionsNearly 50 percent of the U.S. population is taking prescription medications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 68 percent of Americans are taking dietary supplements, based on the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) estimations.
With several new personalized vitamin subscription services launching, it’s important to select one that takes into account your diet, physical fitness, sleep patterns, lifestyle habits and family health history as well as your medication use. Some drugs can deplete nutrients while other medications add nutrients to the body. One subscription service, Vitamin Packs, delivers customized vitamins and nutritional supplements in daily packs based on what it learns during a free Nutritional Assessment. Its technology cross-examines more than 650 possible medication interactions and recommends only what an individual’s body needs.
Mixing Meds and Nutritional SupplementsYou should always talk to your doctor before starting a personalized vitamin plan, or any kind of self-medication. Here are some ideas you can ask your doctor about:
- Taking a statin? You may want to add Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) because the average blood concentration of CoQ10 in blood plasma decreases within 30 days by an average of 50 percent.
- Taking a medication for allergies or inflammation? Consider adding vitamin D and calcium. These types of medications may reduce the absorption of calcium, which can lead to unnecessary bone loss. Supplementing with vitamin D and calcium may support bone health and adding vitamin D with calcium can have a greater impact on calcium absorption.
- Taking a blood pressure medication? You should know that taking an iron supplement two hours before or after taking this type of medication can decrease its absorption rate.
- Taking a synthetic thyroid hormone? Look at your supplement facts to be sure you’re avoiding soy, iron and calcium. Soy, iron and calcium, if taken within four hours of taking a synthetic thyroid hormone, may reduce the absorption rate.
Personalized nutrition, while exciting and impactful, should be focused on the whole person. Be sure to consult your health care practitioner before starting any dietary supplement regimen.
-- Article courtesy of BPT