Soundbite From Our Scientists: Nutrient-Medication Interactions

In this short informational video, Jared from the Hardy Nutritionals® science team discusses micronutrient medication interactions and how to transition successfully with the help of a 

On the Daily Essential Nutrients label, there's a note about medication doses: a recommendation that medication doses should be monitored closely by a physician while taking Daily Essential Nutrients, since psychoactive drugs may need to be gradually reduced or eliminated during micronutrient therapy to avoid over-medication effects.  Our experience over many years working with thousands of people who are using Daily Essential Nutrients together with medications shows us that this information is critical. 

First, nutrients are used throughout the body to create all of the chemical components to help our bodies function properly. This includes neurotransmitter and hormone levels that help our bodies to optimally function in terms of mental health. Consider a situation where an individual already has optimal levels of neurotransmitters and hormones for their needs and hormones. If a person with optimal levels of serotonin took a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (commonly referred to as an SSRI), this addition would not make the person feel better.  They would feel worse.  They would experience side-effects tending toward serotonin syndrome, which is an over-medication effect. They would have too much serotonin in their synapses. The brain would be overloaded with serotonin and they would need to eliminate the SSRI, as their bodies already had what they needed.

Now let's look at the situation of a person who is already taking an SSRI who adds Daily Essential Nutrients to the medication. Initially, the person taking the SSRI may have felt better, if serotonin levels were sub-optimal. The SSRI could have helped them feel better by optimizing the serotonin levels in the synapses or bringing the levels closer to optimal. Now when we introduce Daily Essential Nutrients, the vitamins and minerals serve as cofactors to serotonin-producing enzymes, which are the machinery that works to naturally produce what the body requires.

In this situation, the SSRI would quickly become too much for the body.  Gradually, the person would need to reduce the dose of SSRI in order to maintain optimal levels of serotonin. Over time, in other words, the SSRI manipulation of serotonin would no longer be needed, as the body can naturally produce what it requires in terms of serotonin.

There's another very important reason, and health practitioners understand this reason very well. The body uses CYP450 enzymes throughout the body to process medications. When a person takes medication, the body processes and eliminates the medication metabolites from the body. The person needs to take another dose the following day (or later in the same day) in order to restore active levels of the medication in the body. Those active levels are always increasing when the person takes a dose of medication and gradually reducing as the body processes the medication. So the challenge is that the nutrient levels that we are supplying in Daily Essential Nutrients are interacting with the processing of those medications and affecting the rate at which those CYP450 enzymes are able to break down the medications.

This is very critical because when the rate of processing is slowed, the active level of medication is increased day by day, which would lead to medication overdose. In this situation, the body needs relief by a reduction in level of medication. Now there are other reasons in some cases, such as with stimulants.  The nutrients, including calcium and magnesium, may increase the absorption of the medication the person is taking; and that would increase the active levels of stimulant in the body. 

To summarize, reducing psychiatric medication under the care of a health professional while taking Daily Essential Nutrients micronutrients is important for two key reasons. First, that the body is using vitamins and minerals to produce the neurotransmitters naturally and, over time, no longer needs the manipulation of medication; and secondly, because the nutrients are slowing the rate at which the medications are processed in the body. This is also a critical reason why medication levels should be gradually reduced, over time, with the help of medical doctor.

We recommend that individuals assess at least weekly the side effects of medications while taking them together with broad-spectrum micronutrients.  Generally, what we see is that side effects increase as the nutrients are used together with psychiatric medications. So if the side effects are increasing in intensity or the number of side effects are increasing week by week, this is a sign to you and your medical doctor that it's time to gradually reduce the dose of medication. We see that people receive relief when the dose of medication is reduced, and this process is repeated by gradually reducing the medications, based on side effects. 

You're welcome to call us, and we'll help talk through what you're experiencing in terms of side effects. It's also critical to involve a medical doctor in this process.

It's important to note as well that the nutrients do not cause these side effects. We've seen in multiple double-blind studies using broad-spectrum vitamin mineral supplements that nutrients do not cause the kinds of side effects that we see for medications. In studies, there are no differences in side effects for participants taking the nutrients compared to those receiving a placebo.