Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Drugs that cause obesity (and nutrients that fight it)

I think it’s safe to say that we are dealing with one of the greatest, most complex and wide-ranging health crises ever in our existence.


When the rate of ANY health condition doubles in three decades, alarm bells should be clanging.

Although many factors have been identified as playing a role in our obesity crisis—including fast/junk food, soda, sedentary lifestyles and lack of exercise, and even more recently gut bacterial imbalances, food sensitivities, and chronic inflammation—there’s still more to it than that.

And one of the big players that is largely being ignored is medications.

A good number of commonly prescribed medications interfere with your body’s use and absorption of nutrients that are critical to proper metabolism—so the end result is weight gain!

Considering that seven out of 10 of us take at least one prescription medication each day, that’s a good number of people for whom the pharmacy is helping to widen their backsides.

Here are some of the guilty parties:

Common medications that interfere with nutrients and cause weight gain

Medication                                         Nutrient(s) it interferes with

Coumadin                                                           Vitamin K; lutein

Antibiotics                                                           Vitamins K and B

Corticosteroids                                                  Calcium; vitamin D; chromium

Orlistat                                                                 Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K

Diuretics                                                              Magnesium; zinc

Digoxin                                                                Calcium; magnesium

Beta blockers                                                      Coenzyme Q10

Biguanides (like Metformin)                              Vitamin B12

H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors        Vitamin B12; calcium, protein

NSAIDs                                                                   Folate

Anticonvulsants                                                    Vitamin D; folate; L-carnitine

If you are on any of these medications and are struggling with excess weight or obesity, talk to your doctor about alternatives.  It’s pretty tough to justify the benefit of exchanging one health condition for another, especially one as devastating and far-reaching as obesity.

The other side—nutrients that fight obesity
Here are some nutrients that help in the fight against obesity and are good contenders for which to consider supplementation:

Chromium:  Chromium helps encourage glucose uptake by your muscles, helping to encourage healthier blood sugar levels, plus it also curbs food cravings.

Magnesium: Magnesium lowers blood glucose levels.

Biotin:  Biotin is key to a strong metabolism, helping with the proper breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose, fats into fatty acids and protein into amino acids.

Vanadium: Vanadium also pitches in with biotin and chromium to help get proper amounts of glucose into your body’s cells.

Alpha-lipoic acid:
Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that assists your body in using glucose.

  Iodine helps support healthy thyroid function, which is vital for your metabolism.

A high-quality multi-vitamin and mineral formula can help provide health supporting doses of ALL of these metabolism-crucial nutrients.

Also important in the fight against obesity are Omega-3 essential fatty acids, especially Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  These help to increase the flexibility of your cell membranes (so nutrients can get in and wastes can get out) and fight inflammation.  Fish oil supplementation can help ensure that your body has enough of these crucial fats.

Obesity is a complex issue for which there is no one easy answer.

But you can help stack the deck in your favor by engaging the power of nutrition and ensuring your body has what it needs to support a healthy metabolism!


  1. My daughter has bi-polar. She takes several meds for this that have caused her to gain about 100 lbs. Any suggestions? She has a hard time exercising because the water retention is so bad.

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  3. How can magnesium be on both lists?
    Is there a difference in the way to ingest magnesium to encourage weight loss instead of weight gain ?

    1. There is a difference in the kinds of magnesium available the can make a difference in absorption. Not sure if this effects weight management or not. Magnesium citrate and/or malate are forms of this mineral that are better absorbed than a carbonate form.

    2. LOOK AT THE COLUMN HEADINGS TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION: The first list is "Common medications that interfere with nutrients and cause weight gain" Left Column: MEDICATION -Right Column: NUTRIENTS THAT THESE MEDICATIONS INTERFERE WITH This does not mean that magnesium causes weight gain. It only means that diuretics and Digoxin "interfere with" magnesium...which is a nutrient that fights obesity (as per second list)

  4. Because of a heart condition, I have to take coumadin. Much to my dismay, it is the first drug on your list. I have gained weight and no matter what I try, I am unable to lose it. Do you have any suggestions?

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