Birth control pills are often prescribed for many health issues experienced by women today, but women are not educated on the nutrients that scientific researchers have shown the birth control pill depletes.
Pharmacist Ross Pelton wrote a book called "The Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook" and states that "many drugs deplete nutrients, but oral contraceptives are the worst." The World Health Organization (WHO) has also voiced concern about the nutrient depletion caused by taking oral contraceptives and that it should be of high clinical relevance.
Much of the scientific research on the nutritional costs of oral contraceptives goes back a third of a century or more, and it has been shown that oral contraceptives deplete:
- Vitamin B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, and especially B9 (folate)
- Vitamin C
- The amino acid tyrosine
- The antioxidant CoQ10
- The minerals Magnesium, Selenium, and Zinc
Depletion of these nutrients may increase a woman's risk of:
- Depression. Vitamin B6 and tyrosine are required for the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine which control mood and emotion. Low serotonin can result in depression and sleep problems.
- A weakened immune system. Vitamin C, selenium, zinc, and coQ10 are required for proper immune function.
- Heart disease. Vitamin B6, B9, and B12 are required to metabolize homocysteine. Elevated levels of homocysteine in the body results in advanced cardiovascular disease risk without any symptoms. Women can go for years not knowing they have a problem until they have a heart attack or stroke.
- Cancer of the uterus, colon, and breasts. Vitamin B6 and B9 protect against abnormal cell growth.
- Migraines. Adequate magnesium and B Vitamins help prevent migraine headaches.
- Low energy. Vitamin B12, B9, magnesium, selenium, and coQ10 are required for energy production.
It's important to replenish these micronutrients to keep the body functioning well. Foods to focus on incorporating into the diet to help replenish these nutrients are: dark leafy greens (kale, collards, spinach, swiss chard, arugula), black beans, oysters, halibut, brazil nuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, citrus fruits, berries, peppers, tomatoes, eggs, pastured meats, and dark chocolate.
Now I'd love to hear from you. What do you incorporate into your diet to prevent these nutrient deficiencies? Share and let me know!