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 Nutritional Programs: Nutrient Program for Oral Contraceptives  

A high-nutrient diet is the best prevention for problems. Low-fat protein levels and nutritious foods such as whole grains, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are also important. Eating lots of vegetables is the best way to prevent many mineral deficits and also maintain weight. And several teaspoons of cold-pressed vegetable oil, particularly olive oil, should also be used daily to ensure the intake of the essential fatty acids. All of the above-mentioned foods, along with protein intake from such foods as eggs, fish, poultry, dairy foods, and legumes, is a sensible approach. In addition to the usual female adult or teenage levels, if taking oral contraceptives it is recommended that intake of the following nutrients be increased to the levels listed:

Nutrient Daily Amounts (in 1 or 2 doses)
Vitamin B650?100 mg.
Vitamin B1250?200 mcg.
Folic acid600?800 mcg.
Vitamin E400?600 IUs
Vitamin C1?3 g.
Zinc20?40 mg.

Other B vitamins can also be increased to higher levels, such as an additional 25 mg. of each, to balance out the B complex. More antioxidants can also help reduce the deleterious effects of the drugs. These include beta-carotene, selenium, and possibly amino acid L-cysteine to complement the additional vitamins C and E.

Copper intake in supplements should be limited to 1 mg., though the increased zinc intake will help lower copper levels. Whole grains, nuts, seeds, and vegetables will ensure that copper requirements are met. Iron supplements may be decreased somewhat with use of birth control pills unless the menstrual periods are heavy or there is anemia. Iron needs are probably reduced from the usual 18 mg. to around 12?15 mg per day. All of these values can be checked occasionally by blood biochemistry profiles or evaluation of mineral levels to ensure proper individualized care.

Nutrient Program for Oral Contraceptives

Water 1½?2 qt.

Vitamin A5,000?10,000 IUs Calcium* 600?1,000 mg.
Beta-carotene10,000?20,000 IUs Chromium 200?400 mcg.
Vitamin D200?400 IUs Copper1?2 mg.
Vitamin E400?600 IUs Iron15?20 mg.
Tiamine (B1)25?50 mg. Magnesium* 400?600 mg.
Riboflavin (B2)25?50 mg. Manganese5?10 mg.
Niacin or
niacinamide (B3)
25?50 mg. Molybdenum150?300 mcg.
Pantothenic acid (B5) 50?250 mg. Phosphorus600?800 mg.
Pyridoxine(B6) 25?50 mg. Potassium1?2 g.
Cobalamin (B12) 50?200 mcg. Selenium150?300 mcg.
Folic acid 600?800 mcg. Zinc30?60 mg.
Biotin200?400 mcg.
PABA25?50 mg. Fatty acids, olive,
or Flaxseed oils
1?2 teaspoons
Vitamin C 1?3 g.
Bioflavonoids250?500 mg.
(Excerpted from Staying Healthy with Nutrition ISBN: 1587611791)
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 About The Author
Elson Haas MDElson M. Haas, MD is founder & Director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin (since 1984), an Integrated Health Care Facility in San Rafael, CA and author of many books on Health and Nutrition, including ...more
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