Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program
 
healthy.net Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
 
 
FREE NEWSLETTER
   
   
   
 
Health Centers
Key Services
 
Medicial Mistakes?
How many people each year suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death after a hospital visit?
from 46,000 to 78,000
from 78,000 to 132,000
from 132,000 to 210,000
from 210,000 to 440,000

 
 
 Nutritional Programs: Nutrient Program for Oral Contraceptives  
 

Birth control pills (BCPs) are both the most effective and the most hazardous form of contraception. Preventing pregnancy in this way is done by taking an oral dose of a combination of the hormones estrogen and progestin (synthetic progesterone) in amounts higher than the body?s natural levels. This prevents the pituitary hormones that stimulate ovulation and fertilization of the egg from being released, and thus prevents pregnancy.

Though taking oral contraceptives regularly is 99 percent effective in birth control, there are many possible side effects. Weight gain, emotional swings, circulatory and vascular symptoms, and gastrointestinal upset are not uncommon. Blood clots, liver problems, and cancer are also possible, though relatively rare; these were more common in the 1960s with the higher-dose pills. Many women have difficulty with oral contraceptives, though many others seem to tolerate them well. The use of birth control pills is more common in young women and teenagers, which adds another dimension of uncertainty regarding the nutritional effects of these drugs.

Oral contraceptives may create certain nutrient deficiencies and excesses as well as increase the nutritional needs of the user. Most of the B vitamins, particularly pyridoxine (B6) and folic acid, are needed in higher amounts when birth control pills are taken. The copper level usually rises, and zinc levels often fall. Thus, more zinc is needed as well. An increased need for vitamins C, E, and K may also result from the use of birth control pills.

In Nutrition and Vitamin Therapy, Michael Lesser, M.D., points out that birth control pills cause an alkaline imbalance in the vagina that may lead to increased susceptibility to infection. Extra ascorbic acid, 1?2 grams per day, may help balance the acid environment and prevent this problem. He and other authors also suggest that the increased blood levels of copper generated by oral contraceptive use may contribute to depression and emotional symptoms; additional manganese and zinc may reverse these symptoms. Sharon DeBuren, nurse practitioner and nutritionist, adds that the depression from BCPs is also neurochemical reaction to artificial steroids (female hormones), and from a lack of a women?s own superior hormones?estradiol and natural progesterone secreted with ovulation. Iron levels may also rise, and less iron may be required because the pills often reduce the amount of menstrual blood loss, as well.

Because BCPs are metabolized by the liver before being eliminated, a diet low in other liver irritants is suggested. Alcohol, cocaine, and other drugs, pesticides and preservative chemicals in food, as well as fried foods should be avoided. Cutting down on refined foods and sugary treats is also suggested; these foods are "empty" calories and may cause further nutrient depletion. Avoiding nicotine and fried foods is also a good idea to prevent further vascular irritation. Teenage girls on "the pill" must also be particularly careful to avoid nutritional deficiencies, and all would be well advised to take a supportive nutritional supplement. Adequate intake of the antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamins C and E, selenium, and beta-carotene, can help reduce potential toxicity of oral contraceptives. The herb, milk thistle, contains silymarin and may be especially helpful.

(Excerpted from Staying Healthy with Nutrition ISBN: 1587611791)
CONTINUED    1  2  3  Next   
 Comments Add your comment 

 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
 
 From Our Friends
 
 
 
Popular & Related Products
 
Popular & Featured Events
Integrative Healthcare Symposium 2015
     February 19-21, 2015
     New York, NY USA
 
Wellness Inventory Certification Training (Level I)
     February 24-May 26, 2015
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Stevia Products & Info
 
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Sensing, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar