MAR 01, 2016 06:12 AM PST

How Supplements Can Sabotage Your Medications

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

The Council for Responsible Nutrition reported that nearly 70% of American adults take some form of supplements. Not regulated by the FDA, these dietary over-the-counter (OTC) supplements can be taken to boost nutrients that a person may not be getting enough. In addition, herbal supplements are also taken to regulate some metabolic activities, such as sleep cycle and appetite.

While so many people take supplements, not many disclose this information to their doctors, possibly due to the false assumption that OTC supplements are too harmless to mention. But what many don't know is that certain supplements can interfere with prescription medications.

In general, herbal supplements are more likely to have interactions with drugs than vitamins and minerals. In published studies, the five most likely supplements to cause drug interactions are St. John's wart, gingko, kava, digitalis, and willow. St. John's wart is particularly notorious for interfering with anti-retroviral medications and even birth control. Watch the video to learn more about the "red flag" supplements that you should definitely discuss with your health provider.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
SEP 15, 2018
Videos
SEP 15, 2018
A Hangover Cure in a Pill
A night of drinking can lead to a morning of regret for many people, but science is working on a solution for the physical pain....
SEP 23, 2018
Videos
SEP 23, 2018
Do our Genes Influence our Political Beliefs?
Scientists have been interested in understanding how our physiology shapes who we are for many years....
SEP 24, 2018
Videos
SEP 24, 2018
The Science of Being Transgender
Gender identity is an issue that some have trouble understanding. It’s not always about male or female, because gender can encompass more than those...
OCT 03, 2018
Videos
OCT 03, 2018
The Use of Cannabis to Treat Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can lead to depression, addiction to opioids, anxiety, other side effects, and more. The first video from Howcast talks about clinical tr...
OCT 05, 2018
Videos
OCT 05, 2018
What is Site-directed Mutagenesis?
Site-directed mutagenesis is a common tool in the molecular laboratory. But someone had to pioneer it first....
OCT 11, 2018
Videos
OCT 11, 2018
How Iceland is growing forests for the first time in a millennium
Iceland is perhaps one of the worst cases of deforestation that the world has seen. Over the last 1,000 years, the country's forests have been felled f...
Loading Comments...