Antibiotic Nutrient Depletion, It’s the never-ending war between good and evil.  Antibiotics are probably one of the most beneficial forms of chemical warfare in the history of medicine.  Infectious disease has been the leading cause of death throughout history and we are blessed to live in the “antibiotic era.”  But like in any war, there is always collateral damage.  We talked about some other common nutrient bandits last week and antibiotics can also deplete essential nutrients.

Nutrients are essential to the energy production and waste removal of every cell in the body.  They get used up and need to be replaced. If these fundamental building blocks are not replaced, complications can occur.  My sincere objective is to help people learn to LIVE YOUNGER by evaluating how they feel and learning more about their bodies.  Remember, you must surround yourself with an informed team of licensed medical professionals and discuss every aspect of your health with them.  

If you need an antibiotic, be thankful that it is available and know how to be safer while on it.  START SOMEWHERE today to learn more about what you are putting in your body.  Antibiotics may diminish or deplete these essential nutrients:

  • Amoxicillin, Penicillin (like Amoxil, Trimox, Veetids, Truxcillin):  Biotin, Inositol, Potassium, Vitamin B1,  Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin K
  • Erythromycin:  Biotin, Inositol, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin K
  • Tetracyclines (like Achromycin, Aureomycin, Minocin, Panmycin, Terramycin, Tetracyn):  Biotin, Calcium, Inositol, Iron, Magnesium, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12,  Vitamin K
  • Quinolones and Fluoroquinolones (like Cipro, Floxin, Maxaquin, Noroxin, Levaquin):  These high-powered medications should not be taken at the same time as certain minerals, including nutritional supplements and antacids. They can deplete iron, calcium, and zinc.  
  • Broad-Spectrum Antibiotics (like Bactrim, Mandol, Moxam, Neomycin, and Septra):  Vitamin K  

Antibiotics can disrupt the natural bacterial flora in your digestive tract by killing the friendly bacteria.  These good intestinal bacteria make Vitamin K.  In some people, this could lead to abnormal bleeding because Vitamin K helps your blood clot.  This fat soluble vitamin also helps keep your bones strong and lowers the risk of heart disease.  Good food sources of Vitamin K include broccoli, cabbage, spinach, eggs, butter, cheese, asparagus, and pork liver, to name a few.  (Why is pork liver always so darn healthy???)

Talk to your doctor.  This is only a partial list of medications; we are learning more every day about side effects. Antibiotic Nutrient Depletion can effect essential nutrients that your body needs to LIVE YOUNGER. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post.  We’ll get to the “guts” of how antibiotics affect our digestive health and what we can do about it.  START SOMEWHERE to be the boss of your own health.  You can do it.  I will help you.


Pelton R, LaValle JB, Hawkins EB et al. Drug-induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook. 2nd ed. Hudson, OH:  Lexi-Comp, Inc.  2001:22-272.

Smith, Pam W, MD. What You Must Know About Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & More.  Garden City Park, NY:  Square One Publishers.  2008.

Antibiotic Nutrient Depletion

Antibiotic Nutrient Depletion