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Prescription Vs. Food: Food and Medication Interactions

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

There are always findings about the worst and best foods for you; the food which help keep you healthy, and the foods which are horrible for anybody to ingest. There are always gray areas, however, which shouldn't be overlooked. There are points in your live when ingesting healthy foods can actually have negative consequence. One such example is when taking prescription medications; whether you’re on a temporary antibiotic or a daily cholesterol medication, there are regular foods that should be avoided to ensure the prescription is allowed to fulfill its purpose. Below are some of the important interactions to be careful of.

Leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, should be avoided when taking blood thinners. The high levels of vitamin K counteract the effects of the medication by acting as a coagulant, increasing your bodies clotting capacity.

Dairy products should be avoided when taking antibiotics, unless otherwise stipulated by your physician. Often you’re told to have a yogurt several hours after taking a high-dose antibiotic to help keep the levels of active medication in your system level. If you wash your antibiotic down with a glass of milk, however, the calcium coats the medication and blocks your body from absorbing it, complete negating the benefits of taking the meds at all.

Just as alcohol can increase the effect of sedatives, acting as a depressant, caffeine can increase the effect of stimulants. If you’re taking decongestants, asthma medications, or anti-anxiety medications, coffee or other caffeinated beverages can increase the stimulants and cause you to feel jittery and/or a rapid heartbeat.

Aged cheese and wine can dangerously increase the effect of your anti-depressants. Both contain tyramine, which is also found in some other MAO inhibitors, anti-depressants; increasing the effects dramatically and can cause a rise in your blood pressure.

Lastly, grapefruit juice, already widely avoided by medication users, shouldn't be consumed if taking cholesterol medications, blood thinners, blood pressure medications, tranquilizers or anti-depressants. Grapefruit juice kills off some of the natural enzymes in your digestive system, allow more of the medications you take to be absorbed before destroyed. Without the enzymes to counterbalance the amount of medication entering your blood stream you increase the longevity and effect of the drugs, negatively.

Long Island Health, Fitness & Beauty Articles > Prescription Vs. Food: Food and Medication Interactions

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