Home | About | Contact | Buy the book | Blog
Nature Cures natural health advice


Let food be your medicine



 A-Z of health issues

A-Z of natural remedies

A-Z of nutrients

 A-Z of hazards




"Nature cures not the physician..."

Hippocrates 460 BC

It must always be remembered that rodents are not human. Sometimes what works for them does not work for a human being. Testing products on rats and mice does not mean the drugs are then safe to be administered to humans. Without substantial and exceedingly lengthy human trials, there can be no certainty that synthetic drugs are a healthy alternative to natural foods.

All doctors sign the Hippocratic Oath which states 'Do no harm' yet they now administer many harmful drugs and treat the symptoms and side effects with yet more drugs rather than discover the root cause of many ailments. Quite often a healthy balanced diet and light exercise could be the answer but doctors have become accustomed to dishing out drugs and are encouraged and bribed to do so by the profit-hungry pharmaceutical companies and not given the time they need to spend investigating each individual's symptoms and signs. This does harm...

Global pharmaceutical sales reached one trillion dollars in 2014 and will be booming to 1.3 trillion by 2018 and a third of this entire multi-billion-dollar market is controlled by ten of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Around 328,000 patients in the US and Europe die from prescription drugs each year making them the fourth highest cause of death similar to the number that die of a stroke. Educating yourself about the possible dangers of your medications is the answer and never be scared to air your concerns before the side-affects become serious.  Find out the health risks below.


The acid blockers, antacids, histamine-2 receptor antagonists (H2 blockers) and proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) are commonly prescribed for treating heartburn, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and peptic ulcers.

Aluminum antacids (Maalox, Mylanta and Gaviscon) and calcium carbonate (Caltrate, Dicarbosil, Rolaids, Titralac and Tums) act by buffering or neutralising the acid pH of the stomach. Unfortunately, this reduction of stomach acid impairs the breakdown of the ingested food into its component nutrients.

Both PPI and H2 blockers significantly increase the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency in elderly patients. B12 requires adequate gastric acid for absorption. This population is already prone to deficiency in intrinsic factor, necessary for B12 absorption. This lack of stomach acid also decreases the absorption of vitamin B9 (folic acid), iron and zinc. H2 blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Axid and Zantac) decrease acid secretion by blocking histamine.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs, Prilosec, HK-20), the most potent of acid-reducing medications, are increasingly popular. They reduce stomach acid production by up to 99% by decreasing the action of proton pumps, which are part of the stomach lining’s acid-making machinery. This, however, can strongly interfere with nutrient absorption. High doses of PPIs, used for a year or more, could make people 2.5 more times susceptible to hip fracture. The longer these drugs are used, the higher the fracture risk. This heightened risk of osteoporosis is due to the drastic drop in calcium and vitamin D absorption that occurs with these drugs. The drugs themselves may hamper the body’s ability to build new bone.

Natural sources can be found on the following pages

See also Natural remedies for acid reflux


Antibiotics can cause an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria and yeasts in the intestines which can lead to leaky gut syndrome and ulcers as they also kill off the beneficial bacteria upsetting the fragile balance of the intestinal flora. Leaky gut can lead to undigested proteins escaping into the blood stream which, in turn, can lead to the immune system going into overdrive to kill off these foreign invaders in the blood. Then it may attack the body’s own tissues that resemble these proteins elsewhere in the body.

Antibiotics can disrupt the natural bacteria flora in the digestive system, killing “good” bacteria, including Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum. These are probiotics or bacteria that normally live in and on the human body, concentrated mostly in the digestive and genital/urinary systems. Vitamin K2 is made by friendly intestinal bacteria and is required for proper blood clotting and transporting calcium to the bones. Deficiency is rare, but when it occurs, life threatening bleeding can occur from the smallest injury. It also plays a part in osteoporosis prevention.

  • Fluoroquinolones and all Floxacins (including ciprofloxacin or “Cipro”) deplete calcium and iron.

  • Tetracyclines (suffix, -cycline) deplete calcium and magnesium.

  • Trimethoprim containing antibiotics (brand names Trimpex, Proloprim or Primsol) deplete vitamin B9 (folic acid).

  • Penicillin (suffix, -cillin) deplete potassium.

  • Aminoglycosides, such as gentamicin, cause imbalances of magnesium, calcium and potassium.

  • Gentamicin causes increased excretion of calcium by 5% and magnesium by 8.4%

If taking antibiotics, a selection of natural foods rich in these essential nutrients must be consumed daily:

NOTE: Limit foods with vitamin K if pregnant, breast feeding or taking blood thinning medication (such as anticoagulant/anti-platelet drugs).

Tetracycline antibiotics may not be absorbed correctly if taken with any dairy products due to the calcium content making them less effective and possibly lead to antibiotic resistant mutations in the bacteria they are treating. These should be taken at least an hour before eating any food if necessary.

Antidepressants (psychotropic medications)

For antidepressants to work optimally, an ongoing supply of the B vitamins must be available as co-factors to help manufacture the needed neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine. So, while these drugs may not directly deplete B vitamins, patients on these medications should ensure they consume foods rich in the B vitamins.

Most of the many drugs prescribed for depression are not only harmful, but highly addictive. Prozac (Fluoxetite kydroclozloride) is the most popular drug prescribed for depression and its side effects are far more serious than addiction. Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lovan and Luvox belong to a class of drugs which alter the mechanism that balances levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. Along with other neurotransmitters, serotonin affects mood, agitation, anxiety and sleep. Too much serotonin makes people anxious and obsessive while too little is believed to be a major cause of depression.

These drugs mock the re-uptake or removal of serotonin by nerve cells in the brain, thus leaving more serotonin to bind to the receptor sites. This has been shown to alter mood and behaviour. However, these drugs also produce a condition of constant agitation known as akathisia which comes from the Greek word meaning "unable to sit down." It is estimated that 10-25% of Prozac users experience this side effect, often in conjunction with suicidal thoughts, hostility and violent behaviour.

Most, if not all, of the students involved in the random shootings in the USA such as Columbine, the Jewish Daycare Centre in California and the stock trading centre in Atlanta were on Prozac, Zoloft or Ritalin. One of the most serious side-effects of Prozac is the "I don't care" attitude which anyone who takes Prozac can attest to.

Prescription drugs, especially beta blockers, steroids, birth control pills and tranquilizers induce depression in many people. Chronic diseases are often accompanied by a depressed mood which often lifts once the underlying problem is rectified. Food allergies and other dietary factors, such as excess sugar, alcohol, tobacco, aspartame and deficiencies in essential fatty acids and vitamin B complex play a large role in depression.

Tryptophan Serotonin, the neurotransmitter that antidepressants like Prozac works on, is made in the body from the amino acid tryptophan. While antidepressants more or less lock the system in a state of perpetual serotonin flood, which may be the mechanism that leads to adverse side effects like suicidal thoughts and violence, consuming foods with tryptophan provides the body with the building blocks it needs to generate its own supply of serotonin to alleviate depression, anxiety and insomnia.

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is necessary for the conversion of tryptophan to both vitamin B3 (niacin) and serotonin. A diet rich in both tryptophan and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) can remove the need for antidepressant medication.

Antidepressants do not work for severe cases of depression and have many serious side-effects and are addictive so should be avoided if possible.

See also Psychoactive drugs below

Antihistamine drugs

Benadryl is an antihistamine drug and is used to treat sneezing, runny nose, itching and other allergies, however, recent studies has shown that it may cause memory loss and dementia.

Arthritis drugs (NSAID)

Patients are often prescribed a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug for pain and these are also very easy to purchase from the pharmacy. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are one of the leading causes of drug-related morbidity, especially in elderly and those with a compromised immune system. They have been directly linked to gastrointestinal problems, destroying the inner lining of the stomach and increasing the risk for ulceration and internal bleeding. Renal effects have also been linked to them, causing fluid and sodium retention and hypertension (and eventual cardiovascular problems). Some people have developed severe kidney problems that requires dialysis treatment. This commonly taken drug is one of the most dangerous drugs there are.. Drugs for arthritis can also lead to an increased risk of developing shingles.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used for arthritis, muscle pain and headaches, including over-the-counter, low dose ibuprofen should be used as little as possible, if at all, as they can also damage the liver.

Asthma medications

Asthma medications can inspire suicidal thoughts in certain individuals.


Aspirin can cause bleeding of the stomach lining and lead to a leaky gut and ulcers. When the gut is permeated, it can then cause larger protein molecules to escape undigested into the blood stream. This in turn activates the immune system to destroy these 'foreign body' proteins but then it will also attack similar proteins that are part of the human body and can cause inflammation and pain in various parts of the body including the nervous system and the brain.

Aspirin can also contain salicylates which some people can have a sensitivity towards and this can cause many kinds of allergic reactions. In addition to the sensitivity to salicylates, aspirin has been linked to incidences of Reye’s Syndrome (a disease that affects all organs and can cause swelling of the brain and liver) in children. Use of aspirin during flu and viral illnesses should be avoided for all children. See Salicylates on the Food Allergies page.

There are many natural foods such as garlic, ginger and turmeric and certain herbs that can naturally thin the blood without causing the above side effects. See Poor Circulation.

Bipolar medications

Lithium carbonate, used for treating bipolar illness, depletes vitamin B9 (folic acid) and vitamin B8 (inositol). If taking Lithium carbonate a varying selection from each of the nutrient categories needs to be consumed daily.

Blood thinning drugs

Avoid natural blood thinning foods such as cranberry juice, cumin, garlic, ginger, paprika, and turmeric as these can cause further blood thinning and may lead to excess bleeding.

Avoid foods rich in vitamin K as they can interfere with the efficiency of blood thinners and lead to blood clotting.

Coumadin or Warfarin, the most common blood thinning drug, is a rat poison that weakens blood vessels and cells.

Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia is a low platelet count caused by a reaction against heparin, a blood thinner given to most people who are hospitalised to prevent blood clots. See the Blood disorders page.

Cancer drugs

When an individual is diagnosed with cancer and chemotherapy is suggested they will be advised about the serious side-effects this treatment can cause. Chemotherapeutic drugs have to be powerful enough to kill rapidly proliferating cancer cells but unfortunately healthy cells are also killed. The rarely discussed hope with chemotherapy is that it kills the cancer before it kills the patient. Side effects can range from appetite loss, hair loss and weakness to blood in the urine or stool, high-grade fever, severe pain over the chemotherapy infusion site, vomiting, diarrhoea and difficulty breathing. This is the body's reaction to being poisoned and chemotherapy is known to kill a significant number of cancer patients but often the death certifcate will say they died of cancer not the drug that poisoned them. See Cancer

Cholesterol lowering drugs

Grapefruit juice can cause the levels of these medications to increase in the bloodstream, which can cause the side effects caused by these drugs, most notable leg pain.

A preventive approach of a diet of natural foods high in enzymes and antioxidants with beta-carotene,  omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B9 (folic acid) and vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) vitamin C and vitamin E would lower the risk of heart disease substantially and certainly far more than cholesterol lowering drugs without the side effects.

There are many natural foods that can readdress the balance of cholesterol in the body. Some organs such as the brain and heart require cholesterol to function normally. Pharmaceutical companies have become rich on the assumption that reducing cholesterol levels in the blood will also reduce build-up of plaque on the artery walls. This is untrue however because the body excretes excess cholesterol as a natural function if the correct diet is being consumed. The consumption of fibre and omega-3 fatty acids are essential to stop plaque build-up.

See the highest food sources of nutrients required for heart health

Pomegranate juice has been proven to not only reduce build-up of plaque on the walls of the arteries but reduce plaque that is already there.

If cholesterol levels were precursors to heart disease, Eskimos (who eat raw blubber as a steady diet) would have become extinct due to heart disease years ago. Yet, heart disease is virtually non-existent among these people probably due to the high amount of omega-3 fatty acids they consume from fish.

Statin drugs ­ Mevacor, Zocor, Provachol and Lescol. These drugs, known as lovastatin, sirnvastalin, pravastatin and fiustatin, reduce production of cholesterol in the liver and alter the way in which LDL cholesterol enters the cells. They have side effects of liver toxicity, muscle inflammation, gastrointestinal disorders, leg pain and eye problems including cataracts. Several studies have discovered that statins cause severe liver damage, especially in in dosages higher than 50 milligrams per day. Atorvastatin, Simvastatin, Fluvastatin, Lovastatin, and Pravastatin have all been linked to liver injury.

Other serious side effects of statins can include:

It has recently been discovered, through a 20-year study, that statins can cause Parkinson's disease in some patients. Cholesterol is an important substance in the brain and helps to protect the nerves. Significantly lowering cholesterol levels can cause damage to the part of the brain which controls the motor functions.

Cholesterol-lowering medications have also been linked to severe muscle problems such as polyneuropathy (nerve damage in the hands and feet) and rhabdomyolysis (a serious degenerative muscle tissue condition). There is even evidence to suggest that taking statins can increase the risk of developing Lou Gehrig’s disease which is a form of motor neurone disease.

Statin drugs are the most widely prescribed medicines for lowering cholesterol. In fact, Lipitor (atorvastatin) is the best-selling drug on the planet. However, physicians need to address a serious risk. Statins deplete the body of CoenzymeQ10 with the following potential side effects: heart failure, muscle pain and weakness, irritability, mood swings, depression and impotence. The last few side effects may also be due to lack of cholesterol, which is needed for brain cell and hormone production. The potential for impaired cardiac function and myopathy (a muscular disease in which the muscle fibres do not function) is too great to be ignored. Therefore, people on statins should consume CoenzymeQ10 rich foods daily to counter this potentially fatal depletion. See CoenzymeQ10 for the list of drugs that deplete coenzyme Q10 levels in the body and the highest natural food sources of this vital component.

Diabetes drugs

Oral Hyperglycaemic; Metformin (Glucophage, Glucophage XR and Glucovance) enhances the action of insulin in cases of insulin resistance, allowing glucose to enter the cells. This reduces elevated blood sugar. Diabetics on metformin have 50% less vitamin B12 levels than people not taking metformin. The longer the drug had been used and the higher the dose, the greater the drop in vitamin B12. In people with Type 2 diabetes who take metformin therapy, serum vitamin B9 (folic acid) levels decrease 7% and vitamin B12 levels decrease by 14%.

Vitamin B12 and vitamin B9 depletion also increases homocysteine levels. In addition, metformin depletes coenzymeQ10, with the following potential side effects: arrhythmia, depression, heart failure, impotence, irritability, mood swings, muscle pain and weakness.

Find the highest natural food sources of these essential vitamins:

Liver damage has also been linked to metformin use. In one study, metformin-induced hepatitis was seen in a case of a person taking 500 milligrams of metformin three times a day and insulin glargine. Liver damage signs are jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) and discoloration of the urine and stool. Further liver damage can cause uncontrollable bleeding and insufficient clearing of toxins from the blood

NOTE: In 2008 it was found that the natural plant alkaloid known as berberine is just as effective and much safer than metformin, the patent medicine most commonly now prescribed to help re-regulate blood sugar in type 2 diabetes. However, it can cause side effects in some people, such as heart arrhythmia, and therefore should be taken with care. See Diabetes

Diuretic drugs

Drugs prescribed to treat water retention such as anti-hypertensives, thiazide-type diuretics deplete magnesium, sodium, potassium and zinc. Loop diuretics deplete potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc and vitamins B1 (thiamine), B6 (pyridoxine) and C (ascorbic acid). Furosemide causes vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency in 98 percent of patients with congestive heart failure and increases excretion of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine).

If taking any of these diuretic medications a selection of foods rich in each of these nutrients must be consumed daily.

Some medications can cause water or fluid retention (oedema) such as:

  • Beta-blockers (used to treat abnormal heart rhythms and prevent tachycardia)

  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) - medications with analgesic (pain reducing), antipyretic (fever reducing) effects. In high doses they are actually effective in reducing inflammation. Examples include aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen.

  • Oestrogen-containing drugs, such as the combined oral contraceptive pill, or HRT (hormone replacement therapy).

See how to treat water retention naturally without resorting to diuretic medications: Water retention

To find natural foods and herbs that can be as effective as diuretic medications without causing any side-effects or nutrient deficiencies see Water retention

Heart failure drugs

Liquorice contains a chemical called glycyrrhizin which can cause an irregular heartbeat when combined with digoxin, sometimes with serious complications.

High blood pressure drugs (beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers)

Avoid potassium-rich foods if taking high blood pressure tablets as they increase the amounts of potassium in the body which can cause palpitations and an irregular heartbeat.


Beta-blockers have been associated with several adverse side effects such as increased incidence of post-operative dysrhythmia, troponin elevation, heart failure, risk for hepatic failure and small-for-gestational age births.

Beta blockers reduce production of melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine). Produced from serotonin at night in the pineal gland by stimulating adrenergic beta1 and alpha1 receptors, this neuro hormone regulates circadian rhythm and promotes sound sleep. By blocking beta receptors, these drugs may inhibit the release of the enzyme serotonin N acetyltransferase, which is necessary for the synthesis of melatonin, resulting in sleep disturbance. Consume the natural foods with melatonin at bedtime to counter this effect. See Insomnia

Beta blockers are among the oldest classes of antihypertensive drugs. They lower blood pressure by reducing the effects of catecholamines, thereby reducing the force and speed of the heartbeat. Beta-adrenergic blockers deplete CoQ10 by interfering with the production of this essential enzyme for energy production. This lack of CoQ10 is particularly dangerous, considering that the target condition is cardiovascular disease. Since the heart is particularly rich in CoQ10-hungry mitochondria, the energy factory of the cell, the end result can be heart failure.

Calcium channel blockers

Side effects of calcium channel blockers cab be bipedal oedema, chest pain, hypersensitivity, and difficulty of breathing and a study published in 2014 discovered that immediate-release calcium channel blockers is associated with an increased risk for breast cancer.

Hormone replacement therapy drugs

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) oestrogen and progesterone, orally, including as an oral contraceptive or as a transdermal skin cream can deplete levels of vitamin B6, vitamin B9, vitamin B12 and magnesium which affects levels of vitamin B2, vitamin C and zinc. These nutrients are critical for heart health, as well as for mood. Rather than an receiving antidepressant prescriptions to treat the depression caused, these women should be pay attention to their diet. This applies to younger women on oral contraceptives as well. A selection from each of the nutrients must be consumed daily.

Painkillers (analgesic)

Any member of the group of drugs used to relieve pain (achieve analgesia). The word analgesic derives from Greek an- (without) and algos (pain). Analgesic drugs act in various ways on the peripheral and central nervous systems; they include paracetamol (para-acetylaminophenol, acetaminophen), the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as the salicylates, and opioid drugs such as morphine and tramadol. The analgesic choice is also determined by the type of pain: for neuropathic pain, traditional analgesics are less effective, and there is often benefit from classes of drugs that are not normally considered analgesics, such as tricyclic antidepressants and anticonvulsants.

Dosing of all opioids may cause opioid toxicity; confusion, respiratory depression, myoclonic jerks and pinpoint pupils and seizures (Tramadol). 160mg dosages used to be available of some opiate based painkillers but were taken off shelves due to some deaths and because of addictions which could not be diverted. But this does not stop the danger of anyone taking extra smaller dosage tablets.  

Serious liver damage is the outcome of long term use of 'paracetamol' based drugs at high doses

Opioids and opiates, while very effective analgesics, may have some unpleasant side-effects. Up to 1 in 3 patients starting morphine may experience nausea and vomiting, which is relieved by administering a course of another medication known as anti-emetics. But the body is vomiting because it is being poisoned; a natural reaction. To stop this is detrimental to the liver and kidneys.

Pruritus (itching) is another common side effect as is constipation which occurs in almost all patients on opiates and opioids and so yet another medication is prescribed to act as a laxative adding more toxins to a body which is already under stress through that which is causing the pain.

Ibuprofen is unsuitable for pregnant women and patients with stomach problems, asthma, severe liver disease or kidney problems.

Opiates (painkillers) refers to natural and synthetic narcotics that have the same effects as opiates even though it is not obtained from opium. The terms opioid, opiates and narcotics are customarily used interchangeably.

Painkilling drugs with opiate effects

  • 1-acetyl-methadol

  • Actiq

  • Anexsia

  • Biocodone

  • Buprenorphine

  • Codeine

  • Damason-P

  • Depalgos 

  • Diamorphine

  • Dicodid

  • Dihydrocodeinone

  • Duodin

  • Endocet

  • Endone 

  • Fentanyl

  • Hycet

  • Hycodan

  • Hydrocodone

  • Hydromet

  • Hycomine

  • Hydrococet

  • Hydrokon

  • Hydrovo

  • Kolikodol

  • LAAM

  • Levacetylmethadol

  • Levomethadyl acetate

  • Lorcet

  • Lortab

  • Mercodinone

  • Methadone

  • Morphine

  • Norco

  • Norgan

  • Novahistex

  • Orlaam

  • Orthoxycol

  • Oxycodone

  • OxyContin

  • OxyContin OP

  • OxyIR

  • OxyNorm

  • Percocet

  • Percodan 

  • Pethidine

  • Roxicet

  • Roxicodone

  • Subutex

  • Symtan

  • Synkonin

  • Tramadol

  • Venlafaxine

  • Vicodin

  • Xodol

  • Zydone

Pain killer side effects

  • Abdominal pain

  • Abnormal dreams

  • Anxiety

  • Blurred vision

  • Body aches

  • Constipation

  • Depression

  • Diarrhoea

  • Dry mouth

  • Flu-like symptoms

  • Headaches

  • Hot flashes

  • Insomnia

  • Itching

  • Nausea

  • Rash

  • Sweating

  • Tinnitus

  • Vomiting

Painkiller withdrawal symptoms

  • Abdominal cramps

  • Aches

  • Agitation

  • Anxiety

  • Chills

  • Cold sweats

  • Cramps

  • Depression

  • Diaphoresis

  • Diarrhoea

  • Dilated pupils

  • Fever

  • Flu-like symptoms

  • Hypertension

  • Increased respiration

  • Insomnia

  • Irritability

  • Lacrimation

  • Muscle twitching

  • Nausea

  • Nightmares

  • Rhinorrhoea (blocked nose)

  • Spasms

  • Tremor

  • Vomiting

  • Yawning

The anti-inflammatory painkiller, diclofenac, can significantly increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke for some patients.

Psychoactive drugs

Psychoactive drugs are prescription medication used for the treatment of aggression, Alzheimer's disease, anxiety, depression, insomnia and other brain disorders. Sleeping pills work quickly, usually within 15 minutes. When medication is stopped rebound insomnia usually occurs leaving many patients on long term use which is damaging to many organs in the body. Psychoactive drugs are prescribed far too often for disorders that are nutrient deficiency based. A poor unbalanced diet of processed foods, alcohol, drug abuse, other medications and toxins from the environment are most often to blame for neurological disorders, anxiety, depression and insomnia.

A study conducted on the pharmacological treatment of Alzheimer’s disease found that antipsychotics increased a person’s risk for developing diabetes mellitus, heart disease, stroke and even overall mortality. The most popular drug prescribed for Alzheimer’s is Aricept or Donezepil and has been linked to nausea, diarrhoea, dizziness, insomnia and malaise.

All brain-active drugs should be avoided especially by the elderly and children. Psychotropic drugs should be used as little as possible and mostly in very acute situations, as they are very harmful when used long term and they can cause development difficulties in children.

Benzodiazepene (tranquillisers, sleeping pills) are drugs that enhance the effect of a brain chemical transmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which depresses or calms the central nervous system, slowing down mental activity to cause relaxation and sedation. Once the brain gets used to receiving this daily withdrawal will cause so much suffering the user becomes unable to live without the drug-induced calmness. In England, 11.5 million prescriptions were issued for Benzodiazepine drugs in 2012.

‘Z’ drugs (nonbenzodiazepines, benzodiazepine-like-drugs) are a class of psychoactive drugs whose pharmacological actions are similar to those of the benzodiazepines, but are structurally distant or unrelated to the benzodiazepines on a chemical level. They have similar side effects and risks as the benzodiazepines:

Psychoactive drugs with severe side effects

  • CL-218,872

  • L-838,417

  • RWJ-51204

  • SX-3228

  • Y-23684

  • Alpidem

  • Alprazolam

  • Ambien

  • Ambien CR

  • Ativan

  • Benzodiazepine

  • Clonazepam

  • Cyclopyrrolones

  • Diazepam

  • Eszopiclone

  • Etifoxine

  • Efexor

  • Imidazopyridine

  • Imovane

  • Indiplon

  • Intermezzo

  • Klonopin

  • Lorazepam

  • Lunesta

  • Necopidem

  • Ocinaplon

  • Pagoclone

  • Panadiplon

  • Pazinaclone

  • Pyrazolopyrimidine

  • Quetiapine

  • Saripidem

  • Seroquel

  • Sonata

  • Stilnoct

  • Sublinox

  • Suriclone

  • Suproclone

  • Temazepam

  • Valium

  • Xanax

  • Zaleplon

  • Zimovane

  • Zoplicone

  • Zolpidem

Side effects from psychoactive drugs

  • Altered thought patterns

  • Anterograde amnesia

  • Ataxia or poor motor coordination, difficulty maintaining balance

  • Delusions

  • Dizziness

  • Dysphoria

  • Euphoria

  • Hallucinations, through all physical senses, of varying intensity

  • Headaches

  • Inability to control bladder

  • Increased appetite

  • Increased or decreased libido

  • Impaired judgment and reasoning

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Sleepwalking

  • Uninhibited extroversion in social or interpersonal settings

  • Increased impulsivity

Slimming drugs

Dinitrophenol (DNP) is a drug that is banned for human consumption but is still used as a chemical pesticide. It is sold online as a slimming aid in tablet or powder form, but is extremely dangerous to human health. Anyone who believes they may have taken DNP should seek medical advice immediately. Signs of acute poisoning include nausea, vomiting, restlessness, flushed skin, sweating, dizziness, headaches, rapid breathing and irregular heart-beat, which can lead to coma and death. Consuming lower amounts over longer periods can cause cataracts and skin lesions and effects on the heart, blood and nervous system.

Sibutramine (trade name Meridia in the USA, Reductil in Europe and other countries), sibutramide hydrochloride monohydrate, is an orally administered agent for the treatment of obesity. It acts upon neurotransmitters in the brain that control appetite but was banned in the UK and USA in 2010 because it causes serious heart problems including arrhythmia and heart attacks and interferes with medications. It is still available to purchase online but should be avoided.


High blood sugar leading to diabetes can be caused by inhalers which contain steroids.

Steroids are very powerful hormones that can be extremely dangerous. They are used to stop rejection of transplanted organs, to reduce inflammation and pain in bones and joints, by body builders to increase muscle size and topically for skin irritations and rashes.

Pain is an important part of the body’s self-protection mechanism. Pain is meant to slow the person down to give the body a chance to recuperate, to conserve energy and to stop them from pushing themselves further over the limit, damaging the body even more. Painkillers enable people to carry on until they eventually breakdown.

Prednisone or Cortisone, also known as corticosteroids, are a class of medications that are related to cortisone, a steroid. Medications of this class powerfully reduce inflammation. They are used to reduce the inflammation caused by a variety of diseases. Cortisone is one type of corticosteroid. In patients with underlying infections, cortisone can suppress the body's ability to fight the infection and possibly worsen the infection or may mask the infection by suppressing the symptoms and signs of inflammation. This medication should never be taken for more than two weeks, if at all.

With higher doses and frequent administration side effects of steroids (especially anabolic steroids) are devastating to the body and include:

  • Acne (steroid acne)

  • Addiction

  • Aggression increase ('Roid Rage')

  • Avascular necrosis; damage to the bones of the large joints

  • Body hair growth increase

  • Bone fractures; especially the long bones and vertebrae

  • Bruising easily

  • Cataracts formation

  • Clitoral hypertrophy; women who use steroids may experience an irreversible increase in clitoris size.

  • Death

  • Diabetes

  • Face puffiness (moon face)

  • Fluid retention (oedema)

  • Growth deceleration (slowing of the rate of growth).

  • Growth stunted; as androgen levels rise it leads to advancement and fusion of the epiphysis (growth plates in the bones).

  • Gynecomastia. can aromatize (convert to oestrogen) and cause enlargement of mammary tissue in males, resulting in breasts.

  • Hair loss; can convert to variants of Dihydrotestosterone and speed up the process of male pattern baldness

  • Heart disease; enlargement of the left ventricle of the heart, heart attack and coronary disease.

  • High blood pressure; raises red blood cell count and hematocrit levels which can cause blood pressure to rise significantly.

  • HIV, hepatitis and other blood carried pathogens and viruses; using non sterile needles to inject steroids

  • Hypogonadism; the shrinking of testicles. The body halts natural testosterone production due to the intake of steroidal testosterone.

  • Infection; reduced immune system capability to fight infections due to nutrient deficiencies

  • Infertility; causes a reduction in sperm count, resulting in decreased ability to reproduce.

  • Intestinal bleeding

  • LDL cholesterol increase: this excess remains on cell walls causing atherosclerosis and heart disease.

  • HDL cholesterol decrease: HDL cholesterol is very dense and helps to clear debris from arterial walls.

  • Liver toxicity.

  • Menstrual problems: can cause cycle irregularities, a hindrance or loss of menstruation and a decline in reproductive ability.

  • Muscle weakness

  • Oedema (water retention) caused by elevated and imbalanced oestrogen levels, coupled with increased sodium levels.

  • Osteoporosis; (thinning of the bones)

  • Peptic ulcers

  • Prostate Enlargement. can enlarge the prostate gland increasing the risk of urination problems and prostate cancer.

  • Sexual dysfunction; causes a temporary of a loss of libido and sexual impotence.

  • Skin thinning and becoming fragile leading to vitamin D deficiency

  • Stroke; has been medically linked to an increased incidence of strokes.

  • Triglycerides increase; elevated LDL can raise triglycerides, which contribute to serious health problems.

  • Voice deepening; occurs in both men and women.

  • Weight gain

  • Wounds; slow healing

Nutritional effect of steroids

Common adverse nutritional effects caused by steroid therapy include stomach irritation, water retention (oedema), weight gain, high blood sugar, sodium retention and impaired absorption of vitamin D, calcium, potassium and magnesium which affects levels of vitamin B2, vitamin C and zinc.

In people who have diabetes steroids, including cortisone, can elevate the blood sugar. Steroid agents elevate blood sugar by triggering the breakdown of protein and fat, which leads to increased availability of molecules used to make glucose, including amino acids and glycerol. Persistently high blood sugar associated with prolonged steroid use is a risk for dehydration, recurrent infections, heart disease and in some cases increases the risk of developing type II diabetes

Prolonged steroid therapy can lead to the breakdown of protein to release short-term energy sources, a process called protein catabolism. While the process can be beneficial in times of stress, over time it results in severe loss of body protein, muscle wasting, poor tissue healing and an increased risk of infection. If taking steroids as a part of cancer therapy, eating a protein source at each meal can limit additional breakdown of muscle and bone and help avoid weakness and poor wound healing related to protein deficiency.

Sleeping pills

Sleeping pills should never be taken as they can become relied upon and lead to serious nutrient deficiencies. Studies have also proven that they increase the risk of a stroke. They can also cause falls in the night especially for the elderly.

Thyroid medications

Avoid walnuts and other high fibre foods when taking thyroid medications

Urinary incontinence drugs

These should be avoided as they very likely do not work.

Why to avoid unnecessary medications


Deaths from drugs prescribed by doctors, approved by the government, manufactured by pharmaceutical companies and sold to the consumer as medicine have now become the leading cause of deaths worldwide, more so than car accidents. Drugs such as painkillers, sedatives and stimulants all share a common characteristic: they promote abuse, dependence and addiction. Records show that in 2013 approximately 1.5 million people in the United Kingdom became addicted to prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Addiction to some drugs such as Codeine can take place within three days. See Addictions

Alzheimer's disease and dementia

Alzheimer's disease and dementia has recently been linked with certain medications such as paracetemol, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, painkillers, anti-psychotics, drugs for incontinence, antihistamine hay fever drugs, antacids and blood pressure medications. Elimination of these drugs has been reported to stop the symptoms of both Alzheimer's disease and dementia. People taking at least 10 mg/day of doxepin (antidepressant), four mg/day of diphenhydramine (a sleep aid), or five mg/day of oxybutynin (a urinary incontinence drug) for more than three years are at greater risk of developing dementia. Antihistamine drugs can raise the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease by 50%. See Alzheimer's disease and dementia

Bacterial infections

Many drugs, (especially antibiotics) are so powerful they interfere with the normal flora levels in the intestines by killing off the friendly bacteria and the imbalance allows pathogenic bacteria to invade, proliferate and take over various parts of the body. For natural prevention, treatments and cures of infections see the following:

Drug-induced systemic lupus erythematosus

One debilitating condition affecting the immune system called 'drug induced lupus erythematosus' is caused by many medications including minocycline or hydralazine.This is a drug-induced autoimmune disorder, which means the body mistakenly attacks its own healthy tissue. It is caused by a hypersensitivity reaction to a medication. It may affect the skin, joints, kidneys, brain and other organs. Africans and Asians are affected more.

Symptoms of lupus

Symptoms vary from person to person, and may come and go and tend to occur after taking the drug for at least three months. Symptoms that affect the joints (arthritis), heart and lungs. Other symptoms associated such as lupus nephritis and nervous system (neurological) disease are rare. Frequently affected joints are the fingers, hands, wrists, and knees. Other common symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision

  • Chest pain when taking a deep breath (similar to pleurisy pain)

  • Fatigue

  • Fever with no other cause

  • General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling (malaise)

  • Hair loss

  • Joint pain

  • Joint swelling

  • Loss of appetite

  • Mouth sores

  • Sensitivity to sunlight

  • Skin rash a "butterfly" rash over the cheeks and bridge of the nose affects about half of people with drug induced lupus erythematosus. The rash gets worse in sunlight. The rash may also be widespread.

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Weight loss

Other symptoms (depending on what part of the body is affected)

  • Brain and nervous system: headaches, numbness, tingling, seizures, vision problems, personality changes

  • Digestive tract: abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting

  • Heart: abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias)

  • Lung: coughing up blood and difficulty breathing

  • Skin: patchy skin colour, fingers that change colour when cold (Raynaud's phenomenon)

  • Some patients only have skin symptoms. This is called discoid lupus.

The most common drugs known to cause drug-induced lupus erythematosus

  • Anti-seizure medications

  • Capoten

  • Chlorpromazine

  • Etanercept

  • Hydralazine

  • Infliximab

  • Isoniazid

  • Methyldopa

  • Minocycline

  • Penicillamine

  • Procainamide

  • Quinidine

  • Sulfasalazine

For more information see Lupus on the Bone disorders page.

Environment contamination

In the summer of 2013 researchers discovered that many hormone disruptors thought to be permanently broken down by sunlight, can regenerate at night - returning to life like zombies. The finding means that environmental concentrations of these chemicals, known to harm fish and increasingly linked to human health problems such as cancer and infertility, may have been vastly underestimated.

Trenbolone acetate is a synthetic anabolic steroid used as a growth promoter in more than 20 million cattle in the United States each year (this practice is banned in the European Union). At neutral pH and 25 ºC, it takes five days to regenerate 60% of a sample of 17α-trenbolone from its breakdown products. Higher temperatures or slightly acidic or alkaline conditions accelerated this process. Other steroids with similar chemical structures can regenerate in the same way, including dienogest, an oral contraceptive and dienedione, an illicit anabolic steroid.

Food that comes from fresh water sources in the USA must be avoided. Because many other steroids can pollute the water supply and regenerate at night after daytime exposure has supposedly rendered them harmless it is important that proper analysis is done in other countries water supplies too. It could be that people are ingesting far more of these hormone-disrupting chemicals daily than previously thought which will adversely affect health.

Foods that effect drugs

  • Algae and seaweed such as chlorella and spirulina, may interfere with medications to suppress the immune system.

  • Cranberries and cranberry juice can thin the blood and cause bleeding if consumed with blood thinning drugs.

  • Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can complicate many different medications so should be avoided when taking any drugs.

  • Liquorice root herb inhibits the effectiveness of some drugs, including blood thinners, contraceptive (birth control) pills, high blood pressure tablets and pain relievers.

  • Tyramine-rich foods taken at the same time as antibiotics can cause unsafe spikes in blood pressure. This amino acid is found in food that’ is cured, fermented or smoked such as bacon, salami, dry sausage and processed cheeses and in alcohol, avocados, and bananas.

Fungi and yeasts

Certain fungi are normally present on the skin and body but when there is a shift in the normal balance of the microorganisms, these fungi grow incessantly and result in infections. Certain drugs like antibiotics, corticosteroids, azathioprine and the ones administered during chemotherapy suppress the immune system thereby increasing the risk of fungal infections. See Fungi and yeasts


Gout is a disease usually caused by having too much uric acid in the body and the deposition of monosodium urate crystals in tissues. Too much uric acid may not cause gout symptoms for years, but after a time it can cause painful joint inflammation and it is more common in men. See Gout

Drugs that can cause gout:

  • Aspirinuse

  • Diuretics such as thiazides

  • L Dopa

  • Cyclosporine

  • Nicotinic acid supplements

Drug-induced Parkinsonism

Unfortunately, there are many commonly prescribed medications and recreational drugs which can cause drug induced Parkinsonism which has all the same symptoms as Parkinson's disease. Rather than take more medications for the Parkinson's symptoms, these drugs should be investigated and changed or eliminated wherever possible. Any drug that blocks the action of dopamine (referred to as a dopamine antagonist) is likely to cause parkinsonism.

Recreational drugs especially 'legal highs' are often made with synthetic chemicals like desmethylprodine MPPP and MPTP. A breakdown product of these chemicals can produce severe and permanent damage to the dopamine-containing cells in the basal ganglia of the brain which causes permanent Parkinsonism.

Toxicity due to substances such as carbon monoxide, carbon disulfide, manganese, paraquat, mercury, hexane, rotenone and toluene as well as inhalant abuse can also cause permanent damage and lead to Parkinson's disease.

Drugs that can cause Parkinson’s disease symptoms

  • Aldomet (high blood pressure)

  • Amisulpride (neuroleptic)

  • Amiodarone (heart conditions)

  • Amisulpiride (schizophrenia and bipolar disorders)

  • Antipsychotics (neurological disorders)

  • Aripiprazole (schizophrenia)

  • Bumetande (diuretic)

  • Butyrophenones (neurological disorders)

  • Calcium channel blockers (high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm, angina pectoris, panic attacks, manic depression, migraine)

  • Camcolit (depression)

  • Cinnarizine (nausea and vomiting, motion sickness, vertigo, dizziness, tinnitus, vascular disease and Raynaud’s syndrome, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm, angina pectoris, panic attacks, manic depression and migraine)

  • Clopidegrol (blood thinner)

  • Clopixol (neuroleptic)

  • Chloractil (neuroleptic)

  • Chlorpromazine hydrocloride (neuroleptic)

  • Clozaril (neuroleptic)

  • Clozapine (neurological disorders)

  • Cocaine (recreational drug)

  • Cordarone X (heart problems)

  • Denzapine (neuroleptic)

  • Depixol (neuroleptic)

  • Desmethylprodine MPPP (recreational drug)

  • Domatil (neuroleptic)

  • Escitalopram (antidepressant)

  • Ezetimibe (statin - cholesterol lowering)

  • Fentazin (neuroleptic)

  • Fluphenazine (depression)

  • Haloperidol (neurological disorders)

  • Largactil  (neuroleptic)

  • Levomepromazine  (neuroleptic)

  • Li-Liquid (depression)

  • Liskonum (depression)

  • Lithium (depression)

  • Maxolon (sickness and indigestion)

  • Melleril (neuroleptic)

  • Methotrimeprazine (neuroleptic)

  • Methyldopa (high blood pressure)

  • Metoclopramide (nausea and vomiting)

  • Migramax (migraine)

  • Modecate (neuroleptic)

  • Moditen (neuroleptic)

  • Motipress  (depression)

  • Motival (neuroleptic)

  • Neulactil (neuroleptic)

  • Neuroleptics  (neurological disorders)

  • Nortriptyline (neuroleptic)

  • Nozinan (neuroleptic)

  • Olanzapine (neurological disorders)

  • Omeprazole (antacid)

  • Orap (neuroleptic)

  • Oxypertine (neuroleptic)

  • Parnate (depression)

  • Paramax (migraine)

  • Pericyazine (neuroleptic)

  • Perphenazine (neuroleptic)

  • Phenothiazine (antipsychotic and antihistaminic)

  • Pimozide  (neuroleptic)

  • Piportil  (neuroleptic)

  • Pipotiazine  (neuroleptic)

  • Priadel (depression)

  • Prochlorperazine (nausea and dizziness)

  • Promazine hydrochloride (neuroleptic)

  • Prozac (depression)

  • Quetiapine  (neurological disorders)

  • Reserpine (high blood pressure and mental agitation)

  • Risperidone (neurological disorders)

  • Risperdal (neuroleptic)

  • Seroquel (neuroleptic)

  • Sodium valproate (epilepsy)

  • Solian (neuroleptic)

  • Stelazine (neuroleptic)

  • Stemetil (neuroleptic)

  • Stugeron  (nausea and vomiting, motion sickness, vertigo, dizziness, tinnitus, vascular disease and Raynaud’s syndrome, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm, angina pectoris, panic attacks, manic depression and migraine)

  • Sulpiride (neurological disorders)

  • Sulpitil (neuroleptic)

  • Sulpor (neuroleptic)

  • Tamsulosin (for prostate enlargement)

  • Tetrabenazine (involuntary movement disorders, Huntington disease)

  • Thioridazine (neuroleptic)

  • Tranylcypromine (depression)

  • Trifluoperazine (nausea and vomiting, anxiety, schizophrenia, psychosis)

  • Triptafen (neuroleptic)

  • Zoleptil (neuroleptic)

  • Zotepine (schizophrenia)

  • Zuclopenthixol acetate (neuroleptic)

  • Zyprexa (neuroleptic)

NOTE: If the Parkinson’s condition is caused by a medication, the doctor should investigate by a process of elimination then change or stop the medicine(s) responsible. However, the benefits of the medication should be weighed against the severity of symptoms but if they are not vital for life they should be eliminated.

See Parkinson's disease


Tinnitus can be the result of certain drugs, most notably aspirin, several types of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, sedatives and antidepressants as well as quinine medications. Tinnitus is cited as a potential side effect for about 200 prescription and non-prescription drugs. See Tinnitus

Toxic additives

It is only coming to light now, after decades of constant exposure for millions of people to noxious toxins, which are inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin, that human health is seriously affected by them. Toxins can be stored and build up in the body in various locations causing misery and debilitating conditions and diseases such as allergies, skin rashes, digestion problems, asthma, liver, pancreas, kidney, glandular and respiratory disorders and failures, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and heart disease, as well as the the deadly tumours of cancer. Microscopic particles of these toxins travel through the human body and collect anywhere in the soft fatty tissues, glands, the liver, kidneys, brain and other organs. Toxic substances are introduced into the body as part of formulations which are supposed to help deal with health issues.

Excipients used in medications include anti-adherents, binders, coatings, disintegrants, fillers or diluents, flavours, colours, glidants, lubricants, preservatives, sorbents and sweeteners, and all of these substances can potentially damage the nerves.

Liquid medicines, given to babies or adults who can't swallow tablets, contain Ethanol (in iron and Furosemide), sorbitol (in Dexamethasone and iron), Ponceaau 4R (in iron) and propylene glycol (in Dexamethasone) which are all examples of excipients in medicines. 

Many drugs contain sulphites (sulfites) which some people can have a serious allergic reaction to.

Drugs that contain sulphites

See: Sulphites

Both prescribed pharmaceutical medication and manufactured recreational (illegal) drugs can cause a toxic build-up in the body causing mental health issues like depression, anxiety, depression, panic attacks and paranoia. They can also cause allergies, skin rashes, digestion problems, brittle bones, dental decay, tinnitus, kidney, liver and pancreas damage, nutrient deficiencies, respiratory disorders and lead to neurological brain and nerve damage, organ failures, heart disease, cancer and early death. This may not become apparent until later in life after long term use and by then the damage will be too far gone to reverse.

See also

Let nature cure you...

Ingesting natural medicinal plants to heal is not only healthier but the cost is so much lower to both health and the pocket when many of these plants can be home grown from seeds in the garden or in pots on patios, on balconies and indoors. Most people nowadays do not possess the correct balance of beneficial bacteria in their intestines to enable their body to flush out the toxins in their systems. Especially if they are primarily consuming processed foods, with most of the vital fibre, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients stripped out and the food additives which kill off even more friendly bacteria, block nutrient absorption and add to the toxic overload. With all these factors in mind, begin with a natural healthy diet that aids the expulsion of toxins and chemicals that do not belong in the body. See the Cleanse and Detoxify page.

Consume a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, seeds, plant and seed oils, nuts, dried fruits, herbs and spices and plenty of fibre. Cut down on meat, cut out sugar, coffee. white flour and all processed foods. Visit the A-Z of ailments page to find a particular condition, symptoms, causes and the natural foods that protect, prevent and aid recovery.

Nutrient deficiencies

Drug-induced nutrient depletion is far more common than has been acknowledged. In evaluating patients’ symptoms, doctors must assess whether symptoms are due to the illness, to the side effects of the drugs, or to drug-induced nutrient depletion. Considering the inadequate nutritional status of the majority of the population, it must be remembered that the illness itself may be due, in part, to nutrient deficiency.

For insurance, it is easiest to consume natural foods high in CoQ10, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and probiotics. Vitamin B complex especially vitamin B12 is also important as many drugs deplete these vital nutrients. Doctors must look more deeply and determine underlying causes to determine whether drugs are harming patients and try to reverse these effects. As a patient, be aware of these drug-induced nutrient depletions and try to avoid taking medications whenever possible, using natural products instead.

The main problem with adding chemicals to the diet is that they block normal processes and the user becomes nutrient deficient. They then leave themselves open to attack by viruses, fungi and pathogenic bacteria especially the elderly and the immune compromised. Drugs block the absorption and manufacture of many vitamins, minerals and nutrients in the body which can lead to infection and disease and in some cases, even be fatal.

Armed with information about which natural foods to consume to counteract the nutrient deficiency caused by some many medications, it is possible to control and prevent chronic diseases and infections.

Drugs block nutrient's effects or production at the cellular level. In addition to the intended effect on enzymes or receptors, medications can influence enzymes or receptors that help process essential nutrients. For example, widely prescribed statin drugs block the activity of HMG-CoA, an enzyme that's required to manufacture cholesterol in the body. This action also depletes the body of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which requires HMG-CoA for its production. This has a serious negative impact on muscle and heart health.

Drugs also can increase the loss of nutrients through the urinary system. Any drug that does this can drain the body's levels of water-soluble nutrients, including the B vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and potassium. The major offenders are medications to treat hypertension, particularly the diuretics that reduce blood pressure by increasing the volume of water flushed out of the body.

Some drugs can deplete nutritional status by increasing the desire for unhealthy foods, such as refined carbohydrates. Many of the neuroleptics (anti-psychotic drugs) and some antidepressants cause insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome, with results in blood sugar swings. Patients then crave simple carbohydrates, such as sugar, bread and pasta. Steroid drugs, including those given by an inhaler, can create similar issues as well.

Weight loss drugs and cholesterol lowering medicines similarly bind to fats, preventing them from being absorbed.

Drugs that treat acid reflux or heartburn raise the pH environment of the upper gastrointestinal tract, which reduces absorption of needed vitamins and minerals. This is especially problematic among the elderly, who often are already low in stomach acid.

Certain medications reduce the absorption of specific nutrients in the gastrointestinal tract by binding to them before they’re absorbed into the bloodstream. The antibiotic, tetracycline, for example, can block absorption by binding with minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc in the gastrointestinal tract.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is vital for mitochondrial function. The human body manufactures CoQ10 from amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine which are converted into CoQ10. Proper functioning of this process depends upon adequate amounts of all the precursors being present and the conversion processes working correctly. These amino acids begin to transform to CoQ10 in the presence of the pyridoxal-5-phosphate form of vitamin B6. The vitamins B2, B3, B5, B9 and C, selenium and several trace mineral elements must also be present. An additional 10 mg of CoQ10 is gained from a healthy diet.

Medications such as diuretics, beta blockers, cholesterol lowering drugs such as Statins like Lipitor, atorvastatin or drugs for lowering blood sugar such as metformin will deplete their system of this vital component with the following potential side effects:

Beta-adrenergic blockers deplete CoQ10 by interfering with the production of this essential enzyme for energy production. This lack of CoQ10 is particularly dangerous, considering that the target condition is cardiovascular disease. Since the heart is particularly rich in CoQ10-hungry mitochondria, the energy factory of the cell, the end result can be heart failure.

The following is a partial list of the prescription drugs that deplete coenzyme Q10 levels

Anti-diabetic drugs that deplete coenzyme Q10 levels

Antidepressant drugs that deplete coenzyme Q10 levels

Beta-blockers that deplete coenzyme Q10 levels

Calcium channel blocking agents that deplete coenzyme Q10 levels

Cardiovascular drugs that deplete coenzyme Q10 levels

Cholesterol-lowering drugs that deplete coenzyme Q10 levels

Diuretics that deplete coenzyme Q10 levels

HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) that deplete coenzyme Q10 levels

Psychotherapeutic drugs (tranquilizers) that deplete coenzyme Q10 levels

Vasodilators that deplete coenzyme Q10 levels

For highest natural sources see Coenzyme Q10


Medications which deplete or block absorption of methionine, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) may also decrease the production of the amino acid cysteine. A deficiency of cysteine levels may reduce one's ability to prevent free radical damage and may result in impaired function of the immune system and neurodegenerative diseases, including multiple sclerosis, amylotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) and Alzheimer's disease. Cysteine may also play a role in the prevention and treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome, asthma, cancer, cataracts, hair loss, heart disease, heavy metal toxicity or exposure, HIV/AIDS, liver disease, Parkinson's disease, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and viral infections.

For highest natural food sources see Cysteine


Medications which deplete or block absorption of methionine, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) may also decrease the production of the amino acid glutathione. Deficiency of glutathione can be connected to most degenerative disease, illness and adverse health conditions. People who have cancer, HIV/AIDS, or other very serious disease, almost invariably are deficient in glutathione. Foods rich in alpha-lipoic acid and selenium can also help to increase levels of glutathione.


Some other conditions that may be caused by glutathione deficiency

For foods to consume which will help the body create glutathione see Glutathione


Medications which deplete or block absorption of vitamin A, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) or zinc can lead to diminished levels of a vital amino acid called taurine in the body. Taurine deficiency can lead to the following conditions:

For highest natural food sources see Taurine

For other natural foods that contain the essential nutrients required when taking medications see:


Many pharmaceutical medications interfere with the body's levels of minerals and other nutrients and when people age they are less able to naturally produce and absorb these vital minerals and nutrients. It is then that they are also mostly likely to be taking these medications for ailments often caused by a simple lack of certain nutrients in the first place. This then doubles their chance of having a further imbalance of minerals and other nutrients and leads to them being prescribed even more medications and the cycle continues until their death through ignorance of the fact that a balance is required of all nutrients.

Treating the symptoms of ailments without resolving the cause is as helpful as repeatedly painting over a damp ceiling but not resolving the leak. Eventually the ceiling will cave in but the paint supplier will be rich by then.

The 'side effects' of statins and many other medications are not only debilitating but can be dangerous. Side effects are constantly ignored until thousands of people are affected and there is a public outcry. So many suffer in silence or take more drugs to combat the side effects not knowing that they are damaging their delicate highly sensitive system sometimes beyond repair because they trust the health practitioner to know for them. Food is naturally balanced and the body is used to dealing with it. Chemicals and synthetic additives simply upset the natural balance that must exist for optimum health.

The interdependency that goes on within the human body at a molecular level cannot be replicated synthetically by humans as yet because they are still in the process of learning about nutrients, minerals, bacteria, viruses, fungi and the all the complex micro processes involved. The current trend of prescribing manufactured medication to cure all infections has had disastrous results and caused debilitating side effects.

Antibiotics, for instance, have managed to develop MRSA 'superbugs' (Staphylococcus aureus) which have outdone man's attempts to interfere with natural processes. Now other serious diseases such as gonorrhoea and tuberculosis are becoming resistant too. Not only that but the chemicals in the drugs exacerbate the problem even further by adding a toxic overload to the already weakened human body and upset the body's natural defences and processes.

With the high toxicity levels in the human body today, allergies, infections, disease, obesity, cancer and the number of antibiotic resistant superbugs are rising fast. It is now time to include plants and herbs in the diet that contain natural antibacterial, antifungal, antivirus and anti-parasitic components which act as human friendly medicines and will have no adverse side effects.

No drugs can boast the same principle. Most drugs cause adverse reactions and some can lead to nutrient deficiency, chronic infections and damage the brain, nervous system, heart, liver, pancreas, gall bladder, spleen and kidneys. Plants do not cause allergic reactions because the body is very clever at taking what it needs and expelling what it doesn't from natural plants.

Organic plants are in balance with the human body whereas drugs are not. Extracting and concentrating the special properties in plants is not only unnecessary but can prove dangerous and even fatal. This is because the body cannot deal with an enforced ingestion of powerful chemicals that are not in balance with other nutrients as they are in plants. If the substance was swallowed the reaction would be to vomit because that is what the body does when it is poisoned. However, in slow release capsules, the poison is released past the stomach so that it does not throw it back out again.

Other toxic chemicals are added to drugs to make them easier to swallow, slow releasing or to shape or colour them. This also has toxic adverse effects on the body. Some chewable vitamin and mineral supplements even contain the carcinogenic sweetener, aspartame, which has a myriad of adverse effects.

Drug side-effects

Many drugs cause 'side effects' which can be anything from uncomfortable to completely debilitating. Chemicals that lower cholesterol in the blood such as 'Statins' have been known to cause unfathomable aches and pains in the joints. Anything that is causing pain or skin rashes, tinnitus and other adverse effects is the body's natural reaction to something that is doing it harm.

Some people put up with painful side effects of their medications for years because they have been terrified into believing they are at risk of a heart problem from high cholesterol levels. Scare tactics are so often used in marketing. The body needs cholesterol to carry out many processes. Medications to reduce this also affects the balance of vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and Coenzyme Q10 which are vital for the health of the heart, brain, kidneys and other organs to function correctly.

Drugs seriously affect processes that scientists are only just discovering take place in the human body at a molecular level. Interfere with these processes and the results can be disastrous.

Instead of altering the diet and consuming only nutrient rich healthy natural foods, people 'pop a pill', so they can continue to consume that which is the root of the problem in the first place, risk free. The same can be said of many diabetics who simply need to lose some weight by reducing their high sugar and toxin intake and stop eating processed foods. Medications can keep people alive longer but with a severely reduced quality of life requiring extra medications which simply mask the damaging side effects and go on to create new ones.

Metallic taste

A strong and unpleasant metallic taste is a very common side effect of chemotherapy and some other medications, including some opioid medications (pain medications such as morphine that act on the central nervous system) and antibiotics, can also cause taste changes. The taste changes usually stop about three to four weeks after the end of treatment but an aversion to certain foods may remain permanently however, there are some natural ways to combat this. Read more

Stopping drugs

When trying to stop taking any medications it is important to be aware that only one drug should be withdrawn at any one time and therefore it is important to decide which drug should be reduced first. Trying to reduce more than one drug, at any one time, leads to likely failure as it represents too much instability as it is necessary for the central nervous system to be held stable whilst the other drug is reduced. It can also cause serious health disorders as the body has become used to artificially managing certain processes and must relearn these once the drugs have been stopped. For more information see the Addictions page.

Drug disposal

Most people have a store of medications that they have not taken and these must always be safely disposed of. Never throw them away with household waste as they end up contaminating landfill sites and the water table and could be accidently consumed by children or animals. Always take medicines to a pharmacy to dispose of safely. Labels of personal information can be removed and, if needles are included, always inform the pharmacist.


Mammography screening should be avoided as it makes many healthy women ill through over-diagnosis and leads to the premature death for some because radiotherapy and chemotherapy increases mortality when used for harmless lumps detected at screening.

Many drugs are administered too readily before the root cause of a patient’s symptoms has been investigated thoroughly and properly tested for such as antibiotics, antidepressants and sleeping pills.

Reporting side effects

If you are UK based and have ever had a bad reaction to any prescribed medications, please report it to so that others will not have to go through the suffering you have. Look for your own country's similar scheme if they have one. When enough patients report adverse side effects the drug will be reviewed. If you feel that a symptom is due to a side effect of a medicine that you have taken, then report it to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) via their yellow card scheme: http://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk

See also:

"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC

Subscribe to the monthly newsletter

Like on Facebook

Follow us on facebook

Follow on Twitter 

Follow us on Twitter

Nature Cures book gift

Search Nature Cures alphabetically for an ailment, health disorder or disease



A-Z of health disorders

A-Z of health hazards

Acid/alkaline balance


29 x Air-purifying houseplants



Bacterial infections



Drug dangers

Fungi and yeast infections

Corneal graft information

Health and welfare links

Home-made air fresheners

Home-made cleaning products

Hygiene, toxins and health

Increase your energy

Injury, surgery and infection

Make your own home remedies

Nature cures for babies

Nature cures for pets

Obesity and how to lose weight

Pain and inflammation

Parasite and worms

Plea for cornea donations

Pregnancy and childbirth

Raw juice therapy

Shopping list

The human body

Virus infections


A-Z of minerals

A-Z of vitamins and organic nutrients

Amino acids


Antioxidants and free radicals


Cleanse and detoxify


Fatty acids

Food combinations

Food intolerances


Nature's colour codes

Nutrient deficiencies

Prebiotics and probiotics


Sports nutrition




A-Z of natural food and beverages

A-Z of medicinal herbs and spices

A-Z of root vegetables

Alcohol dangers

Ancient kitchen cures

Brine pickling

Butter v margarine

Calories in foods

Coffee and caffeine dangers

Daily essentials

Food allergies

Grow your own health garden

Healthy recipes

Juicing recipes

Oily fish

Organ meats

Raw juice therapy

Salt in the diet

Sprouting micro-diet

Sugar dangers

Nature Cures

About Nature Cures

Advertise on this website

Buy the Nature Cures book

Nature Cures news

Nature Cures pocketbook series

Site map

Subscribe to the monthly newsletter

Terms of service

Web site index



DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not intended to diagnose medical problems, prescribe remedies for illness, or treat disease. Its intention is solely educational. If you are in any doubt about your health, please consult your medical or health professional. Nature Cures does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of the information provided here or the outcome of using it. Nature Cures is not responsible for, and does not endorse, any content or items purchased from any external websites linked to this website. 

© Copyright 2010 Nature Cures. All rights reserved.

Email: health@naturecures.co.uk