Oral Contraceptives: Depression Causing Nutrient Depletions, Plus The Herbals That Can Make Them Fail

Oral contraceptives cause key nutrient depletions concerning folic acid, vitamins B2, B6, B12, vitamin C and E and the minerals magnesium, selenium and zinc. [PMID: 23852908]

These nutrients can be replaced by a quality multivitamin/mineral supplement along with magnesium and healthy eating.

  • Folate: “Because of the reduction in blood folate concentrations associated with the use of oral contraceptives, it is critical for women of childbearing age to continue folate supplementation during oral contraceptive use.” [PMC1862844],
  • Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 supplementation reduces symptoms of depression in women using oral contraceptives. [PMID: 35109763]
  • Vitamin C: Plasma levels of Vitamin C are lower in women who take oral contraceptives.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium levels are lower in women taking oral contraceptives, although researchers are not sure if they should recommend magnesium supplements to all users based on this fact alone. However, population studies estimate that about 60% of adults do not achieve the acceptable dietary intake (ADI) and 45% of Americans are magnesium deficient. [PMC6163803]

Herbal Supplement Interactions

Caffeine Clearance

  • Caffeine: Oral contraceptives might decrease caffeine clearance by 40% [PMID: 7022590], so you might find you have problems with green tea or coffee intake because of the caffeine.

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Suggested Supplements for Oral Contraceptive Users

Why Professionals Choose the Fullscript Formulary

Your health is on the line. Health professionals know that many other online and retail options set a very low bar for quality–sometimes amazingly low. The Fullscript formulary is the most secure online source for the highest quality brands securely sourced to assure freshness and purity. Here’s what makes Fullscript the best:

  • Meticulous vetting of brand quality. Health professionals trust Fullscript to continuously monitor the quality of each item on the platform. Other retailers operate with profit as their highest or only motive when choosing brands. Fullscript cares only about quality and reliability. Unlike discount stores, large online marketplaces, and other retailers you won’t find ingredients sourced from China or other questionable locations or companies.
  • Free shipping over $50 and best prices when you order through Supplement Sciences.
  • Freshness. Fullscript prioritizes freshness over bulk buying even if it means an increased risk of briefly being out of stock.
  • Top quality phone and online support. When you call, knowledgeable humans at Fullscript answer your questions.
  • How It Works:
    • Easy Sign-up & No Spam Email: Click the “View Product” button below to be taken to Fullscript’s login page where you can quickly create your secure account with just your name, email, and phone number. Then you will be taken directly to the product page.
    • Wide variety of supplement options: Once you sign in to your account, you are not limited to the products listed below. You will see similar items listed at the bottom of each product page on Fullscript.
    • Search For What You Want: Once inside Fullscript, you can search for the exact brands and products you want from their wide selection of quality brands.

O.N.E. Multivitamin — Pure Encapsulations

Serving Size: 1 capsule / Dose: 1 per day

Amount Per Serving
Vitamin A … 1,125mcg (as vitamin A acetate and 73% beta carotene)
Vitamin C … 180mg (as ascorbic acid)
Vitamin D … 50mcg (as cholecalciferol) (D3) (2,000 IU)
Vitamin E … 20mg (as d-alpha tocopherol succinate)
Thiamin … 3mg (as thiamin HCl) (B1)
Riboflavin … 3mg (as vitamin B2 and 43% riboflavin 5′ phosphate (activated B2))
Niacin … 20mg (as niacinamide)
Vitamin B6 … 4mg (as pyridoxine HCl and 38% pyridoxal 5′ phosphate (activated B6))
Folate … 667mcg DFE (as Metafolin®, L-5-MTHF) (L-5-MTHF 400 mcg)
Vitamin B12 … 500mcg (as methylcobalamin)
Biotin … 300mcg
Pantothenic acid … 10mg (as calcium pantothenate) (B5)
Iodine … 150mcg (as potassium iodide)
Zinc … 25mg (as zinc citrate)
Selenium … 70mcg (as selenomethionine)
Manganese … 2mg (as manganese citrate)
Chromium … 200mcg (as chromium polynicotinate)
Molybdenum … 75mcg (as TRAACS™ molybdenum glycinate chelate)
Boron … 1mg (as boron glycinate)
Choline … 10mg (as choline bitartrate)
Inositol … 25mg
Coenzyme Q10 sustained-release … 50mg (as CoQ10 and as 18% from MicroActive® CoQ10-cyclodextrin complex)
Alpha lipoic acid … 50mg
FloraGLO® lutein … 3mg
Zeaxanthin … 500mcg
Lycopene … 500mcg

Magnesium Glycinate by Douglas Labs

Magnesium (glycinate) is a highly bioavailable magnesium chelate, which supports the metabolism and utilization of carbohydrates, amino acids and fats for energy. Magnesium (glycinate) helps activate enzymes for physiological functions including cardiac health.‡
As a dietary supplement, adults take 1 capsule, 1-4 times daily or as directed by your health professional

Serving Size: 1 Vegetarian Capsule

Amount Per Serving
Magnesium … 120mg (as magnesium glycinate)

[Note: Estimated absorption: 85%]

Food First!

Although this article discusses supplements in detail, don’t forget that we are absolutely committed to the “Food First” approach to nutrition. When it comes to your health, the totality of your eating habits far surpasses the impact of individual nutrients or any single supplement you consume. Even though this article doesn’t delve into the broader picture of your overall diet, it’s crucial to keep this element at the forefront of our minds. Your food needs to provide all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals to nourish your body systems down to the cellular level.

Food choices, rather than supplements, are the most critical factors for a healthy gut microbiome. These trillions of tiny inhabitants in your gut affect your brain waves; they orchestrate your immune system. They possess the power to create molecules that can switch genes on or off and are even capable of synthesizing neurotransmitters. Opting for organic foods and steering clear of plastic packaging (including those labeled BPA-free) is a smart move to limit toxin exposure. The sum of all these parts leads to a powerful conclusion: the ultimate key to your health lies in the quality and balance of the food you consume. Supplements are secondary.

To Sum It Up

Understanding the interactions between oral contraceptives and various nutrients is crucial for maintaining mental health and the effectiveness of the medication. Oral contraceptives can affect the metabolism and absorption of several key nutrients, leading to potential deficiencies and altered drug effectiveness. Being aware of these interactions allows women to take proactive steps, such as adjusting their nutrient intake, to reduce any negative effects.

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