Contraceptives and cottage cheese
Has your doctor told you that oral contraceptives can increase your appetite? (so you eat more and gain weight!) and also that they can deplete your body of certain essential nutrients? As if refined foods and sugary treats aren’t good for this too! Have you been taking an oral contraceptive for more than 7 years?
If so, it is likely that you are deficient in some nutrients and need to take a supplement. Research has shown that the B vitamins are the most commonly depleted nutrients when taking oral contraceptives. Vitamin B is essential for maintaining healthy nerves (hence, they are often sold as executive “stress” vitamins).
A high-potency B-complex vitamin (with at least 50-100 mg B6, 1000 mg B12, and 800 mg folate) should be taken along with birth control pills. An increased need for vitamins C (1-3 g, yes, no mg), E, (400-600 IU) and K can also result from the use of birth control pills- Vit. C especially can help reduce the chance of vaginal infections. Cells that are replaced frequently, such as those in the mouth and intestine, can ulcerate if folate is depleted. Folic acid is a relative of the B vitamin and is important for brain health, as well as cell repair and development.
You may have never heard of tyrosine, but you’ve probably heard of amino acids. Tyrosine is an amino acid that has many “jobs” in your body, but one is to keep your thyroid healthy. Low tyrosine can also contribute to depression. Tyrosine depletion is one reason ‘the pill’ is often associated with weight gain and a bad mood. OH! Is that a penny dropping? Okay, next time you pick up your script for Alesse, go to the grocery store and have a tub of cottage cheese at the same time as this is the highest food source of tyrosine: 1 cup provides 1.5g. Or you can take a supplement (1.5 g daily), especially during the second half of your menstrual cycle.
We’re all probably a little short on magnesium anyway. so women taking oral contraceptives become even more depleted. deficiency often manifests as muscle cramps, weakness, insomnia, kidney stones, bone loss, depression, nervousness, anxiety, and high blood pressure. Take 500mg at bedtime in liquid or powder form for easy absorption.
Copper levels in the blood may increase with the use of oral contraceptives It can lead to depression and emotional problems. Limit your supplement to 1 mg. Whole grains, nuts, seeds, and vegetables will ensure that your copper requirements are met. If you normally take an iron supplement, you may not need it if you take oral contraceptives. Iron levels may increase when you are on the pill, as there is often less blood loss. Iron requirements are probably reduced from the usual 18 mg. at around 12-15mg per day. However, if your periods are heavy or you have anemia, you may need a different dose of iron. Check with your doctor first.
Zinc is another essential mineral depleted by oral contraceptives. and it is important to heal wounds and fight depression; supplement with 20 to 50 mg daily, which will also help reduce copper levels. “As if I don’t have enough side effects to worry about!” – well, at least a quick blood test will show you exactly
where you are with your body’s nutrients and you never know – that tub of cottage cheese may be just what you need to banish those monthly moods!
Source: Nutrition and Vitamin Therapy, Michael Lesser, MD; Elson M. Haas MD Staying healthy with nutrition; better nutrition