Are Dietary Supplements Interacting with Food? A Comprehensive Guide

Pharmacists and doctors are aware of medications that can interact with other medications but what about dietary supplements? Learn more about how dietary supplements interact with food.

Are Dietary Supplements Interacting with Food? A Comprehensive Guide

Pharmacists and doctors are aware of medications and foods that can interact with other medications, and drug labels warn of potential problems.

Dietary supplements

may also have an effect on public health by interacting with other substances. Whether this issue is addressed by taking precautions on labeling, recalling such dietary supplements from the market, or requiring warning labels about their use with other xenobiotics is a regulatory decision. There is no analogous prescribed mechanism for preventing interactions mediated by dietary supplements.

Food and drug interactions can occur with both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, including antacids, vitamins, iron pills, herbs, supplements, and beverages. The complex interaction between foods, nutrients and medications makes it difficult to accurately determine the exact effects of these relationships on the body. A drug is defined as a substance that is used in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a disease or a component of a drug. There are many dramatic outcomes and problems that can be caused by interactions between food, medication and alcohol, food and medication, and these vary from person to person.

Drug-nutrient interactions involve changes in a drug caused by a nutrient or changes in a nutrient as a result of the medication. Food and drug interactions are a broader term that describes the effects of a drug on nutritional status. Each of these interactions can lead to many complications. Table 1 summarizes several possible drug interactions with foods, nutrients, supplements, or other medications, which may cause unexpected side effects or cause additional health problems.

An example of a direct chemical-chemical interaction occurs in the small intestine, where calcium carbonate taken as a supplement can bind to an acidic substance, such as the antibiotic tetracycline, to form an insoluble product (Gugler and Allgayer, 1990). Manufacturers can add vitamins, minerals and other supplement ingredients to the foods you eat, especially breakfast cereals and beverages. Grapefruit and other similar fruits, such as Seville orange, grapefruit and lime, are known to interact with a variety of medications, including some anticancer drugs. More research with clinical trials in humans is needed to understand the potential interactions between dietary supplements and food.

Many drug interactions are due to the effects of the supplement on specific enzymes or on components that are involved in the pharmacopharmacology of the drug, such as the way in which the drug is metabolized and transported. However, supplements cannot replace the variety of foods that are important to a healthy eating routine. The researchers hypothesized that the components of the SJW extract, pseudohypericin and hyperforin, interacted with the CYP3A4 isoform and P-gp and caused a reduction in SN-38. A type of antidepressant called MAO inhibitors are dangerous when mixed with foods or beverages that contain tyramine. Many dietary supplement products are mixtures of two or more substances, some of which are unknown in structure, making the evaluation of interactions more complex but also more likely to cause clinical problems since they are consumed simultaneously.

These interactions usually take place in the intestines, liver or kidneys and are further classified according to their site of action. As can be seen in the literature, green tea and its component EGCG may be involved in interactions between PK and PD. Bellows, food and nutrition specialist at Colorado State University Extension and adjunct professor; R. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not mandatory unless specific statements are made about the prevention or treatment of diseases.

Predicting when a pharmacodynamic interaction may occur and the clinical outcomes of this interaction depend on understanding the sites and mechanism of the biological activity of both substances and on predicting whether appropriate levels are reached at the sites of action. It is important for consumers to be aware that dietary supplements may interact with food or other substances they consume. It is also important for healthcare providers to be aware of potential interactions between dietary supplements and medications so they can provide appropriate advice to their patients about how to avoid them. Consumers should always consult their healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplement or medication.