Written by Chelsea DeColle, CNP
For women of childbearing age, the use of oral contraceptives (OC) is one of the most common and most widely used forms of birth control, with an astounding 151 million users worldwide.1While it has many uses like prevention of pregnancy, human birth control pill also has a number of side effects which often go unmentioned or under emphasized, including causing nutrient deficiencies.2
Studies have shown that oral contraceptives can deplete important nutrients like B vitamins including folate (folic acid), antioxidants like Vitamin E and selenium and important minerals like magnesium and zinc.2,3,4,5,6,7 Many of these vitamins and minerals are integral in the maintenance of overall health as well as the health of a developing fetus.9 Folate (folic acid) is one of the most studied nutrients in regards to depletion with oral contraceptive use and is required for any woman of child bearing years and for prevention of neural tube defects in a developing fetus.3,7,8
If you are taking an oral birth control pill, consider adding in the following nutrients to your diet and supplement routine to ensure that you are getting adequate nutrients to support your health:
- Vitamin B22
- Vitamin B63
- Vitamin B123
- Vitamin E6
Additional studies have noted that nutrient deficiencies and the need for additional supplementation of key vitamins and minerals is important for supporting the body in reduction of other side effects from birth control use.2 Simply put, giving your body extra nutrients while taking birth control will help to support your body and your overall health! To ensure your nutrient needs are being met, supplement with Multismart and Magsmart to support and nourish your body every day.
- United Nations. Contraceptive use by method. Accessed Oct 1, 2020 at: https://www.un.org/development/desa/pd/sites/www.un.org.development.desa.pd/files/files/documents/2020/Jan/un_2019_contraceptiveusebymethod_databooklet.pdf
- Palmery, M. et al. (2013) Oral contraceptives and changes in nutritional requirements. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci, 17(13):1804-13.
- McWilson, S. et al. (2011) Oral contraceptive use: impact on vitamin B6, vitamin b12 and folate status. Nutrition Reviews, 69 (10):572–583.
- Hasanat, F, et al. (2018). Status of serum calcium and magnesium in women taking oral contraceptive. Bangladesh Journal of Medical Biochemistry 10(2): 64.
- Fallah, s. Sani, FV., Firoozrai, M. (2009) Effect of contraceptive pill on the selenium and zinc status of healthy subjects. Contraception 2009; 80: 40-43.
- Palan, PR., et al. (2010) Effects of oral, vaginal, and transdermal hormonal contraception on serum levels of coenzyme q10, vitamin E and total antioxidant activity. Obstet Gynecol Int. 2010: 925635. https://doi.org/10.1155/2010/925635
- Shere, M. et al. (2015) Association between use of oral contraceptives and folate status: a systemic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Obsterics and Gynecology Canada37 (5):430-438.
- Government of Canada. Folic acid and neural tube defects. Accessed Oct 12, 2020 at: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/pregnancy/folic-acid.html
- Government of Canada. Nutrient function claims. Accessed Oct 12, 2020 at: https://www.inspection.gc.ca/food-label-requirements/labelling/-f-for-industry/former-health-claims/eng/1514559099172/1514559100331?chap=8