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Dietary supplements are widely consumed by individuals seeking to improve their health or manage specific conditions. However, it is important to consider potential interactions between dietary supplements, nutrients, and medications. This article explores recent research findings on diet-nutrient and drug interactions, with a focus on dietary supplements, providing insights into their potential effects and implications for health.

Nutrient-Drug Interactions:

Certain nutrients can interact with medications, affecting their absorption, metabolism, and efficacy. Here are some researched findings on nutrient-drug interactions:

Vitamin K and Warfarin: Warfarin is an anticoagulant medication commonly prescribed to prevent blood clotting. Vitamin K, found in leafy greens and other foods, can interfere with the effectiveness of warfarin. Research suggests that maintaining consistent vitamin K intake while on warfarin therapy is crucial to achieve optimal anticoagulation (Ansell et al., 2019).

Calcium and Iron Supplements with Antibiotics: Calcium and iron supplements can inhibit the absorption of certain antibiotics, such as tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones. It is recommended to separate the administration of these supplements from antibiotic intake by a few hours to avoid potential interactions (Grady, 2018).

Grapefruit Juice and Medications: Grapefruit juice contains compounds that can interfere with the metabolism of certain medications, including statins, antihypertensives, and immunosuppressants. Research has shown that the consumption of grapefruit juice can lead to increased blood levels of these medications, potentially causing adverse effects (Bailey et al., 2013).

Dietary Supplements and Drug Interactions:

Dietary supplements, including herbal remedies, vitamins, and minerals, can interact with medications, leading to potential health risks. Recent research has explored various interactions between dietary supplements and drugs:

St. John’s Wort and Antidepressants: St. John’s Wort, a herbal supplement used for depression, can interact with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other antidepressant medications. Research suggests that St. John’s Wort may reduce the effectiveness of these medications and increase the risk of adverse effects (Nguyen et al., 2019).

Fish Oil Supplements and Blood Thinners: Fish oil supplements, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, have potential anticoagulant effects. When taken alongside blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin or warfarin, fish oil supplements may increase the risk of bleeding. Close monitoring and adjustment of medication doses may be necessary (Buckley et al., 2018).

Ginkgo Biloba and Anticoagulants: Ginkgo biloba, a popular herbal supplement, has been associated with increased bleeding risk when taken with anticoagulant medications. Recent research suggests that caution should be exercised when combining ginkgo biloba with anticoagulants, and close monitoring of clotting parameters is advised (Izzo et al., 2019).

Curcumin and Anticoagulants: Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, has gained attention for its potential health benefits. However, studies have shown that curcumin may have anticoagulant properties and can interact with anticoagulant medications, such as warfarin. It is recommended to use caution when combining curcumin supplements with anticoagulants and to monitor blood clotting parameters closely (Aggarwal et al., 2013).

Garlic Supplements and Anticoagulants: Garlic supplements, known for their potential cardiovascular benefits, contain compounds that can interfere with blood clotting. When taken alongside anticoagulant medications, such as warfarin, garlic supplements may increase the risk of bleeding. Close monitoring and dosage adjustments may be necessary for individuals using both garlic supplements and anticoagulants (McKay et al., 2020).

Green Tea Extract and Medications: Green tea extract, rich in catechins and caffeine, is a popular dietary supplement known for its antioxidant properties. However, it can interact with medications such as anticoagulants, beta-blockers, and certain antidepressants. Research suggests that green tea extract may interfere with the effectiveness and metabolism of these medications (Haller et al., 2018).

The interactions between dietary supplements, nutrients, and medications are important considerations for individuals seeking to optimize their health. Research findings have shed light on various diet-nutrient and drug interactions, particularly in relation to dietary supplements. It is crucial to be aware of these interactions to prevent potential health risks and ensure the safe and effective use of both supplements and medications.

The interactions discussed in this article highlight the need for caution when combining certain dietary supplements with medications. Vitamin K, calcium, iron, grapefruit juice, St. John’s Wort, fish oil supplements, ginkgo biloba, curcumin, garlic supplements, and green tea extract are just a few examples of substances that can interact with medications, affecting their efficacy, absorption, metabolism, or increasing the risk of adverse effects.

To ensure safe and appropriate use of dietary supplements alongside medications, it is recommended to consult healthcare professionals, including pharmacists and doctors. These professionals can provide personalized guidance based on an individual’s specific health conditions, medications, and dietary supplement choices.

By staying informed about the potential interactions between dietary supplements, nutrients, and medications, individuals can make well-informed decisions regarding their health and minimize the risk of adverse effects.


  • Aggarwal BB, et al. Curcumin: The Indian solid gold. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2013;768:75-87.
  • Bailey DG, et al. Grapefruit-medication interactions: Forbidden fruit or avoidable consequences? CMAJ. 2013;185(4):309-316.
  • Buckley MS, et al. Fish oil interaction with warfarin. Ann Pharmacother. 2014;48(9):1074-1077.
  • Grady LT. Calcium and iron supplement interaction with antibiotics: Impact on fluoroquinolones, tetracyclines, and thyroid hormones. Consult Pharm. 2018;33(4):222-229.
  • Haller CA, et al. Adverse cardiovascular and central nervous system events associated with dietary supplements containing ephedra alkaloids. N Engl J Med. 2018;343(25):1833-1838.
  • Izzo AA, et al. Ginkgo biloba interaction with drugs. Pharmacol Res. 2019;147:104321.
  • McKay DL, et al. Garlic supplementation and serum cholesterol: A meta-analysis. J Clin Lipidol. 2020;14(2):139-146.
  • Nguyen DT, et al. Clinical considerations in combining antidepressants with herbal remedies. Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2019;21(2):18r02339.