Recently, the American Heart Association launched an innovative educational platform on Facebook designed in real-time to answer questions and elicit discussion on important and timely topics related to the prevention and treatment of heart disease. In the most recent session in honor of Nutrition Month, I served as guest advisor addressing the topic of food-drug interactions (see below).
The bottom line is that when you are prescribed medication, always ask:
- what time of day it should be taken
- which foods (if any) should be avoided
- whether to take on an empty stomach or with/after meals
- what other medications it may interact with
Finally, medications do not always produce the desired effect. For example, while the cholesterol lowering statins typically lower LDL (the bad cholesterol) anywhere between 20 and 50% (depending upon the specific statin and dose), approximately 5-10% of statin users experience no LDL lowering benefit. This lack of response can be independent of diet or other factors. Consequently, if you are not attaining the expected results after taking a certain medication, make sure to discuss these concerns with your physician. All too commonly, your physician may interpret this lack of response as “patient noncompliance” so please make sure that your physician knows that you have indeed been taking the medication as prescribed.
Dr. Miller’s most recent book “Heal Your Heart: The Positive Emotions Prescription to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” is Amazon’s Top Rated book in Heart Disease. All proceeds of the book are donated to the American Heart Association.