Article #6: Antivitamins And Vitamin Antagonists By Marti Fry
An antivitamin is simply “a substance that makes a vitamin ineffective.” A vitamin antagonist is essentially the same thing as an antivitamin. It is a substance that lessens or negates the chemical action of a vitamin in the body.
Following are some examples of antivitamins, or vitamin antagonists.
Some Antagonists of a Few Specific Vitamins
Vitamin A Antagonists
Blood-thinning medications and other drugs, including aspirin, phenobarbitol, arsenicals and dicumarol (a drug used medically to retard bloodclotting), destroy vitamin A in the body.
Vitamin A is also depleted when nitrosamines are formed in the stomach from the union of nitrites with secondary amines and when the mucous membranes of our respiratory passages are exposed to air pollutants (carbon monoxide, ozone, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, lead, hydrocarbons, etc.) In addition, mineral oil used as a laxative absorbs vitamin A and carotene (a naturally-occurring substance in foods which is used by the body to make vitamin A), thereby destroying it.
Vitamin K Antagonists
The amount of vitamin K needed by humans is very small, and a deficiency is highly unlikely because this vitamin is in a wide variety of commonly eaten plant foods and is synthesized by bacteria in the intestinal tract. However, antibiotic therapy (the taking of any antibiotics such as penicillin, streptomycin, tetracyclin, Chloromycin, Terramycin, etc.) suppresses bacterial growth and, consequently, the synthesis of vitamin K.
Other vitamin K antagonists include the drugs dicumarol and hydrocoumarol, which are used by medical people to relieve thrombosis (abnormal formation of blood clots in the blood vessels). Because the chemical structure of these antivitamins is similar to that of vitamin K, they act as anticoagulants by interfering with the synthesis of pro-thrombin and the other natural clotting factors.
Vitamin C Antagonists
It is well known that cigarette smokers have lower vitamin C levels than nonsmokers. A Canadian physician, Dr. W. J. McCormick, tested the blood levels of vitamin C in nearly 6,000 smokers. All had below normal readings. the March 9, 1963, issue of Lancet, similar findings are revealed by a group of three researchers. Frederick Klenner, M.D., has been quoted for many years as saying that a single cigarette can deplete as much as thirty-five milligrams of vitamin C from the body. (Calcium and phosphorus, both minerals, are also depleted in cigarette smokers.)
Because vitamin C reacts with any alien substance in the bloodstream, all drugs and pollutants can be considered to be vitamin C antagonists. Some of the foremost vitamin C antagonists include ammonium chloride, stribesterol, thiouracil, atropine, barbituates and antihistamines. Alcoholic beverages are also vitamin C antagonists, as are all stresses (surgery, emotional outbursts and upsets, acute pressures, extremes of heat and cold and all drugs).
B Vitamin Antagonists
Cortisone is an antagonist of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). Since the body needs B vitamins to metabolize sugars, B vitamins are depleted when refined sugar or flour is consumed because refined sugar and flour, are devoid of B vitamins that existed in the beet, cane or grain before refining. Specifically, the body’s supply of vitamin Bl, vitamin B2, biotin, choline, niacin and the mineral magnesium are depleted when refined sugar and flour are consumed.
Alcoholic beverages are antagonists of thiamin and the other B-complex vitamins, and coffee is another popular beverage that is a B vitamin antagonist—because it contains caffeine and other noxious substances, one of which is chlorogenic acid. Inositol deficits may occur among coffee drinkers, too, as well as deficits of biotin and thiamin.
Raw fish and raw shellfish, including oysters, are also B-complex antagonists. This is one of many reasons not to eat the Japanese dish, sashime (raw fish) or any other raw seafoods.
Birth control pills are antivitamins, especially of the B vitamins riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folk acid. Two Indian physicians discovered that women taking oral contraceptives had much lower levels of riboflavin than a control group who used no oral contraceptives. These contraceptives are especially damaging to vitamin B12 and folic acid. (The estrogen in oral contraceptives is also an antagonist of vitamin E.)
The most potent folacin (folic acid) antagonist is aminopterin. This substance has been used in the medical treatment of leukemia, a disease in which there is a marked increase in the production of leucocytes (white blood cells). Though aminopterin has, in some cases, resulted in a temporary relief (remission) of leukemia, it does not “cure” this disease. This is because there are no “cures;” there is only body healing—and antivitamins interfere with body healing but never help it.
A Mineral Antagonist
Most, if not all, vitamin antagonists (all drugs and other stresses) are also mineral antagonists. A specific mineral antagonist is oxalic acid, which is present in too-large amounts in spinach, rhubarb, beets and beet greens, Swiss chard and chocolate. Oxalic acid is a calcium antagonist. Calcium binds the oxalic acid in the body in order to render this toxic acid harmless. In doing so, the calcium is unavailable for its normal uses in the body.
Some Specific Antivitamins
Stresses Are Antivitamins
All kinds of stresses are vitamin antagonists. Drugs are serious stress producers in the body because the body must exercise great effort in expelling them as quickly as possible, lest they damage tissues and cells and interfere too much with normal functioning. In addition, surgery, accidents, overly exhausting work or exercise, exposure to extreme’s of heat or cold, and emotions such as fear, hatred, anger, worry and grief all produce great stress on the body. The B vitamins (thiamin, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid and vitamin B12) and vitamin C, as well as proteins and minerals, are all depleted and/or unassimilable as a result of stresses on the body. But don’t think for a minute that the other vitamins can be properly or fully utilized when the body is under stress—they can’t!
Aspirin Is An Antivitamin
Aspirin interferes with digestive processes and can result in stomach bleeding. It interferes with blood-clotting and lessens the ability of cells to absorb glucose for heat and energy. It depletes most, if not all, nutrients and results in especially high losses of vitamin C and the B vitamins plus the minerals calcium and potassium.
Antibiotics Are Antivitamins
Besides being a vitamin K antagonist, the antibiotic penicillin is also an antivitamin of vitamin B6. The antibiotic streptomycin is a folic acid antagonist and the antibiotic streptomycin inactivates manganese, a mineral which is needed for the functioning of many enzyme systems.
Diuretics Are Antivitamins
Diuretics are drugs prescribed medically to promote weight reduction or to relieve pressure of retained fluids. Even so-called “natural” diuretics, including herbal types, are harmful, for all diuretics result in great losses of B vitamins, vitamin C, other vitamins, and the minerals potassium and magnesium. Diuretics would never be prescribed to anyone on a natural diet containing no rock salt or sea salt, as these salts are poisonous and cause the body to retain fluids to hold the salt in suspension so it doesn’t harm cells and tissues.
Laxatives Are Antivitamins
All laxatives, including the herbal types, are vitamin antagonists. Mineral oil is perhaps the most devastating laxative. It absorbs vitamin A and carotene, as well as the other fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K). It also absorbs calcium and phosphorus, carrying them out of the body. (Hospitals today still use mineral oil as a laxative for their patients, one of thousands of reasons why hospitals are antivital places.) Laxatives will never be used by people on a natural all-raw diet of fruits, vegetables, sprouts, nuts and seeds.
Soil, Air and Water Pollutants Are Antivitamins
Most people regard soil, air and water pollutants as “unavoidable” antivitamins that necessitate the use of vitamin supplementation. However, not only are the vitamins from fresh whole foods more than adequate to meet our needs when our diet is all or mainly raw foods of our biological adaptation (as described in the Life Science health system), but they will also meet our needs adequately despite our polluted air and water.
Besides this argument against food supplementation, we can control completely the water we drink by drinking only pure distilled water. To some extent we can also control the quality of the air we breathe by keeping the pollutants out of our homes and/or by locating away from the pollution of cities and other highly-populated or polluted centers. Foods not grown organically are “fed” (via their soil) synthetic chemical fertilizers which contain excessive nitrogen. This excessive nitrogen increases the crop yield, but the ultimate health costs are high—too high. Nitrates and nitrites are formed, and these pollutants are potent antivitamins.
Dr. E. E. Hatfield revealed, from his results in an animal research project, that nitrates and nitrites systematically and subtly reduce the vitamin A stored in the liver. They also prevent formation of this vitamin in our body from its precursor, carotene, which is present in much produce. Also, according to Dr. W. M. Beeson of Purdue University’s Department of Animal Sciences, fruits picked green contain far higher amounts of nitrates and far less carotene than tree and vine-ripened fruits.
Nitrites join with amines in the stomach, forming nitrosamines. Nitrosamines are highly carcinogenic, though not necessarily moreso than other pollutants and drugs. As often and as much as possible, purchase organically-grown produce and/or produce that has been fully ripened on the tree or vine.
Keep in mind, too, that buying organically-grown foods and then cooking them, seasoning them, or taking any kind of drugs or medications whatsoever makes little sense. You are far better off not to concern yourself with whether or not your food is or isn’t organically grown and just discontinue use of any and all drugs and medications. The ideal, however, is to both discontinue drugs and to purchase organically-grown foods when possible.
Nitrites, chlorine, flourides, inorganic minerals and many other harmful substances found in city, spring, well and other nondistilled waters are all antivitamins. Therefore, only distilled water should be drunk.
Antivitamins found in polluted air, especially city air, are carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, lead, ozone, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. Vitamin A and vitamin C are both depleted when the body is exposed to air containing these pollutants, as is vitamin E. Arsenic dust, found on commercially-grown produce, is an antagonist of the B vitamin PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid). This vitamin is important for the growth of valuable bacteria in the intestines, for the metabolism of proteins, for manufacture of red blood cells and for healthy skin and hair.
This has been only a partial listing of a few specific vitamin antagonists or antivitamins. In reality, any substance that is not food of our biological adaptation and any living practice that is not in accord with our physiological needs is a vitamin antagonist—in fact, a nutrient antagonist. All substances and practices not normal (physiologically, not in the commonly-used meaning of what is widely practiced) to humans interferes with normal functioning, including the normal use of vitamins in the body.
- 1. Prologue
- 2. Introduction
- 3. A Study Of Each Individual Vitamin
- 4. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Caution: Megavitamins May Be Dangerous To Your Health By Dr. Alan Immerman, D.C.
- Article #2: Vitamins And Disease Causation By Marti Fry
- Article #3: Why RDAs Are Too High By T. C. Fry
- Article #4: Vitamin B-12 And Your Diet By Dr. Alan Immerman
- Article #5: Do We Need To Take Vitamins? By Alan M. Immerman, D.C.
- Article #6: Antivitamins And Vitamin Antagonists By Marti Fry
- Article #7: What To Do About Vitamin Antagonists By Marti Fry
- Article #8: Factors That Lower Vitamin Needs By T. C. Fry
- Article #9: Factors That Interfere With Vitamin Utilization And The Applicable Principles By T. C. Fry