5 Nutrients Depleted By Your Birth Control Pill

5 Nutrients Depleted By Your Birth Control Pill

The side effects of taking the oral contraceptive pill have been widely discussed in recent years, but did you know that certain nutrients are also depleted by your birth control pill? The pill can compromise your levels of various nutrients vital for optimal health. Here, we take a look at what these nutrients are, why they are so important for your health, and how you can optimise your levels. Read this guide if you’re taking, or considering taking hormonal contraception.


Multiple studies have shown links between taking the oral contraceptive pill and changing metabolic and nutritional processes. The mechanisms by which the contraceptive pill can deplete these nutrients are not fully understood, but the study suggests it may be due to a combination of factors. This includes interference with nutrient metabolism and absorption, increased urinary excretion of certain water-soluble vitamins, and disruption of the body’s hormonal equilibrium, which can affect digestion and nutrient absorption. For example, the synthetic oestrogens in the pill can increase cholesterol in bile, making it harder for the gallbladder to properly digest and absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. The pill can also alter the gut microbiome, which plays a crucial role in nutrient absorption.

There are a number of nutrients that can be depleted by taking an oral contraceptive pill, so you may want to consider adjusting your diet accordingly, or working with a qualified nutritionist if you’re concerned or would like tailored advice. We offer a complimentary 25-minute consultation to talk through how we can help you optimise your nutrition and weight loss.



B vitamins are amongst several nutrients depleted by your birth control pill. Studies have linked to low levels of vitamin B12 to use of contraceptive pills. Vitamin B12 is necessary for processes such as forming red blood cells and protein metabolism. It is also required for normal energy metabolism and function of the immune system.

Food sources of vitamin B12 include meat, fish, eggs and dairy. As most B12 containing foods are from animal sources, vegetarians and vegans are at increased risk of deficiency.

A deficiency of B12 can result in tiredness and lack of energy, so if you’re feeling persistently tired despite getting enough sleep, it’s worth getting your levels tested.


Research dating back to the early 80s reported lower levels of vitamin C in those taking oral contraceptive pills. Humans are among the very few animals who can’t make their own vitamin C, so we depend on our diet to provide it. This is more important than ever if you are on the pill. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and is required for collagen production as well as our immune system health.

Vegetables and fruit are amongst the best sources, so fill your diet with broccoli, bell peppers, cauliflower, kale, kiwis and citrus fruits. 


Does the birth control pill deplete magnesium? Yes, the use of oral contraceptives has been shown in studies to lower serum magnesium levels. Magnesium is a cofactor in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body and has many important roles. It is essential for maintaining nerve function, muscle function and blood pressure. It is required for healthy bones and it supports a healthy immune system. Magnesium can also help support mental health and promote better sleep.

Dietary sources include leafy greens, avocados, figs and nuts and seeds.

Low levels are not uncommon so many people can benefit from a high quality magnesium supplement. 


Studies have shown that taking the contraceptive pill can negatively impact zinc levels. Zinc is important for immune function, wound healing and protein synthesis amongst other important roles.

Zinc can be found in foods including shellfish, meat eggs and dairy products.

Non-animal sources of the nutrient are harder to absorb. Therefore vegans and vegetarians may want to consider a supplement, particularly if taking the contraceptive pill. 


Vitamin E has a wide range of benefits for our overall health thanks to its role as an antioxidant. It is required for heart health, hair, skin and immune system performance. Studies have shown that taking the pill can increase oxidative stress and reduce levels of vitamin E, so it is important you ensure you are topping up on this essential vitamin.

Vitamin E is fat soluble, so if you’ve been on a low fat diet, make sure to up your intake of healthy fats. Good sources of vitamin E include sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts and avocado.


Many of our clients question whether taking the oral contraceptive pill contributes to their weight struggles. There is no clear evidence that birth control pills directly cause weight gain or weight loss. However, some people may experience water retention or increased appetite due to the hormones in birth control pills, which can lead to weight gain. It is important to note that everybody is different, and weight changes while on birth control pills can vary from one person to the next. However, taking the oral contraceptive pill can impact levels of various nutrients which may require making adjustments to your diet and / or supplement routine.


We are a team of qualified nutritionists who specialise in weight loss. If you’re ready to overcome your weight challenges, achieve your goal weight and maintain it long term, we can help. You can use this link to book in for a complimentary call. This is an opportunity to talk through your challenges with a member of our team and decide together whether one of our Intelligent Weight Loss programmes is right for you. Or contact us to request a copy of our brochure and we will get back to you soon.

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Sarah has worked with hundreds of clients over the past decade to help them live in a healthy body that they feel confident in.

Sarah spent a large part of her teens and 20’s as a professional dancer battling with orthorexia and an unhealthy relationship with food and her body. This created a desire to understand the human body more so she could finally cut through the confusion and end the cycle of yoyo dieting. This fuelled her passion to help other women do the same.


Sarah specialises in supporting women who are struggling to lose weight due to underlying health issues. She’s helped many women manage their weight during and after the menopause, as well as clients with thyroid disease and immune system dysfunction. Sarah loves food and sharing healthy recipes with her clients. Her aim is to ensure that clients don’t feel deprived and instead, achieve their weight loss and health goals in a positive and sustainable way.


To enquire about working with Sarah, please contact us.



Ailsa is one of our most experienced practitioners. She specialises in helping clients to lose weight, develop a healthy relationship with food and finally feel comfortable in their skin. Ailsa’s mission is for everyone she works with to enjoy the journey and that working with a nutritionist should not be a punishment, but your access to a new possibility.


Ailsa is not only an experienced weight loss nutritionist, she is also a skilled coach. She helps our clients overcome emotional eating, destructive habits and self-sabotaging behaviours that have prevented successful weight loss in the past. Ailsa has spent years in clinic working with clients who have experienced yo-yo dieting and have discovered that long term weight loss is not just about eating less until you can stand it no longer.


Working with Ailsa you will be comprehensively supported, not only in improving your nutrition and lifestyle, but also your eating habits and your relationship with food. When you work on all these elements together, the results can be truly astonishing.


To enquire about working with Ailsa, please contact us.

Test Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of the business. Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning. A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.



Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of th clinic.


Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning.


A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.


Stéphanie is a skilled nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner with additional training in eating disorders, disordered eating and obesity. She believes that working towards both physiological and mental health is key in achieving optimum wellbeing.


Stéphanie’s personal experience of emotional eating and the ongoing struggle to find the right support led her to combine the science of nutrition with behavioural coaching to motivate and empower her clients. She specialises in helping people who struggle with their weight and their relationship with food. She helps them develop a healthier and more peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.


To enquire about working with Stéphanie, please contact us.


Inna is passionate about supporting women on their journey to improved health and wellbeing. She believes that the solution to effective weight loss does not lie in ever more restrictive diets, but a more sophisticated approach that optimises health and vitality, as well as promoting effective weight loss.


Working with Inna you will benefit from her in-depth knowledge of female health and hormones. She will support you in developing a healthy diet, lifestyle and mindset that ensures you reach your ideal weight and maintain it in the years to come.


Inna is passionate about food with a wide repertoire of delicious healthy recipes and meal ideas to ensure your weight loss journey is as enjoyable as possible!


To enquire about working with Inna, please contact us.



Ania is a firm believer that improving your health and losing weight should be a positive, empowering journey, not one centred around deprivation.


After being diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions in her twenties, Ania spent several years educating herself on the power of food and nutrition. She put it all into practise and changed her diet and lifestyle, reversing her endometriosis and thyroid disease. After experiencing such a significant improvement in her health, Ania had a big desire to help others. She embarked on a four year journey to study nutrition, graduating from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition with distinction.


Ania specialises in autoimmunity and works with clients who have underlying health issues preventing successful weight loss. Her expertise enables her to successfully support our clients with conditions such as hypothyroidsm (underactive thyroid), PCOS and diabetes. 


To enquire about working with Ania, please contact us.

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