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Eur J Nutr. 2017 Aug;56(Suppl 2):23-36. doi: 10.1007/s00394-017-1510-3.

Public health relevance of drug-nutrition interactions.

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DSM Nutritional Products Ltd., Wurmisweg 576, 4303, Kaiseraugst, Switzerland.
University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, 9713 GZ, Groningen, The Netherlands.
Preventive Cardiology, Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik I, Ludwig Maximilians-Universität München, Ziemssenstr. 15, 80336, Munich, Germany.
Omegametrix GmbH, Am Klopferspitz 19, 82152, Martinsried, Germany.
Division of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, Stippeneng 4, 6708 WE, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Department of Geriatric Medicine, Hospital Gelderse Vallei, Willy Brandtlaan 10, 6716 RP, Ede, The Netherlands.
DSM Nutritional Products Ltd., Wurmisweg 576, 4303, Kaiseraugst, Switzerland.
University of Hohenheim, Schloß Hohenheim 1, 70599, Stuttgart, Germany.


The public health relevance of drug-nutrition interactions is currently highly undervalued and overlooked. This is particularly the case for elderly persons where multi-morbidity and consequently polypharmacy is very common. Vitamins and other micronutrients have central functions in metabolism, and their interactions with drugs may result in clinically relevant physiological impairments but possibly also in positive effects. On 12 April 2016, the University Medical Center Groningen (The Netherlands), as part of its Healthy Ageing program, organized a workshop on the public health relevance of drug-nutrient interactions. In this meeting, experts in the field presented results from recent studies on interactions between pharmaceuticals and nutrients, and discussed the role of nutrition for elderly, focusing on those persons receiving pharmaceutical treatment. This paper summarizes the proceedings of the symposium and provides an outlook for future research needs and public health measures. Since food, pharma and health are closely interconnected domains, awareness is needed in the medical community about the potential relevance of drug-nutrition interactions. Experts and stakeholders should advocate for the integration of drug-nutrition evaluations in the drug development process. Strategies for the individual patients should be developed, by installing drug review protocols, screening for malnutrition and integrating this topic into the general medical advice.


Drug–nutrient interactions; Health benefits; Microbiota; Micronutrient deficiency; Public health

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