A mineral oil laxative, according to some experts, may interfere with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Specifically, people who take a mineral oil laxative might not absorb enough vitamin A, D, E, and K. Vitamins A and E come largely from food and drinks. Vitamins D and K can come from diet and other sources. Anyone taking a mineral oil laxative should eat foods that are good sources of fat-soluble vitamins.
Impact of a Mineral Oil Laxative on Vitamins A and E
Vitamin A has been linked to helping the eyes adjust to different light levels, growing bones and teeth, reproducing, expressing genes, undergoing cell division, and keeping the skin, eyes, mouth, nose, throat, and lungs moist. Vitamin A is found in dairy products, fish, egg yolk, and liver. The body is capable of converting beta-carotene into vitamin A. Research suggests the body produces 1 mg of vitamin A for every 12 mg of beta-carotene that is consumed. Carrots, winter squash, pumpkins, apricots, and dark leafy greens are good sources of beta-carotene.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects vitamins A and C, essential fatty acids, and red blood cells. While the studies on the benefits of vitamin E supplements have yielded mixed results, the health benefits of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin E are generally positive. Vegetable oil, butter, margarine, shortening, green and leafy vegetables, wheat germ, whole grain products, egg yolk, liver, and nuts contain high levels of vitamin E.
Impact of a Mineral Oil Laxative on Vitamins D and K
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, build bones, and maintain bones. New research also suggests that vitamin D may be tied to longevity and good health maintenance. Many dairy products are fortified with vitamin D. Egg yolk and oily fishes such as salmon, herring, and sardines have high levels of vitamin D, as does cod liver oil. Vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin, because the body produces vitamin D when sunlight hits the skin.
Vitamin K is known to help coagulate blood and to maintain proper bone density. It also may aid fetus development. Bacteria living in the intestines produce vitamin K. These bacteria have a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship with humans. Vitamin K is also found in several foods. Liver, turnip greens, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, olive oil, and canola oil have high levels of vitamin K.
|Foods to Eat While on a Mineral Oil Laxative|
|Vitamin A Sources||Carrots, Winter Squash, Pumpkins, Apricots, Dark Leafy Greens, Dairy Products, Egg Yolk, Fish, and Liver|
|Vitamin D Sources||Salmon, Herring, Sardines, Cod Liver Oil, Egg Yolk, and Fortified Dairy Products|
|Vitamin E Sources||Vegetable oil, Whole Grain Products, Butter, Margarine, Shortening, Green and Leafy Vegetables, Wheat Germ, Egg Yolk, Liver, and Nuts|
|Vitamin K Sources||Cabbage, Spinach, Soybean Oil, Cotton Seed Oil, Olive Oil, Canola Oil, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Liver, and Turnip Greens|
Fat-soluble vitamins dissolve in lipids and can be stored in the liver and in body fat. Use of a mineral oil laxative could impair absorption of sufficient levels of vitamins A, D, E, and K. Seek out ample rich sources of these fat-soluble vitamins if you are using amineral oil laxative.
- Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis Balch and James Balch
- Fat-Soluble Vitamins. Colorado State University Extension