Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2022; 26 (13): 4846-4862

DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202207_29210

Counteracting side effects of combined oral contraceptives through the administration of specific micronutrients

S. Basciani, G. Porcaro

Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy. giusy.porcaro@gmail.com


OBJECTIVE: The occurrence of side effects related to the use of combined oral contraceptives (COCs) – or even the fear of them – often affects patients’ compliance and their quality of life. Such adverse effects include both physical and psychological alterations. Therapies based on COCs are related to lower levels of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B, C and E, zinc, magnesium, and selenium. This review gathers scientific evidence about the effectiveness of the administration of specific micronutrients to address nutritional needs and recover adverse conditions.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We reviewed literature searching through different databases (MEDLINE, Scopus, Google Scholar). We used different keywords, including micronutrients, COCs, side effects, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin D, zinc, magnesium, selenium and Centella Asiatica. We narrowed the search down to English literature, including both preclinical and clinical studies. The outcome of database search was to highlight beneficial effects of specific micronutrients on the evaluated side reactions.

RESULTS: Based on the collected evidence, dietary supplementations of specific micronutrients, whose depletion occurs during COC treatments, have significant beneficial effects. By acting on different aspects and pathways, such supplementation prevents and counteracts discomforts and side effects related to COC treatments.

CONCLUSIONS: Considering the wide use of OCs, taking appropriate dietary supplements could be an effective approach in clinical practice, tailoring therapies and improving both safety and tolerability.

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To cite this article

S. Basciani, G. Porcaro
Counteracting side effects of combined oral contraceptives through the administration of specific micronutrients

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2022
Vol. 26 - N. 13
Pages: 4846-4862
DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202207_29210