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What are the long term effects of taking mineral oil?


Updated February 20, 2006

Question: What are the long term effects of taking mineral oil?
Twenty years ago I had radiation therapy for cervical cancer. Over the years the effects of the radiation caused a colon stricture My doctor recently recommended that I use mineral oil (and Milk of Magnesia if necessary). This has been working very well. How or where can I find information on the long term effects of using mineral oil. My real concern is how the use of this oil might have negative effects on my body absorbing vitamins and other essential nutrients.
Answer: Mineral oil is a petroleum based product and is used as a lubricant type laxitive. Mineral oil does interfere with the absorption of some vitamins and minerals including, Beta-carotene, Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K. If you take a multivitamin with minerals you should take it 2 hours either before or after the mineral oil to ensure absorption.

Anyone who has problems swallowing may want to avoid using mineral oil as it can seep into the lungs and cause pneumonia.


Source: Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine and Nursing, W.B.Saunders Company, 1972

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