Does IV Vitamin Therapy Work?
Is your skin seeming to age faster than it should? Do you get sick frequently? Feeling stressed? Taking far too long to recover your energy after that intense workout? All of these conditions and more could be the result of a deficiency of key vitamins and nutrients in your body. IV vitamin therapy, or iv drip therapy, can restore healthy levels of these nutrients and effectively treat these conditions, sometimes in a remarkably short period of time. Think minutes, not days!
The Famous Myers Cocktail
Sometimes known as a Myers’ Cocktail, intravenous vitamin therapy was pioneered by Dr. John Myers in Baltimore, Maryland in the 1960’s. Dr. Myers passed away in 1984. This was a problem for more than just John. He was somewhat secretive about his formula. No one besides him knew the exact ingredients or amounts of those ingredients in his pioneering Myers Cocktail IV vitamin therapy treatment. All that anyone knew for sure was that patients had reported relief from such wide-ranging conditions as chronic fatigue, migraines, stomach issues, narcotic withdrawal, frequent illness, lyme disease and chronic depression. Some even said it cured their cancer, but we’re kinda dubious about that one.
The formula lost with its inventor, and thousands of patients without the relief the treatments brought them. What to do? Fortunately, another doctor, Alan Gaby, an expert in holistic medicine and author of a number of books on nutritional therapies did some medical sleuthing and rebuilt Dr. Myers formula nutrient by nutrient. Unlike Dr. Myers, Dr. Gaby is still alive and well. You can read more about him and his ground-breaking work on nutritional medicine here.
Couldn’t I Just Eat Healthier?
Well, yes, not only could you, but if you feel your diet needs improving you should. However, there are still benefits to IV vitamin therapy. Stick with me, there’s some real science here.
When we eat, our digestive system has to break down the food into forms that our cells can absorb. Proteins, sugars, lipids, vitamins and minerals. The enzymatic processes that work this magic are hard on the nutrients themselves, often breaking them down so far that our body can’t use what’s left. In fact, our body can only absorb about 50% of nutrients from food that we eat. After it passes through our digestive tract and liver, it’s had a rough ride.
IV administered nutrients, however, go straight into our blood stream and from there to our cells. These nutrients are already in the best forms for our body to make use of them. Also, they don’t get broken down by our stomach acids and digestive enzymes. This means that our body absorbs roughly 90% of these nutrients. As an added bonus, these treatments are also all but calorie free!
Did you know that a lot of our mood is actually chemically determined? Brain chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin need to be in proper balance in order for our outlook to remain positive and our emotions to stay manageable. While these chemicals are made in our body, and don’t come from the foods we eat or from IV drip therapy, having vitamin and mineral deficiencies can make it difficult or impossible for our brain to properly regulate these chemicals. In fact, depression is one of the primary side effects of malnutrition.
Energy levels too, are dependent at least in part upon having sufficient nutrients. Energy is produced at a cellular level by mitochondria. You might or might not remember that from high school biology. These little energy factories are highly dependent upon having the right materials to work with. Magnesium especially is important. Without sufficient magnesium, our mitochondria can’t produce enough ATP to properly power our cells. B vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 also play in important role. Finally, antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, the mineral selenium and a vital nutrient called coenzyme Q10 are all involved in cellular energy production. Now I didn’t tell you all that to impress you with my knowledge of physiology, but to demonstrate just how many nutrients our body needs to keep in proper balance just to regulate our energy levels. From this we can see just how easy it is to suffer from chronic fatigue simply because our body is short one or two vital nutrients.
You’ve heard of lymph nodes, of course. But what are they and what do they do? Primarily our lymphatic system produces lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that fights infections. This includes viruses such as the common cold and bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Also parasites and fungi that can cause much more serious conditions. If you’re getting sick frequently, and seeming to take forever to recover, your weak immune system could be the result of a lack of nutrients.
Vitamins A, C and E, zinc and that long list of B vitamins under chronic fatigue are all responsible for keeping our immune system robust and helping our millions of lymphocytes to do their job.
Free radicals. Most of us are a little fuzzy on exactly what they are but we know they are not only bad, but a major cause of aging. Without getting too sciency on you, free radicals are atoms or molecules that damage cell membranes, proteins and DNA, breaking them down much faster than they otherwise would. There’s no way to eradicate free radicals from our body. They are a by-product of oxygen metabolism, and of course that’s something we can’t do without. We can, however, introduce anti-oxidants into our body to prevent those evil little free radical molecules from doing any damage. Think of free radicals as juvenile delinquents with spray paint, and anti-oxidants as the police. Glutathione and vitamin C are both powerful antioxidants. By adding more of these to our body, we slow the action of the free radicals that are damaging our cells, thus slowing the aging process.
If you do want more of the sciency stuff, there’s a very thorough article on free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods here.
IV vitamin therapy can also help with a number of other conditions. It can brighten skin, improve athletic performance, relieve stress, and even cure that hangover after you had just a little too much fun the night before.
How Long Does an IV Vitamin Therapy Treatment Take?
Expect the infusion to last from 20 minutes to an hour. It will vary depending upon the therapy you are receiving and how your body tolerates the infusion. Infusing too fast gives some people headaches. If you know you’re one of them, please tell us before your treatment.
Who Long Do the Effects Last?
This too can vary by treatment type, but in general you shouldn’t have IV vitamin therapy more often than twice a month due to the high concentrations of nutrients provided. Treatment effects should last 2 – 3 weeks.