What’s happening to your body when you get an IV drip of vitamins?
Dena Westphalen (DW): The first IV vitamin drips were developed and administered by Dr. John Myers in the 1970s. His research led to the popular Myers’ Cocktail. These types of infusions generally take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, and take place within a medical office with a licensed medical professional observing the infusion. While you’re undergoing an IV vitamin drip, your body is receiving a higher concentration of the vitamins themselves. A vitamin that’s taken by mouth gets broken down in the stomach and digestive tract, and is limited on how much can be absorbed (50 percent). If, however, the vitamin is given through an IV, it’s absorbed at a much higher percentage (90 percent).
Lindsay Slowiczek (LS): When a person receives an IV vitamin treatment, they’re receiving a liquid mixture of vitamins and minerals through a small tube inserted into a vein. This allows the nutrients to be absorbed quickly and directly into the bloodstream, a method that produces higher levels of the vitamins and minerals in your body than if you got them from food or supplements. This is because several factors affect our body’s ability to absorb nutrients in the stomach. Factors include age, metabolism, health status, genetics, interactions with other products we consume, and the physical and chemical makeup of the nutritional supplement or food. Higher levels of the vitamins and minerals in your bloodstream lead to greater uptake into cells, which theoretically will use the nutrients to maintain health and fight illness.
Debra Sullivan (DS): Variations of IV therapy have been prescribed by doctors and administered by qualified nurses for over a century. It’s a quick and efficient way to deliver fluids or medication into the body’s circulation. During an IV vitamin treatment, a pharmacist will usually mix the solution per the doctor’s orders. A qualified nurse or healthcare professional will need to access a vein and secure the needle in place, which could take a couple of attempts if the patient is dehydrated. The nurse or healthcare professional will then monitor the vitamin infusion to ensure the rates of vitamins and minerals are administered properly.
What kinds of vitamins or minerals would this method work best for?
DW: There’s no limit to which vitamins the IV therapy can work to infuse into your body. The best vitamins for this treatment, however, are those that are natural to a person’s body and can be measured with levels to ensure that the IV infusion is given at a healthy dose.
LS: Commonly seen ingredients in an IV vitamin drip are vitamin C, B vitamins, magnesium, and calcium. IV vitamin drips may also contain amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and antioxidants, such as glutathione. Talk with your doctor about what nutrients you may be lacking.
DS: Vitamins are infused at IV drip vitamin clinics and usually contain either a single vitamin — such as vitamin C — or a cocktail of vitamins and minerals. I would not, however, recommend IV vitamin therapy unless there’s a medically diagnosed reason for the infusion and it was prescribed by a physician based on the patient’s diagnosis and body composition.
What should people look out for — and keep in mind — if they’re planning to undergo IV vitamin therapy?
DW: People who want to try IV vitamin therapy should look for a reputable doctor who will be monitoring and providing the infusions. They should also be prepared to provide a comprehensive medical history Trusted Source. This should include any health concerns they’ve encountered over the course of their life and any medications they’re currently taking, or have recently taken. It’s important for them to include not only prescriptions, but over-the-counter (OTC) medications, dietary supplements, and teas that they drink regularly.
LS: If you want to try IV vitamin therapy, it’s important that you do your research. Talk with your primary care doctor to see if IV vitamin therapy is right for you. Ask them if you have any vitamin or mineral deficiencies that could be helped by IV vitamin therapy, and whether any of your health conditions could put you at an increased risk for an adverse reaction to the drip. Always make sure that the doctor you’re receiving IV vitamin therapy from is board certified, and is aware of all your health conditions and concerns.
DS: Be sure the clinic is reputable because these clinics aren’t closely regulated. Remember, you’re receiving vitamins — not drugs. Do some research before you go and see if there are any reviews of the clinic. The clinic should look clean, the hands of those administering the IV should be washed, and gloves worn by the specialist should be changed each time they meet with a new client. Don’t let them hurry the process or not explain what’s being done. And don’t be afraid to ask for credentials if you’re in doubt of their professionalism!
Conditions that may be assisted by Intravenous and Intramuscular Nutrient Therapy:
- Immune support
- New Mothers
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Constantly feeling tired
- High intensity athletic training
- GI malabsorption
- Chronic fatigue
- Various Immune disorders
- Migraine headaches relating to dehydration or tension
- Glandular fever or Ross River Virus
- Long term illness
- Acute and chronic pain
Evidence based research papers
Peripheral nerve damage and B Vitamins
Alcoholic polyneuropathy and Vitamin B complex 2006
Alcoholic neuropathy mechanisms and treatment 2011
Have fruits and vegetables become less nutritious?
Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious?
Shock study reveals DISTURBING truth about today’s ‘fresh’ fruit and vegetables
Immune function and antioxidant supplementation 2011
Immune function improved with antioxidants
Intravenous Nutrients and improved immune function
Vitamin C as a stimulator of natural killer cells
Vitamin C’s effect on phagocyte (bacterial killing cells) function
A close relationship between Vitamin C and immune cell activity
The Antioxidant Properties Of Zinc
Multiple Impacts Of Zinc On Immune Function
Zinc is an Antioxidant And Anti-Inflammatory Agent: It’s Role in Human Health
Vitamin C Promotes The Proliferation And Effector Functions Of Humanγδ T Cells
Alcohol consumption and the protective effect of Vitamin C
Electrolyte imbalance (especially magnesium) caused by chronic alcohol consumption
The Riordan IVC Protocol for Adjuntive Cancer Care
Vitamin D and Fibromyalgia : a meta-analysis
Efficacy of Intravenous Magnesium in Neuropathic Pain
Alcohol, Oxidative Stress, And Free Radical Damage
Effects of High Dose Vitamin C on Epstein-Barr viral Infection
Intravenous vitamin C administration improves quality of life in breast cancer patients during chemo-/radiotherapy and aftercare.