Intravenous administration of vitamins and nutrients is not new. It has been used in medical settings for decades to treat specific medical conditions like vitamin deficiencies. However, in the 2000’s IV vitamin therapies became especially popular as a number of celebrities admitted to using them as a wellness and rejuvenation treatment. IV vitamin therapy has been advertised as the glamorous treatment for boosting energy, improving skin complexion, and recovering from hangovers. Yes, IV vitamin therapy can achieve all that. In fact, here’s a two minute video where I talk about some health secrets of Hollywood stars. BUT advertising it as a magic liquid that only helps with massive hangovers or tiredness is a gross understatement. IV vitamin therapy is so much more than that!
IV vitamin therapy can be used for a wide range of conditions and it can play an important role in promoting overall health and well-being.
What is IV Vitamin Therapy?
I have talked about IV Vitamin Therapy and its benefits on multiple occasions, via blog posts, articles, TV appearances, etc. It is the process of infusion of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other natural substances directly into the vein. When substances are given orally they must be processed through the stomach, liver, and intestines. Many substances may be rendered inactive in the digestive tract, or may not be well absorbed due to poor intestinal function. By directly administering nutrients to the bloodstream, therapeutic doses of nutrients in blood levels can be absorbed more efficiently.
The fastest source for getting the required minerals and vitamins, IV therapy can be beneficial for anyone. However, you should not sign up for vitamin therapy blindly. First of all, not everyone is licensed to practice IV Vitamin Therapy. Second of all, it’s important to customize the IV cocktail mix to your specific needs, as people tend to be deficient in different nutrients.
Who should consider getting IV Vitamin Therapy?
There are several groups of people I would particularly recommend the IV Vitamin Therapy to. Let’s start with the most obvious one – people with specific nutrient deficiencies. There are many things that could lead to nutrient deficiency:
- Modern diet can be quite nutritionally poor and unbalanced, leading to some of the most common forms of nutrient deficiencies, such as inadequate levels of iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, folate, calcium, zinc, and iodine. Diets lacking in whole grains, lean proteins, veggies and dairy products could easily trigger nutrient deficiency. For example, vegetarians and vegans are often at risk of lacking some of the nutrients found in protein.
- Another reason for nutrient deficiency is related to gut issues that lead to malabsorption. These could include conditions such as Crohn’s disease, food allergies, celiac disease, etc. As a result of these issues, the digestive system is unable to absorb required vitamins and minerals, leading to depletion of the body. People with gut issues could be consuming the most balanced diet, full of all the required nutrients, yet their body has a hard time retaining it all.
- People who have undergone gastrointestinal surgery are also advised to monitor their nutrient levels, as this procedure affects the body’s ability to absorb certain nutrients. Moreover, some of the medications (such as antibiotics, antacids, etc.) can also interfere with food absorption by changing the gut microbiota and its absorptive powers.
- Finally, let me emphasize that as we age, our bodies often become less effective at absorbing nutrients such as calcium and vitamin B12, increasing the risk of nutrient deficiency.
It’s true that in many of these cases improving the diet could help with restoring the nutrient balance, however, it doesn’t work for people with absorption-related problems. If you fall into one of these categories, IV therapy is a much faster and surer way of getting exactly what your body needs.
But IV Vitamin Therapy isn’t only for those who lack specific nutrients. There is increasing evidence that it can be used to alleviate symptoms caused by multiple health conditions. Here’s where IV vitamin therapy can really help you:
1.Chronic inflammation – this is a condition, where your body is in a continuous state of stress, which is linked with chronic fatigue and pain, fever, digestive issues, cardiovascular symptoms, etc. With the right vitamin mix, vitamin therapy can help the body detox and reduce inflammation. It can also support the immune system’s ability to fight off various pathogens, helping the body reduce inflammatory response. You can read more about chronic inflammation and IV therapy in one of my articles.
2.Pain management is one of those areas where you could benefit from IV vitamin therapy. Evidence indicates that certain IV vitamin mixes proved effective in reducing pain in fibromyalgia patients that showed no signs of improvement after conventional treatments or therapies. Fibromyalgia (FM) is a complex and chronic pain disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and other symptoms. There are therapy-resistant FM patients who can’t get the results from conventional treatments. A study conducted on FM patients using IV vitamin drips demonstrated improved quality of life, decrease in fatigue and pain level.
3.Cardiovascular health – a 2021 clinical trial showed how IV nutrient therapies, including magnesium, calcium and other minerals can reduce symptoms of hypertension. Magnesium in particular could be potent in reducing heart-related risk factors and magnesium deficiency increases the likelihood of developing abnormal heart rhythms. However, excessive fluid intake could backfire, so it’s important to refer to a professional.
4.Immune support – while strong immunity might not be enough to keep you healthy, without it, you are doomed. Immune system is literally the army that fights off the foreign invaders and helps us with disease prevention, fast recovery, reduced severity of illness, allergy and autoimmune disease prevention and overall well-being. Strengthening our immune system is the single best investment we can make. This is where IV Vitamin Therapy can come in. IV vitamin therapy helps with rehydration, which can be important for the immune system. It can also address deficiencies in our bodies and thus, strengthen our immune defense. Vitamin C in particular has been explored as an efficient way to help immunocompromised people with chronic and acute immune issues to better fight the disease.
As I mentioned before, one of the benefits of IV Vitamin therapy is that it’s highly customizable to a person’s unique needs. While at the Dempster Clinic we tailor each patient’s IV Therapy routine, there are several core formulations that are designed for a specific purpose. These most popular “cocktails” include:
- Myer’s cocktail – one of the most popular “mixes” of vitamins and minerals. It is used to support hydration and energy levels, improve immunity, offer relief from certain conditions (migraines, fibromyalgia, respiratory infections, allergies, etc.).
- Magnesium treatment – one of the staple cocktails, plays a role in muscle and vascular relaxation. It has been effective in reducing pain syndromes in case of acute migraine attacks, headaches and neuropathic pain. It can also ease asthma and allergies.
- Glutathione – the most important antioxidant is used for anti-aging. Studies have indicated that cellular and mitochondrial levels of glutathione are directly linked with health and longevity.
- High-dose Vitamin C – has been a subject of studies for many years. Its effectiveness among the critically ill has been well documented. Vitamin C strengthens the immune system, allowing immunocompromised to better fight the disease.
- Allergies & asthma mix – composed of vitamin C, pyridoxine, magnesium and other trace minerals, this formulation is helpful for reducing debilitating symptoms linked to asthma and allergies.
- Migraine mix – magnesium that is found in this IV Vitamin Drip formula is essential for many enzymatic reactions and is required for muscle and vascular relaxation. It can have a big impact on many types of pain syndromes, including migraines.
- Other IV Vitamin Drip formulas designed to help with rejuvenation, revitalization, performance, detoxification, etc.
Choosing the right mix, concentration, and frequency of administration is a responsibility of the licensed medical practitioner and should be taken with caution. Not all naturopathic doctors in the province of Ontario can administer IV Vitamin Therapies. Naturopathic doctors must take an accredited IV Vitamin Therapy course and complete both practical and written exams set out by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO). We, at the Dempster Clinic are licensed to practice IV Vitamin Therapy and offer this service at the Toronto-based clinic.
With the cold season approaching, boosting our immunity and supporting overall health becomes increasingly important. If you would like to replenish your body, you can explore some of the vitamin cocktails we offer at the Dempster Clinic, including treatments that support rejuvenation, revitalization, performance, detoxification, allergy and migraine management, etc. Visit our website to learn more about these treatments and our 15-minute discovery session.
To your health,
Dr. John Dempster, ND