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Introduction to IV Nutritional Therapy

Intravenous therapy might appear to be a bizarre new trend reserved for the affluent or the athletic. Celebrities like Rihanna and Simon Cowell swear by it, and the vast majority of NFL teams are hooking up to IV “drips” for pre-game hydration, or post game recovery. In reality, IV infusions have been around for a very long time, and have a long list of benefits especially applicable to the modern lifestyle.

Brief History

The initial days of IV infusions were truly bizarre. The first experimental patients of IV were dogs, who received infusions of wine, ale and opiates from the originator of the practice, Sir Christopher Wren in 1665. Apparently, Wren was more of a cat guy.

It wasn’t for another three hundred years, in the 1960’s, that intravenous therapy was used for nutritional purposes. Dr. John Myers of Baltimore pioneered the intravenous use of vitamins and minerals to treat patients with a variety of conditions, ranging from asthma, migraines and fatigue, to fibromyalgia and cardiovascular disease. His signature nutritional infusion, called the “Myers’ Cocktail” consists of calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamin C, with adjustments to the cocktail based on the patients unique nutritional needs.

The Problem

Today, Nutritional IV Therapy is an important component of preventative medicine for two main reasons:

Limited Absorptive Ability

Malabsorption is defined as an abnormal absorption of nutrients from the digestive tract into the bloodstream. This condition occurs when the bowels cannot absorb enough protein, fat or nutrients from a normal diet.

Thanks to an abundance of sugars, carbohydrates, and processed foods in our modern diets, unhealthy digestive tracts are all too common and inhibit our ability to properly absorb nutrients. Gluten and lactose intolerances, and food sensitivities can also harm the gut and reduce nutrient absorption.

A decrease in the absorptive ability of the gut is also a natural part of the aging process. As our bodies age, we have a harder time absorbing needed vitamins and minerals, which further complicates the aging process.

Low Nutritional Value in Diet

Processed foods are obviously lacking in needed nutrients, but even fruits and vegetables lack the nutritional value they once had. A 2004 study - reported by the The New York Times - of 43 garden crops from 1950 to 1999 revealed statistically reliable declines for six nutrients: protein, calcium, potassium, iron and vitamins B2 and C. The decline is due to soil depletion from mass farming methods, changes in farming methods, and use of chemical fertilizers, among others.

A lack of regular nutrients absorbed into the blood stream creates imbalances in the body that can have damaging effects. Even vitamin and mineral supplements vary widely in their rate of absorption, depending on what kind, when and how they were taken. Often, only a fraction of the supplement is actually absorbed and used by the body.

A consistent lack of nutrients absorbed into the bloodstream can lead to:

  • Stress, Depression and Anxiety

  • Fatigue

  • Metabolic Syndrome

  • Diabetes

  • Obesity

  • Cardiovascular Disease

  • Decreased Immunity

  • Hormonal Imbalance

Nutritional IV Therapy

The intravenous delivery of vitamins and minerals directly into the bloodstream means the absorption rate is 100% - therapeutic levels of nutrition. The nutritional boost of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and carbohydrates rapidly changes the blood chemistry, replenishing cells, tissues, organs and systems of the body that were being starved of needed nutrients. This helps to treat the symptoms and conditions listed above, conditions associated with nutritional deficiencies.

For all indviduals, healthy or unhealthy, IV therapy helps repair the body or assist in the prevention of future illness. Nutritional therapies support three closely intertwined aspects of our health, that have a huge impact on disease management, aging, vitality and longevity.

1. Cellular Health

The path to total health begins at the cellular level. The path to illness and death, also begins at the cellular level. Our cells produce the energy and life that sustains us, and when they begin to fail so does the entire organism.

Proper cellular nutrition is the “single most important life sustaining and promoting measure we can take to guarantee optimal health” according to Dr. Mitchell J. Ghen, and Dr. Nayan Patel, authors of The Science and Art of Parental Clinical Nutrition.

Nutritional IV Therapy guarantees cellular nutrition by providing 100% absorbable doses of:

  • Amino Acids - Can be converted into glucose for energy or storage during times of stress. A boost of amino acids helps to increase energy, especially when the patient is experiencing some form of stress.

  • Vitamins and Minerals - A lack of vitamins and minerals in the cells inhibits the energy production work of the mitochondria, resulting in negative affects to any system of the body and leading to a huge range of health problems. Low amounts of vitamins and minerals can also interfere with the production of key enzymes, which are essential in cellular energy production.

A monthly intravenous dose of cellular building blocks can help your cells stay in top form, increasing cellular energy output and protecting against diease.

2. Antioxidants

Our cells are always working. All day, everyday, there are an overwhelming amount of varied chemical reactions happening inside the cells as a part of regular metabolism. One of these reactions strips oxygen atoms of electrons and leaves the atoms with an uneven amount of electrons, which creates molecules called free radicals. As free radicals attempt to even out their number of electrons by taking them from other atoms, they begin a chain reaction, that becomes especially damaging when molecules of DNA or cell membranes are interfered with. Free radicals are born from regular metabolism as well as environmental toxins like cigarette smoke, car emissions, industrial pollutants, radiation, and lifestyle factors like trauma, deep-fried foods and stress.

Antioxidants are the antidote. Free radical chain reaction must be stopped before they affect important components and accelerate aging or bring on disease. This defence mechanism found in Vitamin C, Vitamin E, beta-carotene and selenium neutralizes the free radical by offering up a spare electron, without losing stability itself.

Oxidative stress refers to the level of damage or stress that the free radical onslaughts are causing, and is directly associated with the rate of aging. To stay healthy, protect against disease and fight aging, using antioxidants to combat oxidative stress should be a top priority for all humans, especially those with high exposure to the toxins, stresses and fried foods that generate free radical chain reactions.

While it's certainly not the only solution for achieving a healthy balance of free radicals, nutritional IV therapy assists in flooding the body with powerful doses of antioxidants that neutralize any excessive amounts of free radicals. Combined with a healthy diet and avoiding toxins and stress, one can slow down the rate of oxidative damage which helps decrease the rate of biological aging while protecting against disease in organs and organ systems.

3. Inflammation

Swelling, redness and heat are classic signs of inflammation, usually resulting from injury or infection. At a cellular level though, inflammation is characterized by the massive injury and death of cells. Two main types of inflammation are:

  • Acute - A healthy response to injury or infection, acute inflamation kick starts the repair process then stops. It usually lasts up to a few days.

  • Chronic - More complex than acute, chronic inflammation occurs for long stretches at a time - sometimes several years - for one of many potential reasons. This includes failure to eliminate what was causing the inflammation in the first place, or an illegitimate autoimmune response to something that doesn't actually pose a threat, like natural human chemicals (eg. arthritis). Uncontrolled chronic inflammation can lead to a host of health problems, and even death.

To fight uncontrolled inflammation, restoring the flow of nutrients to the cell is essential. As mentioned, nutritional IV therapy reduces oxidative stress, which in turn restores immune function and helps to reduce and control inflammation.

Nutritional IV therapy can help support and restore total health at a cellular level, and is especially applicable for the modern lifestyle that is characterized by fried foods, stress, and environmental toxins. Frequency and needed ingredients are customized for each individual patient, after an initial consultation by a registered Naturopathic Doctor. Don't worry, Sir Christopher Wren is no longer practicing, so neither you or your dog will be receiving his nightmare cocktail of wine, ale and opiates. Poor pup.


  • The Science and Arte of Parental Clinical Nutrition - Mitchell J. Glen, D.O., Ph.D. and Nayan Patel, Pharm.D.

  • The Antioxidant Prescription - Bryce Wylde

© 2017 by CIMED Integrative Medical Center

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