Vitamin IV therapy continues to grow as a treatment that can help address a wide range of wellness and other health concerns. But does it really work? How do you know if you should get one? Keep reading to learn more about vitamin IV therapy and decide if it is the right choice for you.
What is a Vitamin IV and how is it different from other IVs?
Intravenous (IV) therapy involves the delivery of fluids directly to the bloodstream. IV fluids are packaged in bags. The bags are hung so that gravity can encourage the flow of liquid from the bag through a long, thin tube. The needle at the end of the tube is inserted into a blood vein.
IV fluids can be infused with vitamins, minerals, and medications, allowing direct delivery of these ingredients into the bloodstream. This is advantageous over taking oral supplements, which get broken down in the digestive process. Typically, oral supplements have an absorption rate of 50% or less. Vitamin IV therapy has an average absorption rate of 90% or more, ensuring your body gets the full benefits of the dosage.
IV fluids themselves offer general wellness benefits. These solutions are a special blend of water and electrolytes which help to fight dehydration.
Staying hydrated is vital to maintaining multiple aspects of your health, such as:
- Digestive system: The digestive process relies on being sufficiently hydrated in a number of ways: Water consumption promotes the efficient breakdown of food. It also helps dissolve vitamins and nutrients and assists in distributing them throughout the body. Constipation occurs when bowel movements do not contain enough water. Water helps the body flush out waste and toxins.
- Joint health: Water keeps joints, tissues, and the spinal cord lubricated and cushioned. Staying hydrated can help lessen discomfort related to arthritis or similar conditions.
- Mood and cognitive function: Dehydration can result in symptoms such as anxiety, decreased alertness, confusion, fatigue, and difficulty with short-term memory.
- Body temperature regulation: Unless water and electrolytes are replenished after being lost, body temperature can rise to dangerous levels.
- Skin health: Staying hydrated promotes collagen production, which is essential to bright and healthy skin.
Electrolytes are as essential to staying hydrated as water. The most important electrolyte related to hydration is sodium (salt). These minerals with an electric charge are necessary for several body functions, including:
- Helps balance water levels in the body
- Helps balance pH levels in the body
- Moves waste out of cells
- Moves nutrients into cells
- Proper function of the brain, heart, nerves, and muscles
What are the most common vitamins in IV solutions and what are their benefits?
Vitamin IV solutions are often tailored to address specific health needs or concerns. However, some vitamins are featured in multiple formulas for their many general wellness properties. Vitamin IV cocktail ingredients can sometimes be added as boosters individually as well.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin necessary for a variety of body functions. The body cannot produce Vitamin C nor store it in any significant amounts on its own. The only way you can ensure you have enough Vitamin C is through a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, as well as supplementation.
Body functions relying on Vitamin C include:
- Tissue regeneration: Vitamin C is used by the body to build proteins necessary to form ligaments, blood vessels, skin, and tendons. It is essential to support normal wound healing and the formation of scar tissue.
- Immune function: Vitamin C stimulates production of white blood cells and helps protect them with its antioxidant properties. Its role in tissue regeneration also strengthens the skin barrier, further protecting the body from illness or infection.
- Iron absorption: The body needs Vitamin C to absorb iron, helping you avoid iron deficiency.
- Neutralizes free radicals: Vitamin C protects the body from excess free radicals – unstable atoms that can cause cellular damage. It not only neutralizes free radicals, but blocks cells from being damaged.
- Neurotransmitter production: The body uses Vitamin C to create neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers necessary to facilitate body functions.
Glutathione is the most abundant, naturally occurring antioxidant in the body. In addition to neutralizing free radicals, it is necessary for body functions such as metabolism, DNA creation and repair, enzyme activation, and protein production. It also helps detoxify both naturally-created chemicals as well as pollutants and drugs.
From an improved complexion to a strong immune system, there are many conditions that people take glutathione to address. Glutathione levels naturally lower as we age, making supplementation more important. Oral supplementation of glutathione may be less effective than IV treatments, as it appears to be easily broken down in the digestive process. This makes glutathione an ideal candidate for vitamin IV infusions.
B complex vitamins
B vitamins are a group of water-soluble nutrients necessary for many body functions. Supplements containing all eight B vitamins are referred to as B-family vitamins, also known as vitamin B complex. Like Vitamin C, the body does not store B-complex vitamins, so the body relies on obtaining them through a healthy diet and supplementation.
The 8 B-complex vitamins are:
- B1 (also known as thiamine): B1 is found in foods such as pork, wheat germ, and sunflower seeds. It promotes metabolic function by helping to convert nutrients into energy.
- B2 (also known as riboflavin): B2 can be obtained from foods like organ meats, beef, and mushrooms. It acts as an antioxidant and helps convert food into energy.
- B3 (also known as niacin): B3 is found in foods like tuna, chicken, and lentils. It is necessary for cellular signaling, DNA production and repair, and metabolic function.
- B5 (also known as pantothenic acid): B5 can be obtained from foods like avocado, fish, liver, and yogurt. It aids the metabolic process and also is used by the body for cholesterol and hormone production.
- B6 (also known as pyridoxine): B6 is found in foods like chickpeas, salmon, and potatoes. This B vitamin is vital to the creation of neurotransmitters, red blood cell production, and amino acid metabolism.
- B7 (also known as biotin): Eggs, cheese, liver, salmon, and yeast are all high in B7. This B vitamin helps the metabolic process by breaking down carbohydrates and fat. It also regulates gene expression.
- B9 (also known as folate): Foods high in folate include beans, leafy greens, and liver. B9 is used by the body for cell growth, the formation of both red and white blood cells, proper cell division, and amino acid metabolism.
- B12 (also known as cobalamin): B12 can be found in foods like eggs, dairy, meats, and seafood. B12 is essential to DNA production, neurological function, and red blood cell development.
B-complex vitamins may be grouped together as they share some traits. However, each has a unique function and is needed by the body in different amounts. B-complex vitamin blends are formulated to supplement the appropriate amounts of each vitamin necessary for optimum function.
Amino acids are organic compounds that make proteins and are referred to as “the building blocks of life.” In addition to being part of our genetic makeup, these amino acids play important parts in day-to-day function. These essential amino acids are not naturally produced by the body, meaning they must be obtained through diet or supplementation.
Lipostat Plus is a specialized blend of the 20 essential and non-essential amino acids that comprise the human body.
- Histidine: Histidine helps create histamine, a chemical generated by the immune system to defend against allergens. It also functions as a neurotransmitter and plays an important role in the digestive process.
- Isoleucine: Isoleucine is largely found in muscle proteins. It stimulates muscle growth and provides energy. Additionally, it is necessary for growth processes, metabolic function, and immune function.
- Leucine: Like Isoleucine, leucine is present in muscle proteins and helps muscle growth and energy production. It is also vital for healing and the repair of bone, skin, and muscle injuries.
- Lysine: Lysine helps the body grow properly and absorb calcium and form collagen. It also helps the body produce carnitine, a nutrient responsible for converting fatty acids into energy.
- Methionine: Methionine produces sulfur-containing molecules that help fulfill important body functions. It also plays an important role in the production of new proteins necessary to heal muscle.
- Phenylalanine: Phenylalanine plays an important role in mental health, helping to create tyrosine. It also helps produce adrenaline and noradrenaline, both of which are crucial to fight or flight response. It additionally helps produce dopamine, a necessary chemical in memory formation, skill-learning, and feeling pleasure.
- Threonine: Threonine is largely located in the central nervous system and plays a key part in collagen, elastin, and tissue muscle production. It helps speed healing and helps form blood clots. Threonine also aids in building tooth enamel and bone.
- Tryptophan: Tryptophan is used in the production of melatonin and serotonin, which help regulate sleep cycles. Serotonin additionally manages pain, mood, and appetite. The liver also produces niacin by using tryptophan.
- Valine: Valine is important for the production of muscle growth and regeneration. It can also be metabolized in place of glucose if necessary. It also is believed to help preserve the myelin coverings of nerves and may help treat brain damage or other neurological conditions.
These non-essential amino acids can be produced by the body naturally, but supplementation may be necessary to avoid deficits.
- Alanine: Alanine and histidine work together to produce carnosine, which helps reduce lactic acid accumulation during exercise. It also helps break down tryptophan and vitamin B6.
- Asparagine: Asparagine aids central nervous system signaling and development. It is also essential to glycoprotein generation and liver health.
- Aspartic Acid: Aspartic acid helps the production of antibodies in response to illness or injury. It also regulates the menstrual cycle as well as the production of testosterone and sperm.
- Glutamic Acid: Glutamic acid is believed to affect learning and memory due to its role in glutamate creation. Glutamate aids in communication between nerve cells. It can help treat low stomach acid levels as well.
These amino acids cannot be produced by the human body in certain conditions, such as extreme stress, certain genetic disorders, or aging.
- Arginine: This amino acid is considered essential for newborns but non-essential for other age groups. It assists in healing, neutralizing ammonia in the liver, and in the release of growth and insulin hormones. It also helps increase T-cell production, aiding the immune system.
- Cysteine: Cysteine is a component of beta-keratin, the primary protein involved in healthy skin, nails, and hair. It helps make collagen, affecting skin elasticity and texture. It also functions as a detoxifier and antioxidant.
- Glutamine: Glutamine fuels white blood cells, helps the body absorb nutrients properly, and preserves the intestinal lining. It is the most abundant amino acid in the bloodstream and helps detoxify the liver. Glutamine is also used in protein creation for building muscle tissue.
- Tyrosine: Tyrosine plays a vital role in the production of dopamine, adrenaline, noradrenaline, and thyroid hormones. These thyroid hormones regulate metabolism and melanin, which gives skin its color.
- Glycine: As the primary amino acid in collagen, glycine is necessary for healthy blood, bones, cartilage, muscle, and skin. It is also used to make creatine, providing muscles energy for short bursts of intense activity.
- Ornithine: Ornithine helps the body shed excess ammonia, which can help symptoms related to excess ammonia buildup, such as those experienced during hangovers or after prolonged, intense exercise.
- Proline: Proline comprises 15% of collagen, helping to absorb shock and reduce friction in joints, as well as heal cartilage. Proline also helps arteries release fat buildup, lowering blood pressure and combating artery hardening.
- Serine: Serine is mostly located in the brain, where it manages neuron activity in the nervous system. It also aids other chemicals binding with NMDA receptors, helping to increase their effects.
Like vitamins, amino acids administered via IV have a higher absorption rate than what can be achieved with oral supplements.
Magnesium is a mineral necessary for the proper maintenance and growth of bones. It also aids function of nerves and muscles. It helps the digestive process by neutralizing stomach acid and moves stool through intestines.
What are the most common vitamin IV cocktails?
Vitamin IV formulas are typically designed to address specific health concerns. Formulas can vary from provider to provider, both in which vitamins are included in formulas as well as the dosage of each vitamin.
Examples of common vitamin IV cocktails include:
- Dehydration: Dehydration formulas typically do not include vitamins, meaning that they only include IV fluids.
- Energy: Energy formulas are designed to fight fatigue and boost energy. They often include B-complex vitamins and Vitamin C.
- Hangover: Hangover formulas help detoxify the body and restore vitamins lost to excess drinking. These formulas may include medications to help relieve symptoms like headache and nausea.
- Immune-boosting: Immune-boosting formulas are designed to fuel your immune system to be more resistant to getting sick and recover faster if you do become ill. Providers may offer more than one immune boosting cocktail, with varieties differing in strength and ingredients.
- Myers Cocktail: This classic cocktail helps address a wide variety of general wellness concerns, supporting the immune system, digestive system, and sleep.
- Recovery: Recovery formulas are made to help you heal from illness and workouts faster. They help boost immune function, reduce inflammation, and promote faster muscle healing.
- Beauty: Beauty cocktails are designed to detoxify and help strengthen skin, hair, and nails to help give you a healthy glow.
- Stomach flu: Stomach flu formulas are designed to fuel your body to help recover faster from stomach flu symptoms. They often include anti-heartburn and anti-nausea medication.
Is vitamin IV therapy effective?
The benefits of vitamin IV therapy can vary based on the ingredients included. It should be noted that vitamin IV cocktails are not a cure for any ailment, but rather a supportive therapy that enables your body to function at its best, whether on a day-to-day basis or aid in healing.
Some potential benefits include:
Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine that can help decrease symptoms of allergic reaction, such as inflammation and swelling. Allergy medications work by blocking histamine receptors. Vitamin C, on the other hand, reduces how much histamine you produce, preventing the hyperactive immune reaction that results in allergy symptoms.
Vitamin IV therapy is believed to be more effective at regulating histamine production than taking oral vitamin supplements. One study showed that 97% of participants experienced a reduction in symptoms like itchiness, sneezing, runny nose, and sleep problems.
Vitamin C and glutathione are both powerful natural antioxidants. The health benefits of reducing oxidative stress are numerous, including:
- Reduces chronic inflammation: Chronic inflammation occurs when free radicals produced by the immune’s system trigger the inflammatory response, which in turn produces more free radicals. This vicious cycle leads to oxidative stress and oxidant damage. Regularly fueling your body with antioxidants will help reduce oxidative stress and relieve chronic inflammation.
- Promotes brain health: Oxidative stress has been linked to several neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. While free radicals do help support brain cell growth, cognitive functioning, and neuroplasticity, too many of them can cause oxidant damage to brain cell structures. This damage can result in cell death, increasing the risk of Parkinson’s disease. It has also been linked to the accumulation of amyloid plaques in the brain, which is a key indicator of Alzheimer’s disease.
The antioxidant benefits of vitamin IV therapy can help lower the risk of oxidative stress to the brain, and result in better cognitive function and mental clarity.
- Preventing health conditions: Oxidative stress has been linked to the development of a range of conditions, such as:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cardiovascular conditions (stroke, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and more)
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Inflammatory disorders
- Male infertility
- Parkinson’s disease
High-dose Vitamin C delivered intravenously has been explored in recent years as a treatment for cancer. When administered with conventional chemotherapy drugs in a study, Vitamin C helped kill cancer cells by surrounding them and stimulating the production of hydrogen peroxide, which kills cancer cells. Vitamin C can also help reduce the toxic side effects of chemotherapy.
Both Vitamin C deficits and glutathione deficits have been linked to Covid-19. People with these deficits are more likely to get Covid-19 due to reduced immune function. People with deficits are also more likely to develop severe symptoms. It should also be noted that many of the health conditions that put people at high risk of hospitalization also make people more prone to Vitamin C deficiency. Examples include cancer, being immunocompromised, diabetes, and inflammatory conditions.
A study indicates that Covid-19 impacts glutathione levels and production patterns, causing people in younger age groups to show signs of oxidant damage typically seen in older age groups. Vitamin IV therapy may help correct vitamin deficits to aid in recovery and prevent the development of severe symptoms from Covid-19.
Who should consider getting vitamin IV therapy?
Many people can benefit from vitamin IV cocktails. Examples of people who can benefit include:
- People who participate in intense workouts regularly who need an energy boost to take progress to the next level
- People who struggle to stay hydrated
- People who are traveling and want to boost immunity for their trip or need jet lag relief
- People who are in recovery for substance abuse disorder to help with healing
- People who feel burnt out and need help with energy and mental clarity
- People trying to fight signs of aging and retain their body’s elasticity
- People who want instant relief from hangovers
- People who want instant relief from stomach flu
Are there any side effects to vitamin IV therapy?
Vitamin IV therapy is a relatively safe treatment for most people when administered correctly. However, there are side effects related to different aspects of vitamin IV infusions.
Infusion side effects
Side effects related to the intravenous administration method include:
- Infection at the site of injection
- Air embolism
- Vein damage
These risks are significantly mitigated when a licensed and trained healthcare professional administers the treatment following proper hygiene protocols.
Vitamin overload side effects
Having too much of a vitamin in your system can result in negative side effects. The side effects can vary from vitamin to vitamin. Some examples of side effects resulting from vitamin overload include:
Vitamin C overaccumulation can cause:
- Nausea and diarrhea
- Iron overload, which can result in damage to the central nervous system, heart, liver, pancreas, and thyroid
- Kidney stones
Glutathione overload can result in:
- Allergic reactions
- Abdominal cramps
- Bronchial constriction, which can lead to difficulty breathing
B-Complex vitamin overload symptoms can vary by vitamin.
- B3 overload can cause high blood sugar, liver damage, skin flushing, and vomiting
- B6 overload can cause light sensitivity, nerve damage, and painful skin lesions
- B-complex supplements can also cause urine to turn bright yellow, a harmless but notable side effect
If you take any prescription medications, you should be certain to mention them during a health screening before receiving vitamin IV therapy.
Some vitamins can affect the efficacy of certain medications. For example, vitamin C can change how your body breaks down certain medications, changing their absorption rate. This may result in an increase or decrease in their effectiveness. Examples include: mexiletine (Mexitil), fluphenazine (Prolixin), and magnesium salicylate (Novasal).
Sometimes, medications can cause vitamin deficiencies. B vitamin deficiencies can be caused by a number of medications, including proton pump inhibitors, some diabetes drugs, and birth control pills.
Who can administer a vitamin IV?
If you are interested in vitamin IV therapy, you should make sure your provider is a licensed and trained healthcare professional. The healthcare expert should conduct a health screening to review your health history and any medication you may be taking to ensure you are safe from any serious side effects. Sessions typically last 30-60 minutes, though they may take longer if you are getting a specialty IV treatment.
How much should a vitamin IV cocktail cost?
Vitamin IV cocktails can range from $150-$500 depending on the provider. Vitamin IV therapy bars were becoming popular until it was discovered that many of those facilities were not run according to proper safety guidelines and put people at risk of getting sick. The onset of the pandemic also had a significant impact on these businesses, causing people to turn to mobile IV therapy.
Mobile IV therapy healthcare providers will come to your home or office to administer IV therapy. Health experts will bring all the materials needed to administer a vitamin IV cocktail and remain onsite for the duration of the treatment. This option is not just a convenient choice for those with busy schedules, it also reduces the risk of exposure to contagious illness like Covid-19.
If you are at high risk of developing severe symptoms, mobile vitamin IV therapy allows you to receive treatment without risking exposure during travel or in the waiting room. Mobile vitamin IV therapy is also an ideal option for those with transportation or mobility issues, as well as their caretakers. Although mobile IV therapy may cost more, making this general wellness treatment a part of your routine may help you avoid more costly and invasive medical treatments in the future.
In-Home IV Treatments With Drip Hydration
Drip Hydration offers mobile IV treatments in the comfort of your home. Once you book your appointment, a certified nurse will come to your desired location and administer the treatment, which usually takes less than an hour. During this time, you can do anything you’d like, such as relax under a warm blanket or watch TV. Drip Hydration will also go to hotels, worksites, or other locations upon request.
You can either browse our treatment options and decide which is best for you or speak to a representative who can help you choose what you need based on your health goals. To schedule your appointment or learn more, contact us today!