By: Dr. Tricia Pingel, NMD
In recent years an intravenous vitamin drip known as The Myers Cocktail has become the latest health craze, and for good reason. The Myers Cocktail, along with similar IV vitamin therapies, has been used successfully to treat many ailments, as an immune system booster and as part of a normal health regime.
Developed in the 1970s by physician John Myers, M.D. at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, the Myers Cocktail contains Vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and all of the B vitamins diluted in water.
Taking vitamins intravenously injects essential vitamins and nutrients directly into the blood stream, bypassing the digestive system and enabling quick absorption. Often when a person’s body is sick or becoming sick the gut is already inflamed and makes oral absorption difficult and less efficient. Vitamin IVs allow efficient and quick absorption while boosting energy and hydrating the body. Intravenous administration of nutrients also allows for a much higher concentration to enter the body than can be achieved orally.
People have a tendency to get sick during the winter months, and are in need of an immune system boost. This vitamin therapy gives them just the boost they need to prevent or fight illness, or for general nutrition.
Benefits of IV Vitamin Therapy
Chronic Fatigue and Adrenal Fatigue—Patients who suffer from tiredness, chronic fatigue or adrenal fatigue often are also suffering from nutritional and vitamin deficiency. IV vitamin therapy restores essential vitamins and nutrients to the body, which increases energy and repairs enzyme systems.
Cancer—Research suggests that a high dosage of vitamin C has a negative effect on cancer cell growth. Vitamin C given intravenously supplies the body with higher levels of vitamin C and other nutrients than it would if taken orally. High levels of vitamin C helps boost the immune system by increasing lymphatic production and preventing cellular free radical damage. Vitamin C also helps patients to better tolerate chemotherapy by reducing the toxicity of radiation without lessening the cancer killing effects of the drug.
Autoimmune conditions—The vitamins and nutrients found in IV vitamin therapy help in lowering inflammation in the body. Vitamin therapy can be extremely effective in treating common autoimmune conditions such as, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjorgren’s Syndrome and scleroderma.
Migraines—Migraine headaches are often linked to poor intestinal health, which causes the body to have poor mineral and vitamin absorption through the digestive system. Injecting the vitamins intravenously solves this problem by bypassing the digestive system and sending the nutrients directly into the blood stream. The high dosage of magnesium found in the cocktail helps to decrease the frequency and severity of migraines. Magnesium relaxes muscle contraction and dilates blood vessels, providing significant migraine relief.
Detoxification—IV vitamin therapy is used as nutritional support during detoxification. When patients are on a detox diet, they are often limiting their food intake and therefore can’t get nutrition into the body. A vitamin IV not only gets essential nutrients into the body, it helps the liver to dispose of toxins.
For Athletes—Many athletes have found the benefit of using IV vitamin therapy as an energy boost for training leading up to a big game or event. It pumps the body full of highly concentrated nutrients for optimal performance.
IV vitamin therapy has also been used to treat stress, low immune system function, seasonal allergies and dehydration by providing the body with essential vitamins and nutrients that often get depleted.
The vitamin cocktail differs slightly based on each patient’s condition, but it is mostly a standard mixture of vitamin C, zinc, selenium, magnesium, calcium and all of the B vitamins.
Based on medical conditions, the frequency of each dosage of IV vitamin therapy varies from multiple times weekly to monthly or even quarterly. Each patient is different and therefore requires different protocols.
In my practice, after a brief medical history assessment, a patient will spend 20 to 45 minutes in the IV room for a standard Myers cocktail. While they are hooked up to the IV bag, they enjoy a relaxing atmosphere with soft music, candles and comfortable seating. The experience is meant to be more of a relaxation technique than a medical procedure. As a result of the atmosphere and high levels of magnesium (a natural relaxant) patients often come away tired from the experience. After a nights sleep they wake up feeling fully rejuvenated and healthy.
There are no significant side effects to IV vitamin therapy. However, patients suffering from liver or kidney disease need to use precaution when using this therapy. It is always advisable to speak with a medical practitioner about your medical history before beginning treatment. . This is why I perform a brief medical history assessment to see if there are any risk factors before administering IV vitamin therapy.
About Dr. Pingel:
Dr. Tricia Pingel is a naturopathic medical doctor located in Scottsdale, Arizona. She treats a variety of conditions, including menopausal symptoms with bio-identical hormone replacement, infertility, cardiac, thyroid disorders, anxiety/depression, gastrointestinal concerns, such as, gas/bloating, food allergies, celiac disease, IBD and more!
Please visit www.drpingel.com for more information.