Nearly 10% of the U.S. population has some sort of nutritional deficiency. For some specific groups, that percentage can nearly triple (up to 33%). That’s more than 33 million people living without enough of the vitamins and minerals needed to support normal growth and development. Almost all the vitamins and minerals the body needs comes from the food we eat, but unfortunately, the typical American diet often lacks several key nutrients, such as iron, calcium, iodine, vitamin B12, magnesium, vitamin A and vitamin D. For many of us, finding a way to supplement our vitamin stores is necessary in order to feel and look our best. Here are some of the pros and cons of vitamin IV therapy, the process of using an IV to receive vital nutrients:
The Pros of Vitamin IV Therapy
Vitamin IV therapy involves the transfer of essential vitamins, minerals and other vital nutrients directly into a patient’s vein.
- Enhanced Bioavailability — Typically, nutrients are eaten and then must proceed through the digestive system before being released for the body to use. Not all the nutrients survive digestion (only 10%), and some can be lost if the gut isn’t working well. During vitamin IV therapy, however, the gut is completely bypassed; nutrients are delivered to the bloodstream and 100% of them are able to immediately begin their work.
- Rapid Effects — When nutrients are delivered intravenously, the body is able to absorb them more quickly and in larger quantities, meaning it is returned to optimal functioning more rapidly. Most patients receiving vitamin IV therapy report feeling better with more energy soon after their vitamin infusion since their bodies now have the nutrients required to return them to homeostasis.
- Increased Energy — Of course, replenishing adequate levels of vitamins and minerals in the body necessarily provides a patient with energy that has been lacking!
- Customization — Unlike other types of nutrient supplements, vitamin IV therapy is fully customizable. It can be tailored to include multiple nutrients depending on each patient’s unique needs.
- Convenience — Furthermore, vitamin IV therapy is extremely convenient because it allows patients to receive all the nutrients they need in one dose or treatment.
The Cons of Vitamin IV Therapy
Discussion of vitamin IV therapy pros and cons should include a list of possible side effects, such as a rash or infection at the injection site and/or a temporary warm, flushing sensation. In addition, consider these points:
- Contraindications — Vitamin IV therapy is not recommended for everyone. Patients with some types of conditions (such as kidney and heart disease, for instance) or who take certain medications cannot always process vitamins and minerals in high doses, which would put them at risk should they attempt to receive the concentrated amount of vitamins often administered intravenously.
- Possibility of Overdose — Although the body is able to excrete excess amounts of most water-soluble vitamins (like vitamin C), it is not always able to remove large quantities of fat-soluble vitamins (like vitamin A). One exception is vitamin B6. Even though a water-soluble nutrient, B6 turns toxic in large quantities. A build-up of B6, and especially other fat-soluble vitamins, can lead to a variety of dangerous effects. Other nutrients, such as potassium, pose a hazard when administered too rapidly.
Want to Learn More?
Many Americans don’t have enough of the nutrients they need to live a healthy life. If you are sick, tired, pregnant, prepping for a cosmetic treatment, or even just feeling a little bit run-down, vitamin IV therapy might supply you with the nutrients your body needs to increase energy, enhance immunity and speed recovery from illness, injury and stress. Please contact our team of clinicians at the Institute of Natural Health to learn more about vitamin IV therapy pros and cons to see if a nutrient treatment might be right for you.