Primary Supplements – IV Vitamin Drips & Vitamin Shots
Vitamin C is considered an essential nutrient for the human body, which it must obtain from an outside (dietary) source as it cannot synthesis it internally. Vitamin C is found in many fruit and vegetables including citrus fruits, tomatoes, melons, peppers, potatoes, pineapples, brassicas and summer berries, plus many other sources.
It is a water soluble vitamin which is ingested, used as required, and any excess is secreted out of the body through urine.
A continuous supply is needed to maintain good health, otherwise long term deficiency, as we know from historical evidence, can lead to scurvy – bleeding gums, tooth loss, pus filled wounds, spots and eventually death.
As the body cannot store vitamin C, it is very rare to have an overdose and subsequent side effects; however it is known that taking in amounts greater than 2,000 mg/day can lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea.
The body uses vitamin C to maintain normal growth and development through collagen synthesis and the formation of a number of different tissues and structures within, as well as when healing and repairing damage to tissues.
It is also an antioxidant and plays an active part in preventing oxidative stress from free radicals.
Anecdotally vitamin C is touted as useful against the common cold, however clinical research notes that increased vitamin C consumption does not reduce the risk of catching a cold, nor does it appear to be helpful to take extra once a cold is caught, but there is some limited evidence that those who regularly take vitamin C supplements may reduce the longevity and symptoms experienced from any cold that they catch.
Some high-dose vitamin C intravenous therapies have been widely marketed as an additional treatment option for cancer patients by alternative health professionals.
This is proposed due to vitamin C’s known cytotoxicity towards cancer cells which are said to reduce the rapidity and spread of the cells whilst other targeted cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation are being commenced.
This concept has been studied since the 1970s and results have shown that it may slow growth and spread in prostate, pancreatic, liver, colon and some other cancers. Despite this the U.S. FDA has not approved the use of high dose vitamin C in the treatment of cancer patients.
Vitamin B-12, which also goes by the name Cobalamin, is another water soluble vitamin which the human body is incapable of synthesising internally.
Its primary role is in metabolism, and plays a key role in the formation of blood and the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system.
Vitamin B-12 is found naturally in animal derived foods, such as meat/poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk and other dairy products, (it is not present in plant based products), as well in those foods which have been fortified with vitamin B-12, such as breakfast cereals and breads.
The best source of vitamin B-12 is in animal liver, particularly beef.
According to A hunt et al who published in the BMJ in 2014, a deficiency in vitamin B-12 is relatively common, estimated to affect 6% of those under 60 years of age and 20% of those over that age.
This increases to about 80% in parts of Africa and Asia.
Symptoms of deficiency, which causes a condition called megaloblastic anemia, include tiredness, weakness, irritability, depression, confusion, balance problems, loss of appetite, constipation and weight loss, as well as other neurological changes. At its worst, it can call psychosis.
Deficiency is usually related to a decreased intake, as is common with vegetarian and vegan diets, a reduction in the ability to absorb the vitamin due to age, as well as increased bodily requirements that are not being met adequately, such as during pregnancy and breast feeding.
More commonly it is due to poor absorption of the vitamin through the stomach due to a condition called pernicious anaemia.
Normally hydrochloric acid in the stomach separates the vitamin B-12 from the ingested protein source and combines it with a protein that it makes called the intrinsic factor so that it can be absorbed by the body through the intestines; not everyone is able to manufacture the intrinsic factor, thus a deficiency manifests. Similarly those who may have a decrease in their body’s ability to absorb nutrients following weight loss surgery, celiac or Crohn’s disease will also have their vitamin B-12 absorption compromised.
Alcohol consumption, even as moderate levels of regularity, as well as having an effect on the hydration of the body, can also impact on the absorption of vitamin B-12 due to the damaging effect that it has on stomach cells.
Vitamin B-12 is often marketed as great supplement to increase energy and endurance for athletic performance, and is often found as a fortifying ingredient in energy drinks, however, unless an individual is clinically deficient in the vitamin, there is no evidence to suggest that this has an effect.
Delivery of high doses of vitamin B-12 is known to cause side effects such as a florid, red, pustular rash.
This was anecdotally reported by Consulting Room Advisor Dr. David Eccleston who encountered a patient who presented in his clinic thinking she had developed acne but a thorough medical history uncovered recent, weekly vitamin B-12 injections.
This phenomenon was also reported in a 2006 clinical paper by W Uhl et al who looked at the safety of hydroxocobalamin in healthy volunteers in a randomised, placebo-controlled study.
Calcium gluconate is a mineral supplement which according to the World Health Organisation is one of the most important medications needed in any basic healthcare facility.
Given as an intravenous solution it is the most widely used form of calcium for treating hypocalcemia or low serum calcium levels in the blood. Such low levels are most commonly caused by a vitamin D deficiency.
Calcium gluconate is also used to counteract any overdose of magnesium sulfate, as an antidote to sulfate toxicity, which can cause respiratory depression and a loss of deep tendon reflexes.
The speed of delivery of calcium gluconate is important as rapid delivery intravenously can cause hypercalcaemia which could cause decreased blood pressure, vasodilation and bradycardia.
Intravita – IV Vitamin Drips
In 2014, well known cosmetic doctors, Dr. Samantha Gammell (Past-President of the British College of Aesthetic Medicine) and Dr. Jacques Otto, as well as his son and aesthetic product distributor, Vernon Otto founded IntraVita IV Vitamin Drips.
With several years of experience in the study and practice of intravenous nutritional therapy, both Dr Gammell and Dr Otto now teach and train medical practitioners (doctors, dentists, NIPs and nurses) and naturopaths/homeopaths (following proof of a three year degree and a pre-requisite phlebotomy course) in its use.
The company manufacture their own IV products using a laboratory in Germany so that they can ensure that they provide the highest quality and safe supplements without preservatives.
The UK’s MHRA has recently classified the Intravita products as supplements providing that no medical claim is made about them.
IV Vitamin Drips – Ultimate Classic Drip is the vitamin cocktail that started it all.
It claims to have just the right mix of intravenous vitamins and minerals plus the added bonus of high dose glutathione for overall wellness.
Patients report having increased energy, better sleep and increased endurance. The drip also includes vitamin C, vitamin B-12
(hydroxycobalamin), vitamin B5 (dexpanthenol), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), B complex, magnesium sulphate, calcium gluconate and selenium.
IV Anti-Ageing Drip is formulated with high dose IV glutathione and a mix of nutrients to fight ageing, restore collagen and even the skin tone. The drip also includes vitamin C, vitamin B-12, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, B complex, magnesium sulphate, calcium gluconate, selenium, zinc, arginine, carnitine, cysteine, glutamine, glycine and proline.
IV Athlete/Sport Drip is designed for those who lead a sporty and active lifestyle. Containing high concentrations of all the energy boosting B vitamins and amino acids such as taurine, glutamine and carnitine this drip can provide sustainable energy lifts, for those in training, that avoid the short lift and sudden ‘crash’ experienced with the use of energy drinks. The drip also includes vitamin C, magnesium sulphate, calcium gluconate and arginine.
IV Diet & Detox Drip is aimed at replenishing fluids, vitamins, minerals and amino acids to reduce the body’s toxic load and help it to function for efficiently in terms of providing energy and burning off fat. The drip includes vitamin C, vitamin B-12, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, B complex, magnesium sulphate, calcium gluconate, selenium, zinc, glutathione, arginine, carnitine, glutamine, methionine, ornithine, phenylalanine and taurine.
IV Energy Boost Drip is designed as a healthy pick-me-up. It contains higher doses of all the B Vitamins, higher doses of magnesium, an essential component in helping the body to create energy for cells and the amino acid taurine. The drip also includes vitamin C, calcium gluconate, alanine, carnitine, glutamine, glycine and phenylalanine.
IV Immunity Drip is formulated to replenish vitamin, mineral and amino acid levels for those feeling prone to sickness and tiredness. It also includes high doses of vitamin C, zinc and anti-oxidants, such as glutathione, arginine and cysteine. The drip also includes vitamin B-12, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, B complex, magnesium sulphate, calcium gluconate, selenium, carnitine, glutamine and ornithine.
IV Stress & Anxiety Drip combines Intravita’s Ultimate Classic Drip with high dose of IV glutamine, carnitine and ornithine to aid balance in stressful situations, improve concentration and aid restorative sleep. The drip also includes vitamin C, vitamin B-12, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, B complex, magnesium sulphate, calcium gluconate, selenium, zinc, glutathione, cysteine, methionine and taurine.
IV B12 Drip is a single booster shot of vitamin B-12.
IV Antioxidant Drip is a single booster shot of glutathione.
Information courtesy of Intravita UK (www.intravita.com)
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