You may have heard of intravenous (IV) vitamin therapy as one of the latest celebrity fads. Remember when Rihanna was spotted utilizing an IV drip after a late night of partying? Well, if it takes a celebrity to shed light on this awesome therapy, you won’t hear me complaining.

As an integrative physician, my goal is to get patients well and to prevent illnesses. “All disease begins in the gut,” is what Hippocrates said over 2,000 years ago—and that is still the truth. Many of the diseases and conditions we see today stem from an unhealthy gut. Whether it is IBS, autoimmune processes, psychiatric issues, or obesity, many of these issues are caused by poor gut health. What does the gut have to do with IV vitamin therapy? The answer: vitamins. Here’s a look at how we normally absorb vitamins in the gut—and how this process can go wrong.

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The gastrointestinal (GI) tract begins in the mouth and ends with the rectum. It is a hollow tube that is meant to be impermeable. When the GI tract gets compromised, foreign substances invade the space, which is appropriately called “leaky gut,” and this incites inflammation. Anything from medicines to artificial sweeteners and dyes can have deleterious effects on the gut. For instance, antibiotics create such a tremendous shift in the normal bacterial flora that they disturb the existing balance of good vs. bad bacteria.

When people try to correct these issues by taking vitamins, they think a simple multivitamin pill will do the trick. Well, here is the real deal: if your gut is leaky, you are not absorbing enough of these multivitamins to make a difference. You may as well flush the vitamins down the toilet, because in essence, that is exactly where they are going. In order to properly heal the gut and absorb all the goodness from foods—especially fruits and vegetables and plant protein—the gut must be intact.

IV therapy has come to the forefront as an exciting paradigm in integrative medicine. Specifically, the IV Myers cocktail, created by Dr. John Myers in the 1960’s, offers a plethora of benefits and cures for everything from hangovers to migraines, fibromyalgia to the flu. The IV Myers cocktail is ideal for detoxification and energy boosters—it is comprised of vitamin C, the B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, and other trace minerals.

Intestinal irritation from food allergies and diseases cause inflammation at the cellular level, which prevent vitamins from being properly absorbed into the body. IV therapy bypasses the gut and goes straight into the bloodstream, directly nourishing the cells. Another reason the IV is a better bet? High dose oral therapy can lead to GI distress like nausea or vomiting. For example, one may not be able to tolerate more than 1-2 grams of vitamin C taken orally, but in a typical IV Myers, 25 grams of vitamin C is administered—and it makes the patient feel wonderful. While it may feel strange for some to use an IV, the IV vitamin therapy really is the most direct way to absorb these much-needed nutrients.

IV therapy doesn’t just heal and re-energize, it makes you feel bright-eyed and alive. The Myers cocktail is for anybody who likes instant gratification…and who doesn’t? Whether you are an athlete looking for improved athletic endurance, you’re battling a sinus infection, you suffer from a chronic disease, or you just partied too hard last night, IV nutrient therapy can improve your quality of life. In addition, this cocktail helps heal your gut and rebalance your overall health. It is a win-win situation, and I have recommended it to patients, family, and friends.

Deepa B. Verma, MD, ABIHM, is double board certified in family medicine and integrative holistic medicine. Her practice, Syngeristiq Integrative Health, is located in Clearwater, Florida. Dr. Verma believes that healthy and holistic living is the key to happiness and aging gracefully. Follow her on Twitter @DrDeepaVerma and subscribe to her Youtube Channel.

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