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IV therapies involve direct administration of nutrients into the bloodstream through intravenous infusion. Intravenous (IV) therapies are exceptionally powerful as they achieve complete bioavailability by circumventing the obstacles faced in oral nutrient supplementation including poor absorption or breakdown of nutrients in the gastrointestinal tract. This is particularly important for individuals with digestive imbalances/diseases that impair their nutrient absorption.
At The Center for Optimal Health, we offer a variety of intravenous therapies for wellness support:
Our Optimal Energy Drip consists of a balanced mixture of vitamins and minerals to support cellular energy production.
Glutathione is a vital nutrient critical for many bodily functions. It is involved in DNA synthesis and repair, protein and prostaglandin synthesis, amino acid transport, metabolism of toxins and carcinogens, immune system function, prevention of oxidative cell damage, and enzyme activation. Glutathione deficiency is associated with aging, age-related macular degeneration, diabetes, lung and gastrointestinal disease, pre-eclampsia, Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, and poor prognosis in AIDS. Although glutathione is present in fruits, vegetables, and meats, the levels in the body do not seem to correlate to dietary intake. This suggests that oral glutathione is inactivated by peptidases in the gut. Glutathione is primarily synthesized in the liver. Despite studies showing bioavailability of oral glutathione in rodents, oral doses of 3 grams cause negligible increases in human plasma levels, indicating oral glutathione is not an effective form of supplementation in humans.
Glutathione may inhibit the activity of enzymes that allow the flu virus to colonize cells lining the mouth and throat. Administering glutathione by intravenous injection seems to help prevent chemotherapy toxicity.
Alpha-lipoic acid is only about 30% absorbed from dietary sources or oral supplementation, therefore intravenous administration provides a distinct advantage. Alpha-lipoic acid is metabolized to dihydrolipoic acid (DHLA) in many tissues. Alpha-lipoic acid and DHLA have antioxidant activity and can scavenge free radicals in both the intracellular and the extracellular spaces.
Endogenous alpha-lipoic acid is a coenzyme involved in carbohydrate metabolism and in the mitochondrial citric acid cycle which produces our basic unit of energy - adenosine triphosphate (ATP). It is also a modulator of the inflammatory response and may suppress vascular inflammation. Alpha-lipoic acid is both water and fat soluble and can regenerate endogenous antioxidants, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, and glutathione, and prevent oxidative damage.
Preliminary data suggests that these antioxidant effects might provide protection in cerebral ischemia, mitochondrial dysfunction, muscle ischemia associated with peripheral arterial disease, diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, and other causes of damage to brain or neural tissue.
The antioxidant effects of alpha-lipoic acid might be beneficial in liver diseases in which oxidative stress is a factor. Alpha-lipoic acid has shown promise in metal (lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury) and chemical (hexachlorobenzene, n-hexane) poisoning.
Children treated with alpha-lipoic acid, alone or in combination with vitamin E, showed normalized organ function and lessened indices of oxidative damage following radiation exposure in the Chernobyl accident.
Alpha-lipoic acid supplementation has been found to be particularly beneficial in diabetes and peripheral neuropathy.
Diabetes: Alpha-lipoic acid improves insulin sensitivity and glucose disposal in patients with type 2 diabetes. Patients who took alpha-lipoic acid intravenously had significant improvement in insulin resistance after 1 to 10 days of intravenous administration.
Peripheral neuropathy: Alpha-lipoic acid improves neuropathic sensory symptoms such as burning, pain, numbness, and prickling of the feet and legs. It also improves objective measures such as ratings of neurological deficit and disability. Onset of symptom improvement occurs within 3 to 5 weeks of intravenous supplementation.
Iron deficiency is a very common problem, particularly in women. The symptoms of iron deficiency include fatigue, hair loss, cold intolerance, difficulty with concentration/focus and easy bruising. Some individuals will experience pica (craving non-food substances) such as chewing ice or eating dirt.
It is not uncommon for iron deficiency to be missed by routine laboratory testing, specifically with CBC (complete blood count). Many patients who are not overtly anemic (low red blood cell count or hemoglobin level) are found to have low ferritin (an indicator of iron stores or reserves) contributing to their symptoms.
It is usual and reasonable to start with oral iron replacement therapy. Unfortunately, oral iron supplements are often limited by gastrointestinal side effects including nausea/stomach upset and constipation. Even when oral iron supplements are tolerated, efficacy is often less than desirable – necessitating prolonged use to replenish iron stores. Iron supplementation via the oral route is also plaqued by multiple interactions with foods and medications – oral iron should be taken within 4 hours of thyroid medications (eg. synthroid, levoxyl, armour thyroid), and iron should be taken at least 2 hours away from calcium supplementation. Tea, coffee, milk and sodas can interfere with absorption of oral iron supplements.
In certain medical conditions, oral iron therapy may be ineffective – eg. malabsorption syndromes such as Celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, previous gastrointestinal surgery and concomitant chronic proton-pump inhibitor therapy (acid suppression medications such as prilosec, nexium, protonix, aciphex, prevacid, dexilant, etc).
Intravenous iron replacement therapy offers an attractive option that is highly efficacious while avoiding gastrointestinal side effects. At the Center for Optimal Health, we offer intravenous Feraheme (ferumoxytol) injection for replenishment of iron stores. Unlike other intravenous iron therapies which require prolonged and repeated infusions, feraheme is given as a slow intravenous injection in a single dose. The entire iv iron treatment protocol (including iv insertion, injection and monitoring) takes approximately 30-40minutes in the comfort of our intravenous department. Another significant advantage of feraheme over other intravenous iron infusions is the much lower likelihood for allergic reaction with Feraheme, obviating the need for a test dose.
Feraheme is an intravenous iron therapy approved by the FDA for the treatment of iron deficiency in adult patients with chronic kidney disease. Feraheme has unique physiochemical properties, including evidence of low free iron following administration, isotonicity, and neutral pH. The overall colloidal particle size is 17 to 31 nm in diameter. Feraheme consists of a superparamagnetic iron oxide that is coated with a carbohydrate shell, which helps to isolate the bioactive iron from plasma components until the iron carbohydrate complex enters the reticuloendothelial system macrophages of the liver, spleen, and bone marrow. The iron is released from the iron-carbohydrate complex within vesicles in the macrophages, then either enters the intracellular storage iron pool (eg, ferritin) or is transferred to plasma transferrin for transport to precursor red blood cells for incorporation into hemoglobin.