by Dr. Jennifer Mundt, ND
We have recently launched a customized line of nutrient infusions at our salons that provide our customers proprietary nutrient bends to fortify and rejuvenate their health.
Nutrient infusions have been a subject of great inquiry and controversy in the past few months and even years. Some opinions weigh in that nutrient infusions are simply a placebo effect or that there is no proven evidence on helping someone who is not diagnostically sick. The idea of being ‘sick? is usually when your immune system can no longer battle the day-to-day onslaught of stress and germs. For some of us that can mean feeling fatigued, or that we are just not ourselves. For others that can mean we actually get a cold, begin having digestive issues or some other worse illness.
?Evaluation of the Biochemical Effects of Administration of Intravenous Nutrients Using Erythocyte ATP/ADP Ratios’, a 1999 study by Derrick Lonsdale, MD, et al., where they were trying to determine whether single nutrient infusions actually improved cellular energy at the mitochondrial level revealed insights into patients? symptomatic improvement. A quote from this study says, ‘Some of the symptomatic improvement perceived by individual patients was quite striking, usually expressed as ‘more energy’, ‘less fatigue? or ‘increased sense of well-being?.? Also that, ‘This form of treatment gives nutrient assistance to the powers of self-healing of the patient. It is irrespective of the descriptive classification of the disease and makes the basic assumption that every disease process is the result of overwhelmed defense activities of the host. The assumption extends to assuming automatic responses fail because of inefficient cellular energy.?
Nutrient Infusions should be done by a healthcare provider to ensure correct intravenous technique, cleanliness and safety with the osmolality. At Delete, all nutrient infusions (as well as other premier services for the skin) are administered by our registered nurses and doctors. Osmolality is the potency of the nutrient infusion and must be within a certain range so that it matches the osmolality of our blood cells. In the Lonsdale, et al. study, they reported that they ‘observed no long-term harm in any patient so treated, although symptoms may be temporary exacerbated before any benefit is experienced, particularly with a solitary infusion, so the patient is informed of the possibility before infusions begin.?
I always tell my patients that if this the first nutrient infusion they have ever had or if it has been a long time since there last nutrient infusion, they might get tired that afternoon or feel like they want to take a nap or go to bed early. In layman’s terms, it can put you into sleep mode. During sleep is when our body replenishes, regenerates and fixes the issues that are going on. Often times the patient feels much better upon waking up the next morning or within a couple of days. On the subsequent nutrient infusions the patient will usually feel much more energy and really feel like they are their ‘old-selves? (feeling younger, more energized and just have a better ‘sense of well-being?).
There are certainly things that a prospective patient inquiring about nutrient infusions needs to know. Certain complications are always a possibility; these complications listed in a 2000 study by Dr. Ian Bier, ND, PhD include ‘infection, phlebitis and thrombophlebitis, venous spasm, venous irritation, emboli, pain, hematoma or hemorrhage, extravasation, arterial canalization, and needlestick injury.’ While these complications sound scary, the chance for complications largely decreases if the health professional providing the nutrient infusion is knowledgeable about giving them. The Bier study suggests that if the nutrient infusion is more potent (having a higher osmolality) then a slower push or drip-rate is suggested to avoid such complications.
So after all that, what are nutrient IVs good for anyways? And, why are there so many claims for this popular west coast trend of feeling so great after having one? In a 2002 study by Dr. Alan Gaby, MD, he lists several issues that nutrient IVs can be great for and it claims that ‘it has been the author’s [Dr. Alan Gaby, MD’s] observation that some patients who receive a series of IV injections become progressively healthier.’ Diseases that nutrient infusions have been found to be effective against are ‘acute asthma attacks, migraines, fatigue (including chronic fatigue syndrome), fibromyalgia, acute muscle spasm, upper respiratory tract infections, chronic sinusitis, seasonal allergic rhinitis, cardiovascular disease, and other disorders?. In my own experience with patients, I have found that nutrient infusions have been wonderful at the very onset of seasonal allergies and upper respiratory infections to shorten the duration or decrease the intensity of the illness.
The other side to this piece is that what if our ‘defenses? did not have to get depleted and what if we felt like our normal selves all the time instead of feeling sluggish and fatigued all the time? Or, what if there was a way to strengthen our immune systems and replenish our stores of nutrients so we would be stronger and healthier, decreasing your chances of getting sick in the first place? Nutrient infusions can be just the boost someone needs nutritionally to allow the body to recoup slight nutrient depletion before they get to the point of feeling fatigued or before they get an upper respiratory infection. I often recommend nutrient infusions to those who know they will be travelling or going through a stressful time or during the holiday season when things always get crazy. Surely, there are not enough studies showing that doing nutrient infusions as prevention is a benefit, but I have seen it time and time again in my own patients as they are surviving our busy American lifestyles.
At Delete — Tattoo Removal & Laser Salon we offer nutrient infusion blends to help get you rebalanced and re-energized so you don’t get too depleted. We recently launched 6 customized options of nutrient infusions that allow you to safely choose what you would like to focus on that day. They target everything from feeling sluggish, to recovering from a tough workout and even helping to cure a hangover. We do smaller nutrient infusion pushes (meaning a large syringe pushed by a healthcare provider) so that you only have to be in the office for 20 minutes versus the 1-3 hours it can sometimes take for the bags of infusions. Another benefit at Delete is that nutrient infusions can potentially be helpful as far as boosting the body after a tattoo removal session, potentially increasing the amount of ink cleared.
Nutrient infusions are certainly becoming a very popular way to feel better and feel like you can thrive in your life instead of feeling lethargic. The medical community must provide our due diligence to nutrient infusions and begin studying them more regularly and allow us to find out what this claim of ‘feeling so great? is all about. In the meantime, I will certainly be getting a couple of nutrient IVs before my 6 month-old and 4 year-old nieces arrive for the weekend, just what I need to keep up with them!
Bier I. Peripheral Intravenous Nutrition Therapy: Outpatient, Office-Based Administration. Alternative Medicine Review 2000; 5:347-354.
Gaby A. Intravensous Nutrient Therapy: the ‘Myers? Cocktail. Alternative Medicine Review 2002; 7:389-403.
Lonsdale D, Shamberger R, Stahl J, Evans R. Evaluation of the Biochemical Effects of Administration of Intravenous Nutrients Using Erythrocyte ATP/ADP Ratios. Alternative Medicine Review 1999; 4:37-44.