IV (Intravenous) nutritional therapy is a form of injection therapy where vitamins (Vitamin C and various B vitamins), minerals (Zinc, Magnesium, Calcium, Selenium, and others), amino acids (L-glutathione, L-taurine, L-carnitine, L-glutamine, and others), and, other nutrients can be delivered directly into the bloodstream allowing for a 100% absorption rate.
Intravenous delivery of vitamins and minerals bypasses the gut, therefore, avoiding any absorption issues that may occur with oral intake of these nutrients, particularly if individuals have a lot of digestive difficulties and irritation in their gut.
IV solutions contain a variety of nutrients that when delivered into your blood at higher concentrations, move across your blood vessel walls into the tissues and cells of your body. It is best to be well hydrated prior to your treatment to allow for the maximum nutrient transfer and energy optimization.
IV nutritional therapy can be great for those that:
- Have low energy
- Are experiencing fatigue
- Have high stress
- Struggle with getting enough nutrients through their diet
- Cannot tolerate oral supplements
- Need some nutrients at high doses for a short period of time to help restore their health.
To obtain the most benefit from IV therapy, booking an initial naturopathic assessment is vital. This allows Dr. Suhani to review your health concerns and perform a head-to-toe review of systems to determine an individualized IV formulation as part of a comprehensive naturopathic treatment protocol for you so you can really optimize your health. This process also enables Dr. Suhani to help YOU identify and address the root cause of your health concern(s) such as a digestive or hormonal imbalance as well.
The addition of glutathione as a push can support detoxification pathways and the immune system. Glutathione is a major antioxidant in the body and is used in the detoxification pathway that eliminates alcohol, acetaminophen (Tylenol), estrogen, and other toxins or drugs
Great for those that have digestive issues and feel as though they don’t absorb nutrients from the foods they eat efficiently. A study was conducted to determine if the concentration of vitamin C in plasma varies based on the route of administration and it was found that peak plasma concentration of vitamin C was higher after administering an intravenous dose compared to administering an oral dose (1). In the study, they administered 1.25g (1250mg) vitamin C orally and intravenously and found the peak plasma concentration to be 134.8 ± 20.6 µmol/L with oral administration (1) and 885 ± 201.2 µmol/L with intravenous administration (1).
Another example is carnitine, a vital nutrient for energy production. The bioavailability (absorption) of carnitine in the gut varies based on numerous factors including the composition of our gut microbiome or the bacterial balance in our gut (2).
IVs are not designed to:
IVs are not meant to be a long-term solution to improving your health. Once you identify the root cause for your health problems, often IV treatments are not needed as frequently. For example, once you address digestive issues so you can absorb the nutrients from whole foods efficiently, the more energy you will feel and IVs can become monthly maintenance unless you need rapid energy or immune boost.
Addressing your hormones and other aspects of health can play a role in your energy levels, sports performance, and immune health as well. This is why getting an IV through a naturopathic clinic is different than getting an IV at an IV drip lounge – the naturopathic doctor works with you to address the root cause so that you don’t need to continuously be relying on IVs for an energy boost or to support your immune system.
Fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K, and fat-soluble nutrients are usually not delivered via IV and these are best taken orally with a meal containing some form of healthy fat.
Blood tests are key for administering IVs, especially when administering nutrients such as high dose Vitamin C and amino acids.
If you have recent blood tests with you, please bring them to your initial appointment. If you haven’t had blood tests done within the last year, Dr. Shah will often recommend certain blood tests to be done before administering an IV. For example, if you haven’t had liver and kidney function tests done within the last year, you may be required to have these done prior to receiving any IV therapy, especially IVs that have amino acids (this is why new patients require an initial appointment first to review the need for blood tests).
The following are the basic blood tests generally recommended:
Liver function tests (ALT, AST, GGT, ALP)
Kidney function assessment (eGFR, serum creatinine, serum albumin)
Electrolytes (sodium, chloride, potassium)
Fasting blood glucose
Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (for high dose vitamin C)
Preparing for your IV:
Please make sure you have eaten something within the last two hours and are well-hydrated. Bring a bottle of water with you to drink during the treatment. This will help reduce any possible complications from IV therapy such as nausea, vomiting, fainting, or dehydration.
While the IVs may help with hangovers due to the electrolyte and B vitamin content, if you are feeling hungover and/or nauseous or unwell, please reschedule your IV for another day.
During your IV:
Bring something to do or read while you are hooked up to the IV.
Please plan to be in the clinic for 1.5-2 hours receiving your IV (some people may drip faster or slower than others).
Depending on your health status, the frequency of IVs varies. Some, who are very deficient in vitamins and minerals and have a significant problem with absorption of nutrients taken orally due to digestive concerns may benefit from a multivitamin IV once a week for the first few weeks.
IVs, when used for active health reasons, are usually not a one-time treatment and may require a minimum of 3 IV treatments on a weekly basis to optimize stores in the body
Those that are looking for health optimization can opt for an IV once a month or as needed.
Cancellation Policy for IVs
Please call the clinic 24 hours prior to your appointment to cancel to avoid being charged the fee for the IV treatment. This is due to IV bags being prepared ahead of your treatment.
- Padayatty SJ MRCP, PhD, Sun H PhD, CBS, Wang Y MD, Riordan HD MD, Hewitt SM, MD, PhD, Katz A, MD, Wesley RA PhD, Levine M MD. Vitamin C pharmacokinetics: implications for oral and intravenous use. Ann Intern Med. 2004;140(7):533-537.
- Sanchez-Niño MD, Ortiz A. Differential effects of oral and intravenous L-carnitine on serum lipids: is the microbiota the answer? Clin Kidney J. 2014;7(5):437-441