Vitamin IV therapy is a medical treatment in which vitamins and other nutrients are administered directly into a person's bloodstream through an IV (intravenous) drip. The most popular mixture is called the Myers cocktail. This method of delivery allows the nutrients to bypass the digestive system and go straight into the bloodstream, where they can be immediately used by the body. Vitamin IV therapy is often used to treat a variety of conditions, including dehydration, nutrient deficiencies, and chronic fatigue. It can also be used as a form of preventative medicine, to boost energy levels and improve overall health.
Many people have rightly questioned whether they are effective. In this blog post we will consider both the evidence and the logic of the vitamin IV treatments. We went into this lightly in a previous post but will cover it in more detail in this post.
Connecting the dots between IV therapy, vitamin supplementation and conventional IV drips
First, consider that medical professionals have routinely used an IV drip to administer fluids, hydrating salts and medicines to patients since the 1950s.
Second, consider that scientists and medical professionals generally agree that humans need vitamins and minerals to survive and live to their fullest potential. A lack of vitamin C, for example, causes scurvy. Symptoms of scurvy include fatigue, muscle weakness, joint and muscle pain, and the formation of small red or purple spots on the skin. In the past, scurvy was common among sailors and pirates who went on long voyages without access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Today, scurvy is rare and is typically only found in people with limited access to a balanced diet. The powers that be are also all in agreement that vitamin supplementation is desirable. The FDA has required vitamin D be added to milk for example. Breakfast cereal is typically heavily fortified with vitamins.
So let's review things that are universally accepted by the scientific community, the medical community, nutritionists, etc.:
IV drips are good for administering fluids, hydrating salts and medicines
Vitamin supplementation is good
Logically it follows then that IV drips + vitamin supplementation should be good right? Well, not exactly. Below we'll examine the main objections:
There is a lack of research showing evidence of benefits of IV vitamin therapy. We know that IV drips are effective, we know people need vitamin supplementation, but the actual combination of the two is not completely proven. This of course is not a very strong argument against vitamin IV therapy. If we know IV drips are good and we know vitamin supplementation is good then logically, vitamin IV therapy should be effective. If they think it's not effective, they should at least say why and not just say "it hasn't been proven." A lot of things haven't been proven.
The treatments are not worth the cost. Coming from the medical community, this feels a bit hypocritical. In 2022, for example, the FDA approved two alzheimer's drug therapies from Biogen that each cost thousands of dollars every month but appear to be completely ineffective. One of them actually causes brain swelling and brain bleeding. So why not let people spend one or two hundred dollars on a treatment that's going to give them vitamins, minerals and fluids they need to get through the day?
Although vitamin IV treatments haven't been proven to be effective, they haven't been proven ineffective either. And logically, because IV drips are considered to be effective and vitamin supplementation is considered to be necessary in most cases, it follows that they should be effective.