IV drip in operation room with surgeon on backgroundDr. Rose Paisley, ND is excited to bring IV therapy to Bambu Clinic. She incorporates IV nutrients in her clinical practice in an effort to provide rapid symptom relief in a wide array of situations. When vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are infused intravenously (IV) they go directly into your bloodstream to fuel your cells. That means they avoid the potential loss of potency and poor absorption in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract that is a characteristic of nutrients taken orally. This makes IV nutrient administration a powerful therapy for numerous health concerns.

What types of conditions are IV nutrient treatments used for?

  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Migraines
  • Depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Exhaustion
  • Pain
  • Acute or Chronic Infection
  • Poor Immunity
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Anti-aging
  • Addiction control
  • Bronchitis
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Viral and bacterial infections

In the setting of cancer, there is an increasing body of evidence suggesting patients receiving IV vitamin C have improved quality of life during and after conventional treatment and may slow progression. Below is a summary of the research and is adopted form the Nation Cancer Institute.

Have any clinical trials of high-dose vitamin C (7 grams and up) been conducted?

Several studies of high-dose vitamin C in patients with cancer have been done in recent years, including the following:

  • Intravenous (IV) vitamin C was studied in patients with breast cancer who were treated with adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The study found that patients who received IV vitamin C had better quality of life and fewer side effects than those who did not.
  • A study of IV vitamin C and high doses of vitamin C taken by mouth was done in patients with cancer that could not be cured Vitamin C was shown to be a safe and effective therapy to improve quality of life in these patients, including physical, mental, and emotional functions, symptoms of fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, and appetite loss.
  • Vitamin C has been shown to be safe when given to healthy volunteers and cancer patients at doses up to 1.5 g/kg, while screening out patients with certain risk factors who should avoid vitamin C. Studies have also shown that Vitamin C levels in the blood are higher when taken by IV than when taken by mouth, and last for more than 4 hours.

Studies of vitamin C combined with other drugs

Studies of vitamin C combined with other drugs have shown mixed results:

  • In a small study of 14 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, IV vitamin C was given along with chemotherapy and treatment with a targeted. Patients had very few bad side effects from the vitamin C treatment. The nine patients who completed the treatment had stable disease as shown by imaging studies.
  • In another small study of 9 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, patients were given chemotherapy 1x/week for 3 weeks along with IV vitamin C twice per week for 4 weeks. These patients had disease that did not progress for a period of months. The combined treatment was well tolerated and no serious side effects were reported.
  • In a 2014 study of 27 patients with advanced ovarian cancer, treatment with chemotherapy alone was compared to chemotherapy along with IV vitamin C. Patients who received IV vitamin C along with chemotherapy had fewer serious side effects from the chemotherapy.
  • Patients with AML, Metastatic colorectal or metastatic melanoma treated with vitamin C combined with other drugs had serious side effects and the disease got worse.

Currently more studies of combining high-dose IV vitamin C with other drugs are in progress.

Have any side effects or risks been reported from high-dose vitamin C?

Intravenous high-dose ascorbic acid has caused very few side effects in clinical trials. However, high-dose vitamin C may be harmful in patients with certain risk factors.

  • In patients with a history if kidney stones or kidney disease, side effects have been reported after ascorbic acid treatment. Patients with a tendency to develop kidney stones should not be treated with high-dose vitamin C.
  • Case reports have shown that patients with G-6-PD deficiency should not be given high doses of vitamin C, due to the risk of hemolysis (red blood cell destruction). Always determine G6PD status prior to IV vitamin C greater than 10g.
  • Since vitamin C may make iron more easily absorbed and used by the body, high doses of the vitamin are not recommended for patients with hemochromatosis (a condition in which the body takes up and stores more iron than it needs).

Have any drug interactions been reported from combining high-dose vitamin C with anticancer drugs?

High-dose vitamin C, when combined with some anticancer drugs, may cause them to be less effective. So far, these effects have been seen only in some laboratory and animal studies. No clinical trials have been done to further research these drug interactions in humans.

  • Combining vitamin C with an anticancer drug called bortezomib has been studied in cells studies. Several studies showed that vitamin C given by mouth made bortezomib less effective, including in multiple myeloma cells. A study in mice transplanted with human prostate cancer cells, however, did not show that giving the mice different doses of vitamin C by mouth made bortezomib therapy less effective.
  • An oxidized form of vitamin C called dehydroascorbic acid has been studied in cell cultures and in animals with tumors. Several studies have found that high doses of dehydroascorbic acid can interfere with the anticancer effects of several chemotherapy drugs. Dehydroascorbic acid is found in only small amounts in dietary supplements and in fresh foods.

In healthy individuals, IV administration of certain vitamins and minerals is an effective way to boost your nutritional status and prevent illness. I also recommend an IV when flu and virus epidemics are present or before and during stressful situations.

A number of nutrients play well-defined roles in the maintenance of a robust immune response, optimal energy, and overall health.

A typical restorative formula includes; 10g of Vt C, 2g of magnesium sulfate, 200mcg of selenium, 5 mg of zinc, 500 mg of dexpanthenol, 100 mg of pyridoxine, 2 mg of b12, b complex, in a saline solution.

B6: Important for many metabolic process, including 60 different enzymes. It also helps in the production neurotransmitters (norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. As well as supports healthy skin, production of red blood cells and a healthy immune system.

B12: essential for growth, cell production and DNA formation and myelin synthesis.

Calcium: Essential for the function of the neuromuscular system and for normal cardiac function, cell permeability and blood coagulation.

Magnesium: Many people are lacking in this essential mineral. Magnesium is an excellent therapy for patients with heart disease, respiratory problems, and more. It helps with arrhythmias and can arrest an acute asthma attack. IV magnesium is also beneficial if you have diabetes, as it improves insulin sensitivity, helps control blood sugar, and finally it is very relaxing, something we could all use.

Glutathione: This is the major super-antioxidant and detoxifying agent of our body. It cannot be taken orally but is made in the body. Whey protein and other amino acids can build glutathione in the body. It is severely depleted by mercury and chemicals. Many people exist with glutathione deficiency. However, it is made or compounded by special pharmacies for delivery intravenously.

What should I expect?

During a typical IV treatment, you sit comfortably while a sterile IV line delivers your individualized formula. Typically the procedure lasts 20-60 minutes depending on the infusion. You may read, chat with other patients, nap, or simply relax during the infusion. Often you will be offered a series of IV as part of your care plan.

Occasionally during the IV patients report increased relaxation and/or warmth.

The risk of a negative reaction is very low, but might include soreness at the sight, allergic reaction, infiltration (fluid out side of the vein), inflammation of the vein, or fainting. We are equipped to address emergent and non-emergent situations by discontinuing the IV, providing oxygen, providing the appropriate medication (epinephrine or benadryl, homeopathics, smelling salts), and/or calling 911.