Many individuals have compromised health including gastrointestinal, liver, and kidney dysfunction which prevents them from properly absorbing and assimilating food, supplements and medications. IV administration safely bypasses the gastrointestinal system and liver and allows for the delivery of nutrients and therapeutic compounds directly to cells through the bloodstream. With IV administration, you can obtain blood levels of nutrients that are much higher than oral intake alone.
Optimum Wellness Integrated Clinic offers multiple types of IV therapies, including vitamin C, alpha lipoic acid, curcumin, artesunate, GPC, PPC, and other vitamin/mineral combinations for a wide range of health concerns. IV therapy may help patients with symptoms ranging from low energy or mood disorders to cancer and cardiovascular disease.
The IV treatment center at Optimum Wellness is one of the largest in Western Canada. Every week, dozens of patients are treated with safe, effective IV therapies by our experienced team. Our IV room has a full nursing staff and is overseen by multiple naturopathic doctors. We also use infusion pumps to ensure safety and efficacy of our treatments. We have safely administered thousands of IV therapies to numerous patients.
While diseases may present similarly, the reason they developed may be due to a myriad of different factors. Determining the cause and correcting it is the role of your naturopathic doctor. Our doctors will take the time to understand the cause of your illness and if IV therapy is recommended our naturopathic doctors will tailor the IV towards your individual needs. Therefore, it is our policy to speak with one of the naturopathic doctors at our clinic before receiving an IV. Below is an overview of some of the IV therapies we offer at our clinic. These therapies may be offered alone or in a mixture with one another.
List of IV Ingredients offered at our clinic
IV Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin and antioxidant. Many animals, including mammals, can produce vitamin C, however, humans must obtain vitamin C from their diet. Vitamin C is an essential part of numerous reactions in the body. It is required in the synthesis of collagen, carnitine, neuropeptides, and in the regulation of gene expression.
Linus Pauling, the Nobel prize winner, was the first to promote the benefits of Vitamin C in the 1970’s. Since then intravenous (IV) Vitamin C has been extensively researched. Especially in the area of integrative oncology. To learn more about Vitamin C and Care Care click here (link). It has been found that individuals with higher levels of vitamin C have reduced risk of hypertension, coronary artery disease and stroke. There is also evidence that vitamin C can reduce the duration of infections, via stimulation of the immune system, and improve wound healing. Many individuals with acute and chronic illnesses have been found to have lower blood levels of vitamin C and increased vitamin C levels have been found to improve multiple parameters of health. Due to the many benefits of Vitamin C it is an additive in many of our IV formulations.
IV vitamin C may help improve the following conditions:
Acute and chronic infections
Hypertension and cardiovascular disease
Neurodegenerative disease and cognitive impairment
Enhanced athletic performance
Inflammatory conditions (ie: arthritis) autoimmune disease
Support before and after surgery to improve healing time
Intravenous vitamin C is very safe with few reported side effects. One study found that side effects occur in only 1 % of the patients who have had this therapy administered. Although rare. side effects can include increased urination, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, loss of appetite and dry skin or dry mouth. With any intravenous infusion there is risk of pain and inflammation at the injection site as well as risk of infiltration (IV fluid leaking outside of the vein).
Contraindications and cautions
There are no known contraindications to low dose IV Vitamin C therapy. A contraindication to high dose IVC therapy is G6PD deficiency. Glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is an inherited condition in which patients lack the enzyme G6PD. This enzyme helps red blood cells function normally and without it high dose IVC infusion can cause your red blood cells to be destroyed. All patients under going high dose IVC therapy must have their G6PD levels checked.
Caution is advised in patients with diabetes, kidney failure, a history of kidney stone formation and iron storage diseases. Preliminary studies showed that high dose IVC may worsen these conditions. However larger studies have found this to not be the case and in some instances, can even improve these conditions.
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA), also known as thioctic Acid, is a natural compound which is produced in the body. The form produced in the body is inactive and only produced in small amounts. As we age the levels of ALA we produce in the body decrease. ALA is both a water- and fat-soluble antioxidant which means it is active in most tissues of the body. It is thought that supplemental forms (IV and Oral) of ALA provide the greatest therapeutic benefit.
Alpha lipoic acid is powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the body. Reactive oxygen species are the byproduct of regular cellular processes that can cause DNA damage. Exposure to environmental toxins/ toxicants, such as cigarette smoke or heavy metals, can increase the levels of ROS and free radicals in the body leading to DNA damage and cellular mutation. This can eventually lead to the formation of cancerous cells. ALA has been found to neutralize these as well as aid in the regeneration of other antioxidants such as vitamin C, E. glutathione and CoQ10.
One of the best studied areas of ALA is in the treatment of neuropathy, especially in diabetics. ALA has been found to prevent and reverse diabetic neuropathy. It does this by affecting blood flow of small blood vessels and reducing oxidative stress which prevents microvascular damage. It may also prevent lipid peroxidation which is a known cause of neuropathy. Alpha lipoic acid also benefits diabetics in other ways. Alpha lipoic acid was found to have an action similar to insulin and stimulated the uptake of glucose into cells. This in effect protects the pancreas by requiring it to produce less insulin.
Another condition in which ALA is commonly benefits is hepatitis. It has been found that ALA is hepatoprotective and can help treat inflammation of the liver. Other potential applications of IV ALA include treatment of cataracts, glaucoma, ischemia-reperfusion injuries, amanita mushroom poisoning, alcoholic liver disease, prevention of radiation injury, and more. IV ALA may also benefit patients as an adjunctive cancer treatment. To read about the benefits of IV ALA in Cancer Care click here (link).
IV ALA may help improve the following conditions:
Diabetes and diabetic neuropathy
Protection from radiation injury
Side effects, contraindications and cautions
Administration of ALA is safe and well tolerated in most patients. Side effects are rare. but can include low blood sugar, nausea. vomiting, vertigo, gastric upset and allergic reactions. With any intravenous infusion there is risk of pain and inflammation at the injection site as well as risk of infiltration (IV fluid leaking outside of the veins). High doses of ALA have been administered in multiple studies and there have been no documented fatal overdoses or severe reactions to ALA in the literature.
Due to the hypoglycemia effects of ALA caution should be advised in diabetics who are receiving ALA Diabetics receiving ALA should closely monitor their blood glucose levels. One study found that ALA administration is safe in diabetic patients with hepatic impairment
Curcumin, also known as diferuloylmethane, is a yellow pigmented polyphenol which gives turmeric (Curcuma longa), a spice commonly used in India, its yellow color. Curcumin is one of the most well-researched natural agents on the planet. It is also one of the most powerful natural inflammatory agents. Curcumin has been found to inhibit NF-kB which is the body’s main inflammatory signaling pathway. The over activation of this pathway can lead to chronic inflammation which in turn can lead to disease and dysfunction.
Due to its multiple health promoting properties curcumin may be beneficial in many conditions. For instance: since inflammation plays a role in their development and progression, curcumin may benefit individuals with neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis. Curcumin has been found to effectively reduce pain in people with arthritis and to reduce symptoms and in some cases cause remission in people suffering from Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. Inflammation has been implicated in the development of mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Supplementation with curcumin has been found to benefit people suffering from these conditions. Other benefits of curcumin include protection of the brain, heart, kidneys, liver and gastrointestinal system. This list is not exhaustive, and curcumin can be used to benefit many more conditions.
IV curcumin may also benefit patients as an adjunctive cancer treatment. To read about the benefits of IV Curcumin.
IV Curcumin may help improve the following conditions:
Side effects and contraindications
Side effects of IV curcumin therapy include burning at the IV site, nausea and vomiting, numbness and tingling in the mouth, itching in the hands and feet and a skin rash. With any intravenous infusion there is risk of pain and inflammation at the injection site as well as risk of infiltration (IV fluid leaking outside of the veins). While there are no known contraindications to IV curcumin caution is warranted in patients on anticoagulants, patients with gallbladder disease as well as decreased kidney and liver function and any patients with past sensitivity to curcumin