Intravenous nutrient therapy involves the administration of vital nutrients, minerals, amino acids, anti-oxidants or herbal extracts directly into bloodstream.
IVs allow for immediate and complete cellular availability, precision dosing and the capacity for higher doses that would otherwise upset the stomach if taken orally. IV administration allows nutrients to bypass the digestive and liver detoxification systems to be delivered directly to the body’s cells. This allows higher quantities of nutrients to be available to cells in more predictable quantities compared to oral administration
In cases where digestion or absorption is compromised, IVs are the ideal method to ensure the body is receiving the nutrients required for continued function and healing.
Nutrient deficiencies arise even when following a healthy diet due to problems such as impaired absorption (e.g., bowel diseases, chronic diarrhea), decreased bio-availability (e.g., intestinal bacteria over-growth) or increased use of nutrients (e.g., chronic infections, chronic stress and in athletes). Chronic illness, impaired immune function, accelerated aging and chronic fatigue may all result from nutrient deficiencies.
The following conditions are commonly treated with IV therapy:
- Acute infections such as the common cold or flu
- Chronic infection, immune support, infection prevention
- Joint pain, arthritis or other inflammatory conditions
- Wound healing
- Cancer Therapy Support
- Mental Health: Anxiety, Depression, Addictions and withdrawal symptoms
- Autoimmune Diseases: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Grave’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Celiac Disease, Crohn’s Disease, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Meniere’s Disease, Reynaud’s Disease, Sjorgren’s syndrome, Scleroderma and others
- Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Cardiovascular Health: High blood pressure, Arrhythmias
- Macular Degeneration
- Neurological conditions: Neuropathy, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease
- Enhanced athletic performance
- Overall well-being
IV therapy is often a useful addition to a customized treatment plan for nearly any chronic health concern. During your initial appointment with Dr. Meli, the options for IV therapy specific to your concerns may be discussed.
Each patient will receive a custom treatment plan. Depending on the IV medicines needed, the length of the treatment will vary. Typically, treatments range from 30min to 1.5 hours. However, some treatments (particularly for cancer care) can take approximately 3 hours.
Several consecutive treatments are required and often performed on a weekly basis however, each individual’s wellness plan is unique. Often, patients come in monthly or every 2 months for a vitamin boost or when feeling run-down, before a competition, or when feeling particularly stressed.
Dr. Meli has extensive training and experience in the administration of IV Therapy and side effects are rare. The most common side effects are discomfort or bruising at the injection site. Any concerns regarding side effects can be discussed at the initial visit or before any treatment.
With a calm demeanor, he listens attentively and works with you through the investigation process. He creates a comfortable environment to ask questions and aims to empower his patients to make the most of this powerful medical system. His passion for seeing his patients achieve their highest potential is evident in his thorough history taking and treatment planning. By blending naturopathic and functional medicine, his treatments are comprehensive, holistic, research-driven, safe, and most importantly, effective.
He chooses to have a diverse, general practice and welcomes all new patients. His special interests are in genetic analysis, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.
Developed over 30 years ago by Dr. John Myers, MD, the Myer’s Cocktail is a combination of water-soluble vitamins and minerals necessary for basic physiological function. . It can be used to support adrenal and immune health. This is the most common IV treatment and is used for chronic fatigue, stress and fibromyalgia. Dr. Meli often uses this protocol as a basis from which to further customize a treatment by adding or removing particular nutrients as required for your individual needs. Modified Myer’s cocktails are used for treatment of asthma, migraines and for improved athletic performance and recovery.
The Myer’s cocktail can be used to correct deficiencies, treat infections, diminish inflammation and assist in maintaining health. The vitamins and minerals used include:
- Vitamin C
- Sodium Bicarbonate
Additional nutrients added if needed include:
- Trace minerals
- Adrenal cortex
- N-acetyl cysteine
A series of customized IV treatments is a safe, effective and often speedy approach to regaining health.
Glutathione is a naturally-occurring antioxidant nutrient in the body. It is used primarily in the brain and liver to capture oxidants responsible for inducing cell damage and inflammation. As a consequence, this IV therapy is useful in supporting brain and neurological function, as well as detoxification and removal of certain heavy metals. If brain fog, poor memory and/or concentration are symptoms you commonly experience, this treatment is well suited for you. Similarly, inflammatory conditions including arthritis and asthma respond well to glutathione. As an anti-oxidant, this treatment is useful for general health maintenance and disease prevention.
Glutathione is usually given as an ‘IV push’ which takes only 10-15 minutes. It can be done during any office visit or can be added at the end of most other IV treatments.
Intravenous Vitamin C is used in adjunct cancer therapy as a support for the immune system. Adequate levels of vitamin C are required for healthy immune function, in particular during the fight against cancer. At high doses, vitamin C targets cancer cells and blocks their ability to take up glucose, which they require for survival. A series of high dose Vitamin C IVs has been shown to be supportive in the following types of cancer:
The dose is gradually increased over 3 treatments to ensure safety and tolerance. Depending on dose, this treatment will take between 1.5 and 3 hours. IV vitamin C can be administered if ongoing chemotherapy treatments are also being administered, though proper scheduling is required. Consultation between Dr. Meli and your treating oncologist is often necessary.
For more information about cancer therapy, click here.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a naturally-occurring nutrient that has antioxidant and glucose-regulating capacity. Unlike other antioxidants, it is both water-soluble and fat-soluble. This characteristic allows for antioxidant protection throughout the body and is known as the ‘universal antioxidant’ because of this. It has been shown to prevent cell damage and preserve beneficial levels of other antioxidant vitamins and nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin E, CoQ10 and glutathione.
Dietary sources include red meat, broccoli, spinach, yams/potatoes and beets. Since only small amounts are typically found in the bloodstream, supplementing with ALA has profound physiological impact. When administered intravenously, this therapy has been shown to be effective in the following conditions:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Side effects of chemotherapy and radiation
- Neurological diseases
* Research to date suggests that IV alpha lipoic acid is an effective treatment for many but not all types of cancer.
Phosphatidylcholine serves several functions within the body. First, it forms a larger molecule called lecithin, which is found within the membranes of all human cells and provides the fluidity that is fundamental to membrane health. Cell to cell communication depends on properly functioning membranes. Second, it is the major source of choline, which is used in the production of acetylcholine, an essential neurotransmitter that is vital for neurological and muscular function. Third, choline plays a major therapeutic role in supporting the methylation cycle, which is vital for several processes, including DNA production. Click here to learn more about methylation.
IV phosphatidylcholine is particularly effective in the following conditions:
- Neurological diseases: Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, neuropathy, stroke recovery, head trauma
- Liver support: Hepatitis B and C, fatty liver disease
- Cardiac support: Atherosclerosis
- Athletic enhancement
This treatment cannot be administered to patients taking acetylcholinesterase inhibitor medications, which are prescribed for the treatment of myasthenia gravis, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s Disease and others.
IV hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) therapy is preferred for its near-immediate action as an anti-viral. In the blood stream, it binds with an enzyme called cytochrome-C and as a unit, the two compounds travel throughout the body, being made available to all of the body’s cells. Over about 40 minutes, the bond is broken down and the H2O2 is then converted into H20 (water) and a single oxygen molecule, known as a ‘singlet’. It is this singlet molecule that has potent physiological impact.
All viruses, some bacteria, and some fungal species are anaerobic in nature, meaning they survive on carbon dioxide and eliminate oxygen. For them, singlet oxygen is highly toxic and most die instantly upon contact. Human cells, as well as probiotic bacteria (the friendly bacteria of the gut), depend on oxygen and so are not harmed by this treatment.
A second benefit of H2O2 and the singlet oxygen that it provides is an ‘oxidizing’ of toxic waste products that have not yet been completely detoxified. When these compounds bind with the singlet oxygen, their toxic impact is reduced and the kidney’s ability to eliminate them via urine is greatly enhanced. This makes them easy to handle for the kidneys and liver.
This IV is given over a 90 minute period; immediately, infectious organisms within the bloodstream are attacked. It is not uncommon for symptoms of the common cold or flu (both viral infections) to be dramatically improved over the course of the 90 minute treatment.
If this treatment sounds aggressive, consider that the means by which the white blood cells of our immune systems kill off infectious organisms is by first engulfing them, second, releasing naturally occurring hydrogen peroxide and finally by clearing the remains of a now dead bacteria or virus.
When symptoms of an infection emerge, it is because by this point the virus or bacteria has already multiplied to an overwhelming quantity. IV hydrogen peroxide treatment is therefore indicated at the onset of symptoms or if symptoms seem to be lingering on longer than expected.
Conditions that respond well to IV hydrogen peroxide include:
- Viral infections: common cold, influenza, sinus infections, mononucleosis
- Yeast infections/candida overgrowth
- Various bacterial infections, though dependent on the species of bacteria present