Reporting Paula Ebben
BOSTON (CBS) – Can’t sleep? No energy? Muscles ache? Vitamins could help.
Of course you already know that, but you may not have heard about intravenous vitamin therapy. It’s a growing trend among the “not feeling well, but not technically ill” set.
It can seem like mad science. A lab guru mixing a little of this and a little of that, creating a concoction some say could leave you feeling like a new person.
“I felt energized after the treatment, probably within six hours,” says patient Maria Friedrich. “And then the next day I felt fantastic.”
WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports
Dr. Kamau Kokayi, who specializes in alternative medicine, explains that this form of vitamin therapy is a way to get nutrients into the body quickly, using an IV.
“It’s intended to give the physiologic system of the person a boost,” he says. “That might be in terms of energy, it might be in terms of their immune system.”
IV Vitamin Therapy is being offered in more and more alternative and homeopathic doctor’s offices. At one time it was only for patients diagnosed with a specific disease. Now it’s for anyone in need of a healthy pick-me-up.
Dr. Kokayi says the patients who benefit are “really stressed, they’re really tired. They don’t have a named disease but they know that something is wrong.”
Doctors tweak the therapy based on the patient’s blood work and a review of their medical history. The concoction typically includes a variety of things, such as Vitamin B-Complex, Magnesium, vitamin B-5, Calcium, B-12, and B-6.
What makes this any different from popping a handful of vitamins you buy over the counter?
“Because of the concentration you can get of the nutrients,” says Dr. Kokayi. “They bypass the GI tract. They go right into the blood and right to the cells.”
But even Dr. Kokayi acknowledges there are some drawbacks to the therapy you should consider.
“Time,” he says. “You have to come in, sit for an hour and get a needle stick. Those are really the drawbacks. It’s time and of course the cost.”
Intravenous vitamin therapy is not something typically covered by insurance, unless you’ve been officially diagnosed with malnutrition. The cost of a vitamin therapy session ranges from $100 to $175, depending on the nutrients required.
IV vitamin therapy works best on those people who are most deficient and its effectiveness declines as your condition improves.