Boosting Your Immune System with IV Therapy
With another cold and flu season upon us, many people are focused on ways to improve their health, specifically the immune system. There are some simple things to do to help make your body strong and able to withstand any illness that may come your way. Many of you are focusing on lifestyle factors, supplements, and reducing exposure to illnesses. However, there is another tool we can implement that can deliver some key nutrients for the immune system. This is intravenous (IV) therapy. It delivers nutrients straight to the bloodstream to be used immediately. This is used because you can dose nutrients higher and the body absorbs the nutrients much quicker than oral supplementation. There are two specific IV nutrients that can help replenish the body’s defense system to fight off viruses quicker and with less severity, Vitamin C and Glutathione.
Most people know to take Vitamin C at the first sign of an illness. Typical dosages are 500mg-1000mg. IV Vitamin C can go much higher without any digestive upset that may be caused by oral dosages. Dosages of 5 grams-15 grams IV are safe for the general population. That’s 5-15 times the amount that most people take by mouth! Doses can go higher depending on your specific health history. Vitamin C helps strengthen the first line of defense in the body, the white blood cells. It also helps activate natural killer (NK) cells to fight off foreign invaders.
When one is sick, many free radicals are produced in fighting off any illness. Free radicals are also known as oxidative stress. When acutely ill, the body may use up to 20 grams of Vitamin C per day to quench the oxidative stress produced. While taking this vitamin is not 100% preventative to catching an illness, it can shorten the length and severity of an illness and get you back on your feet much sooner. Vitamin C also helps recycle other antioxidants in the body that can strengthen the defense system, such as Vitamin E and Glutathione.
Glutathione is another substance that can help boost the immune system. It is the body’s most powerful antioxidant. Your body makes it from 3 amino acids, however, it is easily depleted. Oral Glutathione is not readily absorbed, so it can be difficult to supplement. One way to increase levels in the body is through a supplement of n-acetyl-cysteine, which is the rate limiting amino acid to make Glutathione in the body. The IV form of Glutathione is superior to oral for these reasons. Glutathione, like Vitamin C, combats oxidative stress from viral or bacterial illnesses. However, we are exposed daily to more oxidative stress; chemicals in the environment such as car exhaust, tap water, and chemicals in our food. Glutathione can help the body detoxify from these as well.
When the body mounts an immune response, this creates inflammation (sometimes called a cytokine storm) from fighting the foreign substances. Glutathione helps calm down the cytokine storm and lowers this inflammation more rapidly, just like Vitamin C. It is important to do this so the body can detoxify these particles and the severity of the invasion is kept to a minimum. If a cytokine storm goes on too long with a viral infection, it can lead to serious side effects such as respiratory failure and cardiovascular involvement. Glutathione helps keep respiratory secretions thin so we can clear them from our tract. While Vitamin C is one nutrient that recycles Glutathione, there are many more that play a role as well. Many of the B vitamins as well as minerals like magnesium, zinc, and selenium are important to make sure we have a healthy supply of Glutathione. If someone is very depleted in many nutrients it is wise to do an IV nutrient formula or a multivitamin along with Glutathione to make sure the body can recycle it for a much more powerful effect.
It can be hard to keep our immune system in tip top shape during cold and flu season. IV therapy can be another tool utilized to rapidly restore nutrient levels to give you the best chance at fighting off anything that may come your way.
Dr. Carissa Fioritto, ND, RN is a licensed Naturopathic Physician practicing at Collaborative Natural Health Partners, LLC. She is an in-network provider with most major health insurance providers and is accepting new patients.
Please call 860.533.0179 to schedule an appointment.