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Food as Medicine

Sonja Fung, ND

The old phrase “you are what you eat” is now the center focus of integrative medicine. But sometimes simply eating food is not enough, so we take vitamins to supplement what we may be missing.

Another option growing in popularity is nutritional IV therapy which delivers vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients directly into the bloodstream. The therapy is used to fight off the common cold, rehydrate and nourish hangovers, increase energy, strengthen the immune system, counter anxiety and stress, and act as a preventive aging measure. For patients with digestive or malabsorption issues, nutrient IVs can be life-changing as the blood concentrations obtained are impossible to get orally. Research has also shown that vitamin C infusions prolong survival times, and improve quality of life, in cancer patients.

The use of multiple nutrients in the treatment of illness started with the Myers’ cocktail, created by physician John Myers and commonly used today. Minerals such as magnesium, calcium and zinc are combined with B vitamins and vitamin C and administered by a physician who can vary the dose, rate of infusion and the constituents as needed. Infusions can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the nutrients and volume of fluid used.

It’s no surprise that local clinics offering the service see a significant influx of patients during festival season as concert goers often need to rehydrate and reenergize from overindulgence. The Live Well Clinic in La Quinta even created a special concoction they call GO-Chella Juice which includes anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory medications along with vitamins and minerals. Several clinics even offer in-home service for groups as practitioner availability allows.

Clinics offering nutritional IV therapies in Greater Palm Springs include Preventive Medicine Centers in Palm Springs; California Wellness Institute and XO Health in Rancho Mirage; Optimal Health Center and True You Medical in Palm Desert; and Live Well Clinic in La Quinta.

With its many health benefits, it would not be surprising if nutritional IV therapy eventually becomes a routine practice in health and wellness care.

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