What is a Myers’ Cocktail?
Myers’ Cocktail therapy contains natural nutritional elements such as Vitamin C, B vitamins and minerals like Magnesium that are administered intravenously in high dose.
How does it feel? Is it safe? How long does it take?
Some people have a warm sensation; others describe it as calming. Occasionally, people will describe it as feeling a little “tipsy.” This only lasts about 10 to 15 minutes. Dr. Sult has given thousands of these IVs without any complications. Other nutritional doctors have also given these treatments. It has a remarkable safety record. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to administered.
Rationale for IV Nutrient Therapy
IV administration of nutrients can achieve blood concentrations that are not obtainable by oral or intramuscular administration. Additionally, there is evidence that when we are sick, we cannot absorb nutrients from our blood into our cells as efficiently. For example, the average magnesium concentration in a heart muscle is 10 times higher than in the blood.
This concentration is maintained by active pumps that pump the magnesium into the healthy heart cells. In certain diseases, such as cardiomyopathy, the concentration of magnesium inside the cell can be 65% lower suggesting a problem with these pumps. Giving IV nutrients can increase the concentration in the blood making it easier for the cells to pump the magnesium into the heart.
By similar mechanisms, many nutrients can be intracellular deficient during disease. By giving high doses of intravenous nutrition and flooding the circulation with these nutrients, diseased cells can sometimes recover to the point where they can sustain themselves on normal levels of nutrition.
IV administration is usually within 30 minutes.
Conditions that have Responded to Myers Cocktail
According to Allen Gaby, M.D., in his book, Nutritional Medicine (2011), and in my clinical experience the following conditions have responded favorably to Myers’ Cocktails:
Contents of Myers
Magnesium is a cofactor for more than 300 different enzymes in the body. There are approximately 30 g of magnesium in the body most of which is in bone. However substantial amounts, up to 40%, are inside cells and a lesser amount 1 to 2% is outside cells.
Because of this wide incorporation as a cofactor in many biochemical processes of the body magnesium as a role in the prevention and or treatment of many illnesses. Studies suggest that magnesium can be helpful in cardiovascular, dermatological, ear nose and throat, gastrointestinal, hematological, musculoskeletal, neurological, obstetrical/gynecological, psychiatric, pulmonary, urological and many more.
Looking at just the cardiovascular category it has been useful in the treatment of angina, arrhythmia, arteriosclerotic ischemic heart disease, congestive heart failure, hypertension, intermittent claudication, mitral valve prolapse, myocardial infarction (heart attack), Reynards disease/phenomenon, stroke, and thrombophlebitis. In psychiatry it has been shown to be relevant in; Alzheimer’s disease, anorexia nervosa, anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, dementia/cognitive decline, depression and panic attack. Just to name a few specifics.
In my functional medicine practice magnesium is among the most frequently encountered nutritional deficiencies.
Many medication promotion of magnesium deficiency. This includes a number of antibiotics, acid suppressive medicines like proton pump inhibitor‘s and H2 blockers, chemotherapeutic agents, steroids, Statins (anti-cholesterol medications), lithium and others.
Calcium is important in the strength of bones and teeth. It is involved in muscular contractions and glycogen metabolism. It may be useful for the prevention and or treatment of Brittle nails , leg cramps, obesity, osteoporosis, and Paget’s disease.
Vitamin D is required for normal calcium absorption. Gastric acid is also needed for efficient absorption. Vitamin K may plan an important role in Calcium metabolism by keeping calcium out of arteries and in the bones.
Calcium intake is frequently low, particularly among women and elderly individuals. Generally calcium intake is around 800 mg for men and 600 mg for women. The Recommended dietary allowance is 1,300 mg for adults.
Vitamin C is also called Ascorbic acid
Vitamin C is an antioxidant and plays a role in immune function. It is important in the formation of carnitine, a nutrient needed to convert fats into energy. Is it important in the synthesis of collagen an important connective tissue in the body. It also shows antiviral, antibacterial, and detoxification reaction in the body. Vitamin C has been useful in the prevention and or treatment of many conditions ranging from heart, skin, ENT, gastrointestinal, Infectious disease, musculoskeletal, Obstetrical and gynecological, eye, psychiatric, and many other conditions. In all, it is involved in no less than 50 illnesses. Vitamin C absorption is dependent on the amount available. When 15030 mg is available about 90%, but if 1250 mg is available only 50% is absorbed. But the capacity to absorb vitamin C increases with illness.
Symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency include bleeding abnormalities, bone pain, osteoporosis, joint pain, muscle pain, swelling, POTS syndrome, Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms, In one study of 10 healthy volunteers 21 to 34 years of age on a vitamin C depleted diet, 2 developed heart emergencies requiring immediate hospitalization. The sudden onset of severe symptoms from vitamin C depletion was recognized as early as 1757. The true deficiency state is called Scurvy. It can mimic deep vein thrombosis, vasculitis. Because scurvy is no longer common its early signs are no longer recognized and a large medical workup is often undertaken before recognizing its symptoms.
The RDA for Vitamin C is a scant 90 mg in males and 120 mg in lactation. A smoker should get an additional 35 mg per day. This should probably be considered the minimum dose to prevent scurvy. Enzyme studies have suggested that a minimum of 500 mg per day is likely needed.
From an evolutionary perspective, the amount of vitamin C needed may be much higher. Humans are among a small group of species that do not produce their own Vitamin C. Of animals that do produce Vitamin C, if they were human size would produce; unstressed rats 1,800 to 4,900 mg, stress rats 15,000mg, mice would produce 19,300 mg, 15,800 mg for rabbits, 13,300 mg for goats,2,800 for dogs and 2,800 for cats. These numbers are from 30 to 200 times higher than the RDA for Vitamin C.
Several lines of evidence suggest that preagricultural humans consumed about 2,300 mg of Vitamin C per day.
In a national survey of adults 20 – 59 years of age, Vitamin C intake was 85 mg for men and 67 mg for women, significantly below the RDA.
B-12 as Hydroxocobalamin
The typical vitamin B-12 you see in vitamin and added to food is cyanocobalamin. This is a synthetic compound and contains cyanide (a toxic metal) and must be converted to other cobalamins to be active. Hydroxycobalamin is found in the human body, it is a stable form of Vitamin B-12 without the toxic cyanide.
Vitamin B-12 may be useful for the prevention or treatment of no less than 50 conditions. From heart disease, dermatology, hearing loss, smell, taste, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, neurological, psychiatric, and many others. The breadth of activity is astounding from preventing heart diseases to the prevention of mouth ulcers treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome to infertility.
some have been found to have normal serum levels of vitamin B-12 but subnormal or undetectable levels o the vitamin in the Central nervous system. Suggesting a defect in the transport of the vitamin across the blood-brain barrier. This may increase the risk for neurologic illnesses including dementias. There are various ways that B-12 may not get properly absorbed, one is a deficiency of intrinsic factor and another is and other inborn errors of metabolism. A lab test called Methylmalonic acid may help identify those who can absorb the vitamin but can not efficiently utilize the vitamin intracellularly.
The recommended intake of Vitamin B-12 is 2.4 micrograms per day for adults. Vegan diets may be deficient having as little as 0.3 micrograms.
B-6 is a cofactor for more than 50 different enzymes in the body. It is important in amino acid, carbohydrate, and fat metabolism. It plays an important role in immune function and heart health.
It has been shown helpful for the prevention or treatment of no less than 38 diseases and syndromes. They range from cardiovascular health, skin, ENT, blood, Neurological, obstetrical and gynecological, psychiatric, and others. It has effects as varied as helping epilepsy to infertility, Anxiety to Gestational diabetes.
Deficiency symptoms can include nervousness, depression, insomnia, irritability, confusion, painful tongue and mouth, abdominal pain, weakness, seizures, anemia, and impaired immune function.
Several illnesses are dependent on B-6 such as B-6 responsive anemia, B-6 dependent epilepsy, B-6 responsive homocystinuria, and type 1 primary hyperoxaluria.
Toxic environments require higher amounts of B-6. Many illnesses that are B-6 dependant are on the rise and this rise coincident with increasing levels of environmental toxins know to be antagonists to B-6.
In many population studies from 20 to 81% of the population is shown to be low or suboptimal for B-6.
B-6 interacts with many drugs resulting in low status.
Pantothenic acid also know as B-5
B-5 is a component of Coenzyme A (CoA). CoA is an important component in the energy production pathways. CoA is a major cofactor converting carbohydrates to ATP. ATP is the “currency” of energy in the body. With inefficient production of ATP, you will not have as much metabolic energy as would be optimal. With low ATP you will feel tired, have muscle pains, poor detoxification, diminished ability to make proteins, hormones, neurotransmitters, and basically, the whole system will become sluggish.
Studies have shown pantothenic acid can help with gait, strength, coordination, and endurance a
The daily “adequate intake for B-5 in adolescents and adults is 5 mg. In one study of adolescents, 49% of girls and 15% of boys had less than 4 mg per day. In adults 65 and older the mean intake was 5.9 mg per day suggesting half may be borderline or deficient.
“B-Complex” Is one of the ingredients of the Myers it consists of Thiamine, Riboflavin, Pyridoxin, Dexpanthenol and Niacinamide. We have reviewed the Pyridoxin and Dexpanthenol separately. Her are the remailing ingredients of the B-Complex.
B-1 is a cofactor in the energy production pathways. Without adequate B-1 APT will be in short supply. This means nearly every process in the body from moving your muscle to making neurotransmitters will be sluggish. For this reason, B-1 is helpful in the prevention and or treatment of many conditions. Interestingly it is also helpful as an insect repellent.
Many neurological problems respond to B-1 including epilepsy, neuritis, peripheral neuropathy, sciatica (back pain), and trigeminal neuralgia. Other conditions that may respond include Anesthesia side effects, back pain, congestive heart failure, dementia, diabetes, downs syndrome, dysmenorrhea, fibrocystic breast changes, fibromyalgia, hepatitis, and “Maple syrup” urine disease.
Symptoms of mild deficiency may include fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, vague headaches, and other pains, mental concentration, and memory. Thiamine is not stored in any significant amount and symptoms of B-1 deficiency can show up after only 4 days of a low B-1 diet.
Various studies have shown Thiamine to be low or marginal in up to 57% of the elderly, 24% of adolescent males, and 26% of people 25-75 years old.
Riboflavin is a part of Flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). FAD is an important component of the energy production pathways called the electron transport chain (ETC). The ETC makes the production of ATP even more efficient. And this what separates our energy production from other life forms like slime mold. As noted elsewhere ATP is the basic currency of energy in the body. Without efficient ATP production, most processes in the body will be sluggish.
Deficiency can result in angular stomatitis (sores at the corner of the mouth), tongue pain, depression, personality changes, anemia, seborrheic dermatitis, keratitis, eye inflammation, and decreased visual function.
Five to 15% of the population have an inefficient form of an enzyme needed for B-2 function and the RDA does not allow for this. Suggesting that perhaps this many people may have problems with low B-2.
There are 2 forms of Niacin (nicotinic acid) and niacinamide (also called nicotinamide) and they have some different activities. Niacinamide is a major precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). NAD also plays a central role in the Electron Transport Chain. It is also a precursor to NAD Phosphate (NADP) a coenzyme in many oxidation-reduction reactions. Also, B-3 is involved in brain function.
Symptoms of deficiency include dementia, dermatitis, and diarrhea. It may also include tongue changes, sun sensitivity, and nutrient malabsorption. Early symptoms may include nervousness, headaches, forgetfulness, apprehension, and functional gastrointestinal disturbances.