A lot of my readers have read about this well-known gem of nutritional medicine in one alternative medicine magazine or another and may wonder if it could be useful for their particular health issue. In my own practice, many patients receive their Myers’ regularly, returning because of positive results.
During the 1960s, Dr. John Myers, an internist from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, concluded that because of our digestive, absorptive, and detoxification systems, only a small fraction of the vitamins and minerals we take (either in food or in pills) were actually being absorbed into our bloodstream. He proposed that a harmless mixture of key nutritional supplements might be given in a single intravenous infusion– literally flooding each cell in the body with nutrition–to perhaps improve their performance.
Each of the vitamins and minerals Dr. Myers selected had actually been available in intravenous form for years, but no one had ever considered combining them into an intravenous “cocktail.”
Dr. Myers experimented on lab animals first, then on himself. And now, more than 40 years later, hundreds of thousands of Myers’ cocktails are administered each year by nutritionally oriented physicians.
The basic Myers’ formula consists of a well-tested mixture of magnesium, calcium, vitamin C, and an assortment of B vitamins diluted in sterile water. The total amount of solution is about 40 ml and is injected slowly into a vein in your arm over about ten minutes. The two most common sensations reported are the odd experience of tasting a vitamin from the inside out, so to speak, and a not unpleasant sensation of warmth, often in the pelvic region.
Dr. Alan Gaby, the well known physician-teacher to most nutritionally oriented physicians in the country, has written an article on his experience giving 1,500 Myers’ cocktails, available here.
Doctors who administer the Myers’ to their patients broadly agree that it’s most helpful for these conditions:
• Chronic fatigue
• Tension and migraine headaches
• Anti-viral immune boost when you feel you’re coming down with a cold or flu or have been exposed to viral infections (popular with elementary school teachers, as you might imagine).
In addition, doctors who practice geriatric nutritional medicine often recommend the Myers’ to many of their patients who are tired or mildly confused. It is well documented that older adults often have undiagnosed but serious nutritional deficiencies based on haphazard eating.
If you’re already a WholeHealth Chicago patient and want to try a Myers’ cocktail, please schedule with my nurse, Lizz. The infusion is not covered by health insurance and costs $85 (which essentially reflects the price of the vitamins themselves).
I usually recommend a series of four once-weekly treatments to start. Then you can decide if further treatment would be helpful. Most patients who respond to a Myers’ are fine with a booster infusion every month or two.