What's in IV infusions?
In this guide, you'll find information on all of the most commonly used and most beneficial IV infusion ingredients being used today. We cover what the vitamin/ingredient is, how your body uses it, the benefits and reputable sources to backup our claims.
You’ve probably heard that vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid or ascorbate, is one of your body’s best defenses against inflammatory diseases. And it’s true. For years, people have consumed vitamin C as a supplement to help boost their immune system when experiencing various medical conditions, including the common cold, gum infections, acne, cardiovascular diseases, eye diseases, and cancer.
What’s even more exciting about vitamin C is that you can’t get too much of it. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that it dissolves in water. Therefore, if you happen to take in too much than your body needs, you just pass it out in your urine.
Vitamin C is one of the safest and most effective nutrients out there. Although there is no real downside to consuming too much of vitamin C (except rarely maybe an irritated stomach or diarrhea).
The highest levels of vitamin C are found in green peppers, broccoli, citrus fruits, strawberries, melons, tomatoes, raw cabbage, and leafy greens, such as spinach, turnips, and mustard greens.2 However, vitamin C is also available as a supplement and injection.
Benefits of Vitamin C – At a Glance
Vitamin C has loads of benefits, including the capacity to:
- Boost your immune system
- Act as an antioxidant
- Help to make collagen
Why Vitamin C?
Vitamin C creates a protective immune state that allows for significantly greater antibacterial, antiviral, and even anti-tumor effects. Vitamin C works with vitamin E as an antioxidant, which means that it reacts with any harmful free radicals in your body and makes them less toxic. Vitamin C also acts as a cofactor, partnering with enzymes that are involved in making collagen, the major component of connective tissue, cartilage, tooth dentin, skin, and bone matrix. Vitamin C is also important in the metabolism of tyrosine, carbohydrates,
norepinephrine, histamine, and phenylalanine. Vitamin C also prevents infection because it activates leukocytes, important white blood cells that fight foreign invaders in your body.
Oral absorption of Vitamin C has limited bioavailability (absorption) and is restricted to a maximum capacity of 200 mg at one time. It is dose-dependent and eliminated from the body within 24 hours. To achieve a beneficial and therapeutic effect, you would need to take 200 mg up to 15 times a day.
Intravenous absorption of Vitamin C produces blood concentrations that are two to three times higher than oral administration. At high plasma concentrations, Vitamin C can travel to all of your body’s tissues, including our heart, brain, muscles, kidneys, and adrenal glands with minimal waste as it bypasses our stomach and enters the bloodstream directly.
Ready to give your immune system the ultimate boost of Vitamin-C?
If there is one supplement touted for its antioxidant power and ability to reverse aging, it is glutathione (GSH). It is made up of three amino acids (cysteine, glutamate, and glycine) combined to form a peptide.
Benefits of Glutathione – At a Glance
The benefits of Glutathione include:
- Powerful antioxidant – prevents oxidative stress
- Protects the body from harmful metabolic byproducts
- Regulation of cellular reactions
Since glutathione is produced naturally and found in all types of cells, it is considered one of the most important antioxidants in the human body. In fact, an imbalance of glutathione is linked to many diseases, including cancer, diseases of aging, cystic fibrosis (CF), infection, and neurodegeneration.
Experts say that the level of glutathione in cells can be used to predict how long an organism lives. One study showed that a decrease in GSH, which leads to oxidative stress, is associated with cognitive decline in the aging process.
How exactly does GSH prevent oxidative stress? As an antioxidant, GSH scavenges harmful oxygen-containing molecules known as reactive oxygen species (ROS) and neutralizes them.
This antioxidant property of GSH protects DNA synthesis, a very important human process that is sensitive to harmful ROS. The antioxidant property is also important for immune function because T cells, types of white blood cells, are also sensitive to ROS.
Glutathione is also important for a broad range of metabolic reactions, including protecting the body from harmful metabolic byproducts. With the help of an enzyme called glutathione S- transferase, GSH bonds with various compounds (like xenobiotics and pollutants) and makes them more water-soluble. This activity detoxifies these compounds.
Glutathione is also important for the regulation of cellular reactions, including gene expression, DNA and protein synthesis, cell proliferation and apoptosis, signal transduction, cytokine production, and immune response, and protein glutathionylation.
Although the human body does not absorb glutathione as efficiently from foods as it does from intravenous (IV) infusion, certain foods that are high in amino acids that contain sulfur can boost your levels of glutathione. These include unprocessed meat, garlic, broccoli, asparagus, avocados, and spinach.
LIPO-C includes MIC, Carnitine, B1, and B5.
Is there such a thing as a magic potion for weight loss? Well, maybe! If you’ve been exercising and dieting, but you’re still stuck with some stubborn problem areas, you may want to investigate the science behind lipotropic injections (Lipo-C) as there could be some major benefits here for you. The research on Lipo-C is limited, but it seems promising.
Benefits of Lipo-C – At a Glance
The major benefits of Lipo-C include:
- Promotes fat breakdown
- Speeds up metabolic processes
The Lipo-C injection contains a mix of compounds that work together to promote fat breakdown and are closely related to the B-vitamins. The name LIPO-C comes from the word “lipotropic” – “lipo” means something related to fat, and “tropic” means something that influences the activity of a gland.
Since Lipo-C injections promote the breakdown of fat, it means that they can cause fat deposits to be released in some parts of the body, including the stomach, inner thighs, neck, buttocks, and hips.
Lipo-C agents contain methionine, inositol, and choline. Methionine helps the liver maintain its optimal ability to break down fatty acids. Inositol helps to prevent fatty acid synthesis, and hence, prevent excess adipose tissue (body fat). Choline is a molecule that is classified as a B vitamin. It is important for the formation of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps neurons send messages to each other. Choline is essential for increased brain cognition.
When used together with vitamin B12, Lipo-C also speeds up metabolic reactions. These two supplements complement each other and can create a greater feeling of overall energy.
Lipo-C Injections can be administered up to twice a week.
To keep living and growing, your body’s cells need to constantly undergo a process called cell division. Cyanocobalamin, or vitamin B12, is your superhero vitamin when it comes to cell division. Also, vitamin B12 is necessary for making your red blood cells that transport oxygen through your body.
Benefits of Vitamin B12 – At a Glance
Vitamin B12 is essential for survival. The following are some benefits of vitamin B12:
- Provides essential methyl groups for DNA and protein synthesis.
- Required for the formation of red blood cells.
- Acts as a cofactor for enzymes during the metabolism of amino acids and fatty acids.
Why Vitamin B12?
Most cells in your body will replace themselves throughout your lifetime. Take your stomach cells, for instance. The cells that line your gastrointestinal tract are replaced frequently due to the “wear and tear” of food particles moving through this organ. And for cells to replace themselves, they need to make new DNA molecules. Vitamin B12 provides essential methyl groups for DNA and protein synthesis.
Vitamin B12 is not only involved in DNA synthesis, but it is also necessary for the formation of red blood cells. Imagine this – your body makes about 2 million new red blood cells every second!
That’s a massive number. Your body needs this many red blood cells because these are the cells that carry various substances, including oxygen, from one part of the body to another.
Vitamin B12 is essential for growth, cell reproduction, hematopoiesis, and nucleoprotein, and myelin synthesis. While all cells need vitamin B12, any cell that divides rapidly needs it even more, such as cells involved in making DNA.
Vitamin B12 works alongside folic acid to make DNA. If you have a vitamin B12 deficiency, your body won’t be able to make DNA, and this means that you also won’t be able to make vital cells like red blood cells. This vitamin B12 deficiency results in disorders like megaloblastic anemia, glossitis, and hypospermia.10 All three of these disorders are caused by impaired DNA synthesis and, to a lesser extent, RNA and protein synthesis.
Vitamin B12 is found in foods such as meat, eggs, and dairy products. This means that vegetarians or people with malabsorption problems need to take vitamin B12 as a supplement or else they can get anemia, intestinal problems, and irreversible nerve damage.
Vitamin B12 is used to treat pernicious anemia and vitamin B12 deficiency. Oral therapy is not always effective because some people lack a substance called intrinsic factor, which helps vitamin B12 get absorbed by the body, and some people may not be able to absorb vitamin B12 due to surgical removal or problems with their intestines.
If you’ve ever needed an excuse to be wild and free under the sun, here’s your excuse – vitamin D3!
Yes, cholecalciferol or vitamin D3 is a vitamin made by the skin after being exposed to sunlight (type B ultraviolet (UVB) light). The sun is indeed one of the best sources of vitamin D3. From just 15 minutes for a person with light skin to a couple of hours for a person with dark skin, you can get the amount of vitamin D3 you need daily.
Although the sun is your best source for vitamin D3, you can also get it from certain foods or supplements, especially for those who can’t spend much time outside. You can also consume high-calcium foods, including milk, cheese, leafy green vegetables like spinach and collard greens, salmon, sardines (with the bones), tofu, and yogurt.
Benefits of Vitamin D3 – At a Glance
Vitamin D3 is important for:
- Balancing the levels of calcium and phosphate in the body
- Normal bone growth and mineralization
Why Vitamin D3?
For you to have the best bone health, you need adequate levels of calcium and phosphate. This is where vitamin D3 comes in. Vitamin D3 is needed to balance the levels of calcium and phosphate in the body. On its own, the digestive system is bad at absorbing calcium. Working together with parathyroid hormone, vitamin D3 helps with the absorption of calcium and phosphate from food in the small intestine, and movement of calcium in and out of the bone.
Vitamin D works only after the body converts it into its active form, calcitriol (1,25- dihydroxycholecalciferol). Calcitriol enhances the reabsorption of calcium by the kidneys, absorption of calcium and phosphate by the intestines, and mobilization of calcium from bone to plasma.
As you age, you lose bone density. Therefore, the older you get, the more likely you will need vitamin D3 and calcium supplements.
L-lysine is an impressive compound with so many benefits. It is an essential amino acid, which means that your body cannot make it naturally. The best way to get L-lysine is through your diet or by taking supplements.
Benefits of Lysine – At a Glance
Lysine is important for:
- Tissue repair
- Muscle growth
- As a building block for carnitine, an essential amino acid needed for energy production
- Prevention of osteoporosis
- Production of collagen and elastin
- Treatment for cold sores, one of the symptoms of herpes simplex virus (HSV)
Lysine benefits are multifunctional making it powerful and extremely desirable. It is vital in athletes and highly active people to assist with constant tissue repair, muscle growth, and muscle strength. It is also an essential amino acid necessary to produce carnitine, another essential amino acid that your cells depend on for energy production.
Additionally, Lysine is a helper in the prevention of osteoporosis by improving the absorption of calcium to keep your bones healthy.
Lastly, if we ever found the fountain of youth, lysine would be an essential component. Lysine is imperative for the healthy production of collagen & elastin. These proteins are key in keeping your skin plump, smooth, and blemish-free.
Unfortunately, your body depends on your dietary intake of lysine since it doesn’t produce lysine on its own. Additionally, the protein foods that have high lysine content, like meat, fish, and eggs, are usually consumed cooked. This can mean some loss of lysine content. The good news is that raw vegetables like avocados, beets, tomatoes, and bell peppers have a high lysine content. Also, if you’re vegetarian or simply love tofu, then eat up!
Although more human studies are needed, some scientific evidence also shows that lysine can be used to treat symptoms (cold sores or fever blisters) commonly found in patients with HSV. This could be because the lysine-arginine balance in the body affects HSV expression.13
The average daily recommended intake of lysine is about 14 mg per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds then 2,100 mg of lysine should suffice.
Signs of deficiency include a significant loss in energy, mental fog, stunted growth, hair loss, anemia, and reproductive problems.
Vitamin B Complex
If B vitamins are beneficial individually, imagine how powerful they can be when combined!
Vitamin B-complex injection is a sterile solution that contains the vitamins of the B complex group, including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12.
Why Vitamin B Complex?
Together, the B vitamins help your body get energy from the foods you eat. The vitamin B complex contains the following14:
Vitamin B1 (thiamin) – essential for the healthy growth and function of your organs.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – needed to break down fats and medications.
Vitamin B3 (niacin) – essential for good skin, healthy nerves, and functional digestion.
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) – needed for the health of the brain and nervous system.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) – helps the body make new red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. It also helps keep the immune system strong.
Vitamin B7 (biotin) – essential for healthy hair, nails, and nerve function. Vitamin B9 (folic acid) – needed to make DNA and genetic material.
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) – used to maintain the health of nerves and blood cells.
Popular trends for vegan energy bars are on the rise, and there may be a secret weapon in them. Magnesium! This one mineral is at work in every cell in your body. And it’s found in various plants, some of which are used in the production of vegan energy bars. No wonder more people are turning to these snacks to boost their energy and reverse fatigue.
Magnesium is indeed fundamental to the existence of life.
Benefits of Magnesium – At a Glance
Magnesium is important for various processes in the body, including:
- Energy metabolism – it helps your body convert food into energy
- Protein and nucleic acid synthesis
Magnesium is a cofactor (a substance that helps an enzyme to do its job) in more than 300 enzymatic reactions that involve energy metabolism and protein and nucleic acid synthesis. This means that your body uses magnesium anytime a muscle needs to break down adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to release energy.
And this energy is used for muscle contraction, metabolic reactions, and transportation of important substances across membranes (e.g. nerve impulses).
When used as a supplement, magnesium is manufactured as a salt, for example, magnesium sulfate, magnesium chloride, magnesium gluconate, magnesium lactate, and magnesium oxide.
As a laxative, magnesium sulfate helps the small intestine retain water, and this hyperosmotic effect stimulates the stretch receptors and promotes peristalsis.15
As an antacid, magnesium oxide reacts with water to form magnesium oxide, which reacts with the gastric acid in the stomach and reduces gastric pH.15
As an anticonvulsant, magnesium sulfate depresses the CNS and blocks peripheral neuromuscular transmission.
Magnesium is found in various foods, including whole grains, legumes, greens, nuts, seeds, dry beans, chocolate, fruits, meats, and fish. In the US, the recommended dietary intake of magnesium is 320 mg/day for adult females and 420 mg/day for adult males.
If you plan on getting pregnant or are pregnant right now, you’ve probably heard that you need to take folic acid daily. This is why: approximately one in every 1,000 pregnancies is affected by a neural tube defect that stems from a deficiency in folic acid.
Folate and Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) are forms of a water-soluble B vitamin. Folate is the natural form that you can get from food, while folic acid is the synthetic form. You can get folic acid as a supplement either orally or via injection.
Benefits of Folic Acid – At a Glance
Folic acid is important for:
- Formation of red blood cells
- Synthesis of nucleic acids
- Development of the neural tube in fetuses
- Proper brain functioning
Why Folic Acid?
Folic acid (working with vitamin B12) is essential for the production of red blood cells. If you don’t have enough folic acid in your body, you may be diagnosed with various hematologic complications, including megaloblastic and macrocytic anemias.
Taking folic acid as a supplement can prevent heart disease in men and women.
Also, pregnant women need folic acid to help with the development of the neural tube in fetuses. Pregnant women who have a folic acid deficiency may have babies with neural tube
defects, for example, spina bifida – a condition where the fetal spine and back do not close in the womb.
Based on the medical evidence that folic acid can prevent fetal neural tube defects, health experts recommend a folic acid intake of 0.4 mg/day PO from food and/or supplements in females during the child-bearing years, and 0.6 mg PO daily throughout pregnancy.
Folate can be found in various food sources, including spinach, dark leafy greens, asparagus, turnip, beets, mustard greens, Brussels sprouts, lima beans, soybeans, beef liver, brewer's yeast, root vegetables, whole grains, wheat germ, bulgur wheat, kidney beans, white beans, lima beans, salmon, orange juice, avocado, and milk.18
As of 1998, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required that all food manufacturers fortify enriched grain products with folic acid to reduce the risk of congenital neural tube defects.
L-Arginine is a unique amino acid because experts classify it as a semi-essential or conditionally essential amino acid; this is because it is essential in children and non-essential in adults. A child’s body does not produce it naturally.
You can get arginine when your body recycles it from normal cellular protein turnover, from your diet, or a synthetic arginine precursor like the L-Arginine hydrochloride (HCl) injection. Your body has enzymes that can convert the synthetic precursor to arginine, so you are not restricted to getting arginine just from your diet.
Benefits of Arginine – At a Glance
Arginine has several benefits, including:
- Precursor for important intermediates in the Kreb’s cycle
- Carrier for nitrogenous waste in the urea cycle
- Improves blood circulation
- Reduction in erectile dysfunction
Arginine plays a role in many biological processes in the body. One main role of arginine is that it gets broken down into important chemical intermediates of the Krebs cycle – glutamate and alpha-keto-glutarate. The Krebs cycle is significant because it is a major metabolic pathway that produces energy in cells.
Arginine is also needed in the urea cycle, where it acts as a carrier for nitrogenous waste. The urea cycle is important because the body needs a pathway for breaking down and excreting the nitrogen generated by the breakdown of amino acids from protein. The urea cycle converts highly toxic ammonia into urea, which is then passed off as waste by the body.
If there’s a problem with the urea cycle, ammonia can accumulate in the blood and it can get toxic. This medical condition is known as hyperammonemia. L-arginine HCl is used to treat high ammonia concentrations in people with urea cycle problems.
Arginine can also get converted to nitric oxide (NO) in your body. Nitric oxide is a powerful compound that can help your blood vessels relax and, hence, improve your blood circulation.19 So it’s possible that arginine can prevent cardiovascular problems and improve your heart health.
Arginine is known for its reduction of erectile dysfunction. Researchers have provided evidence that an arginine-deficient diet can decrease a man’s sperm count, and supplementing the diet with arginine can increase sperm count.20 The theory behind this is that arginine is converted to NO, which can relax the blood vessels in the smooth muscles of the penis.
If you are thinking of a supplement that can help you with weight loss, don’t look too far from levocarnitine or L-carnitine. This energy-giving amino acid is made in the liver from its precursors, methionine, and lysine.
Commercially, you can get carnitine as both a prescription and non-prescription product; the prescription version is L-carnitine, while most non-prescription supplements contain a D,L racemic mixture (D,L-carnitine).21
Benefits of L-Carnitine – At a Glance
L-Carnitine mainly helps with:
- Energy production during ketogenesis
- Aerobic metabolism of carbohydrates
- Weight loss during fasting (very low-calorie diet)
Let’s say your body does not have access to carbohydrates – maybe because you’re following a low-carb diet – your body can switch to using fats instead of carbs for fuel.
This process is called ketogenesis.
During ketogenesis, your liver needs to maintain sufficient levels of carnitine because this amino acid helps with energy metabolism during periods of fasting. Carnitine is required during ketogenesis to transport long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria, where the fatty acids are then oxidized to produce energy.
By burning fats instead of carbs, carnitine facilitates weight loss in people who are overweight. It turns out that marathon runners also supplement their diet with carnitine to help them get energy when their body runs out of carbs on long races.
Carnitine also promotes the aerobic metabolism of carbohydrates, which also releases energy. Some athletes take carnitine supplements for this reason.
Also, carnitine has been used successfully to improve the mechanical function and carbohydrate oxidation of hypertrophied (thickened) hearts and diabetic hearts.22
In summary, if you are looking for a supplement that will help your weight loss journey, talk to your doctor about L-carnitine.
- Office of Dietary Supplements - Vitamin C. Accessed September 24, 2020. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-Consumer/
- Health NRC (US) C on D and. Water-Soluble Vitamins. National Academies Press (US); 1989. Accessed September 12, 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK218756/
- Aquilano K, Baldelli S, Ciriolo MR. Glutathione: new roles in redox signaling for an old antioxidant. Front Pharmacol. 2014;5. doi:10.3389/fphar.2014.00196
- Hajjar I, Hayek SS, Goldstein FC, Martin G, Jones DP, Quyyumi A. Oxidative stress predicts cognitive decline with aging in healthy adults: an observational
study. J Neuroinflammation. 2018;15(1):17. doi:10.1186/s12974-017-1026-z
- Srinivas US, Tan BWQ, Vellayappan BA, Jeyasekharan AD. ROS and the DNA damage response in cancer. Redox Biol. 2018;25.
- Shyer JA, Flavell RA, Bailis W. Metabolic signaling in T cells. Cell Res. 2020;30(8):649-659. doi:10.1038/s41422-020-0379-5
- Nebert DW, Vasiliou V. Analysis of the glutathione S-transferase (GST) gene family. Hum Genomics. 2004;1(6):460-464. doi:10.1186/1479-7364-1-6-460
- Wu G, Fang Y-Z, Yang S, Lupton JR, Turner ND. Glutathione Metabolism and Its Implications for Health. J Nutr. 2004;134(3):489-492. doi:10.1093/jn/134.3.489
- Glutathione: Uses and Risks. WebMD. Accessed September 24, 2020. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/glutathione-uses-risks
- Alk. Vitamin B12 Deficiency Produces Neurologic Complications Without Anemia. Nejm J Watch. 1988;1988. doi:10.1056/JW198807120000009
- How to get the most vitamin D from the sun: Tips and other sources. Published August 28, 2019. Accessed September 25, 2020. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326167
- Calcium and bones: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Accessed September 25, 2020.
- Mailoo VJ, Rampes S. Lysine for Herpes Simplex Prophylaxis: A Review of the Evidence. Integr Med Clin J. 2017;16(3):42-46.
- Vitamin B complex: Benefits, uses, side effects, risks, and dosage. Published April 2, 2019. Accessed September 23, 2020. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324856
- Magnesium Sulfate Injection | Empower Pharmacy | Outsourcing. Accessed September 23, 2020. https://www.empowerpharmacy.com/drugs/magnesium- sulfate-injection
- Institute of Medicine (US) Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. National Academies Press (US); 1997. Accessed September 25, 2020. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK109825/
- Folic Acid for the Prevention of Neural Tube Defects: Recommendation Statement. Am Fam Physician. 2010;82(12):1526.
- Mahmood. The metabolic processes of folic acid and Vitamin B12 deficiency. Accessed September 25, 2020.
- Arginine: Heart Benefits and Side Effects. WebMD. Accessed September 25, 2020. https://www.webmd.com/heart/arginine-heart-benefits-and-side-effects
- Gad MZ. Anti-aging effects of l-arginine. J Adv Res. 2010;1(3):169-177. doi:10.1016/j.jare.2010.05.001
- L-Carnitine (Levocarnitine) Injection | Empower Pharmacy. Accessed September 25, 2020. https://www.empowerpharmacy.com/drugs/l-carnitine-injection
- Lopaschuk GD. Carnitine and Myocardial Glucose Metabolism. In: De Simone C, Famularo G, eds. Carnitine Today. Molecular Biology Intelligence Unit. Springer US; 1997:71-93. doi:10.1007/978-1-4615-6005-0_3