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New treatment gives you vitamins through IV

July 25, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Many Americans take vitamins to stay healthy. Now, a new controversial vitamin treatment claims to give tired and stressed out people more of a boost.

It's called intravenous vitamin therapy. It looks like mad science, a lab guru creating a concoction some say could leave you feeling like a new person.

Maria Friedrick has tried it and swears by it.

"I felt energized after the treatment probably within six hours, and then the next day, I felt fantastic compared to how I had felt for weeks before," Friedrick said.

Dr. Kamau Kokayi says it's a way to get nutrients into the body quickly, using an IV.

"I would recommend vitamin therapy to individuals that find that they're really stressed, they're really tired and they don't have the named disease, but they know that something is wrong," he said.

Doctors tweak the therapy based on the patient's blood work and medical history. It usually contains a variety of things, like vitamin B complex, magnesium, B-5, calcium, B-12 and B-6.

The treatment is different than popping a handful of over- the-counter vitamins

"Because of the concentration that you can get of the nutrients, they bypass the GI tract. They go right into the blood and right to the cells," Kokayi said.

The American Medical Association has no policy on this treatment, and the FDA doesn't normally regulate vitamins or vitamin therapy unless they're used to treat a medical condition.

Kokayi says there are some drawbacks to consider, including time, needles and cost.

"You come in, you have to sit for an hour, you get a little needle stick," he said.

The therapy isn't typically covered by insurance, and it could require several treatments. Also, the effectiveness of each treatment declines as you start to feel better.


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