by Dr. Zoltan P. Rona, MD, M.Sc.
Intravenous nutritional therapy is invasive and should only be considered by those who have tried unsuccessfully to use strict diet changes and oral supplements to heal chronic health conditions. Although it is often used by healthy individuals, including elite athletes, to improve performance, it is by no means everybody’s first choice in complementary or alternative medicine.
Linus Pauling was right! Long before his death, he had published a great deal about vitamin C’s ability to effectively fight cancer when given in doses greater than 10,000 mg daily. On September 20, 2005, a team of scientists from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, published the results of a landmark study done using human lymphoma cells. The study argues strongly in favour for the use of intravenous vitamin C treatment as a scientifically proven way of beating cancer.
Similar positive findings were also published in the usually conservative Canadian Medical Association Journal earlier this year (CMAJ, March 28, 2006). This research basically demonstrated that, once in the bloodstream at high doses, vitamin C increases hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). This natural body biochemical then destroys cancer cells while leaving healthy cells and tissues unharmed. Hydrogen peroxide is also one of the body’s best defenses against bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and other microbes. Theoretically and in practice, IV vitamin C can therefore successfully fight a long list of infectious diseases through this peroxide mechanism.
Doesn’t the oral form of vitamin C work as well? Oral vitamin C, although beneficial for immunity, will not work to reverse cancer. One must get this nutrient in an intravenous form, using doses ranging from 25 to 75 grams (75,000 mg).
The late Dr. Hugh Riordan and his research group in Wichita, Kansas, studied the effects of intravenous vitamin C in cancer therapy for over 28 years. His findings, and those of other independent investigators, give new hope to cancer victims. Of further interest is the fact that intravenous vitamin C will work for practically all kinds of cancer regardless of the stage of the disease.
All cancer treatments, natural or otherwise, have potential drawbacks. While recent studies at NIH and elsewhere have shown no side effects or toxicities associated with intravenous vitamin C, there are some relative contra-indications and theoretical dangers. These include local pain at the infusion site, rapid tumour death (necrosis) with resulting toxemia, and allergic reactions and hemolytic anemia due to hereditary G6PD (glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase deficiency). With the exception of G6PD deficiency, all of these issues can be successfully dealt with to achieve the treatment benefits.
It has been falsely reported that vitamin C in mega doses can cause high blood levels of oxalic acid and oxalate kidney stones. Research over the past two decades has proven the opposite to be true – vitamin C actually prevents kidney stones. In those who already suffer from kidney stones, and who wish to use IV vitamin C, supplementation with vitamin B6 (100 – 300 mg daily) should be taken as a way of reducing oxalic acid levels in the body.
Blood tests can be done for G6PD deficiency before starting the IVs in order to rule out hereditary reasons to avoid vitamin C supplementation. Calcium and magnesium supplements could also be taken if one is sensitive to the acidity effects of vitamin C. Care must also be taken by anyone adversely affected by the infusion of relatively large amounts of fluid such as might occur in people suffering from congestive heart failure. Here, the infusions can be given over a longer period of time.
Intravenous vitamin C is just one example of a natural therapy that works differently from the oral intake form. Regardless of the amounts taken orally, only intravenous administration can achieve the blood levels required to kill viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi and cancer cells. Even intramuscular vitamin C cannot provide adequate levels to do the job. The story is the same for many other nutrients. To achieve therapeutic results in many chronic, seemingly incurable conditions, the vitamins and minerals must be given intravenously.
Another reason for using IV vitamins and minerals is the aging factor. As one gets older, the ability of the digestive tract to absorb certain nutrients is reduced. People who need various digestive enzymes to help absorb vitamins and minerals often benefit dramatically from IV nutrients because this procedure circumvents the stomach and intestines altogether.
The best example of this is the Myers’ Cocktail, a mixture of intravenous vitamins and minerals that have a long track record of safely reversing numerous health problems. Named after the late Dr. John Myers, the cocktail is known to help alleviate acute asthma attacks, migraines, fatigue (including chronic fatigue syndrome), fibromyalgia, acute muscle spasm, anxiety, depression, upper respiratory tract infections, chronic sinusitis, seasonal allergic rhinitis, angina, hypertension and other cardiovascular disease disorders.
Magnesium chloride hexahydrate 20% (magnesium) 2-5 mL
Calcium gluconate 10% (calcium) 1-3 mL
Hydroxocobalamin 1,000 mcg/mL (B12) 1 mL
Pyridoxine hydrochloride 100mg/mL (B6) 1 mL
Dexpanthenol 250 mg/mL (B5) 1 mL
B complex 100 (B complex) 1 mL
Vitamin C 222 mg/mL (C) 4-20 mL
Some doctors also add glutathione and adrenal cortical extract to the mixture for added antioxidant and energy boosting. The majority of individuals who get this IV will do so twice a week until feeling better, then maybe once a week or once a month depending on the case.
There are a growing number of naturopaths and medical doctors who offer IV therapies as well as our Thornhill Intravenous Clinic at HIgh Level Wellness.
The best thing to do is to first get a referral from your family doctor. Alternatively, contact the Canadian Complementary Medical Association (http://www.ccmadoctors.ca) or the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (http://www.ccnm.edu).
Dr. Zoltan P. Rona practices Complementary Medicine in Toronto and is the medical editor of The Encyclopedia of Natural Healing. He has also published several Canadian best selling books including Return to The Joy of Health and Vitamin D, The Sunshine Vitamin. For more of his articles, see www.highlevelwellness.ca