Myers Cocktail is named after the Baltimore doctor that invented it, Dr John Myers. It comprises of a cocktail of vitamins and mineral given intravenously. Historically, it was given to help treat various ailments. Today, it has an interesting reputation as the latest celebrity ‘trend’ with everyone from Simon Cowell, Rita Ora and Rihanna to Madonna, Cindy Crawford and even Cara Delevingne. The focus on it being a celebrity trend has done a few things:
highlight the existence of this very interesting treatment
downplayed its real advantages by…
highlighting the ‘other benefits’ like post-binge drinking treatment, tiredness, and even dehydration as sadly, its more newsworthy
taken away from its relevance in managing a whole host of problems that are increasing with our modern day lifestyle and stresses, including exposure to pesticides and environmental toxins
The classic Myers is just the right mix of vitamins and minerals for overall wellness and maintenance. It comprises of a cocktail consisting of a variety of B and C vitamins, minerals like magnesium and occasionally trace minerals too.
So the million dollar question is- do we really need it?
My take is this. Assuming that the plate of food we eat today has the same nutrient content of a same plate of food, say 50-80 years ago, I’d say we probably don’t need it. In today’s term, someone who lives in the countryside (less pollutants, hence less oxidative damage to the body) and grows their own food or mostly eats organically (no chemicals or pesticides we hope), probably is fine and is able to extract nutrients from food efficiently. The nutrient that they are able to get is probably plentiful as well as balanced.
Fast forward to the rest of us living in the city, commuting for a living (stress+pollutants), eating quickly and cost-effectively (stress+low nutrient foods), having little downtime but a lot of work time (stress+++), little play and family time (stress++), travelling a lot (stress+pollutants), living the high life (nutrient depletion+stress) amongst any other variables you can think of.
There is a reason celebrities do it. They need to not fall sick and to be able to keep up with the demands of their gruelling schedule. They also happen to have access to people who are able to find short-cuts for them and they have the money to access these short cuts. We don’t think twice or judge them for using fashion stylists as a short cut to getting great style. IV drips are a short cut of sorts for someone who is generally well. So does that make it wrong? For some yes, for others (myself included), not at all- life’s too short to be ill!
For the well person, what does it do?
You might have noticed that I talk about stress a lot. We all suffer so much from it that its become part of our lives. But have you wondered biochemically what stress actually does in our bodies?
We are fight or flight kind of creatures. We thrive on it. But in this day and age, stress is constant and unrelenting. We have a continuous flow of stress hormones being released in our bodies. These hormones have to be made. The main building block for making hormones is cholesterol. With the whole low fat fad, the body is attacked yet again. We now have not as much building material. Cholesterol is then used to start the building work. Different types of workmen are required to do different things eg roofer, plumber, electrician. They can’t do each other’s jobs. They are the enablers- enabling different things to happen. Vitamins and minerals are the enablers in your body. Without them, a lot of chemical reactions cannot take place. We become depleted. Tired. Needing more and more sleep. Putting on more weight in the classical ‘stress’ fashion of fat face and belly with skinny limbs- then going to the gym for a high intensity workout that’s a stressor to the body- to try to lose that weight. And the cycle continues.
This is a very simplistic picture of what happens in our bodies but perhaps you get the idea. In a future blog on this subject, I will go into some research papers and medical uses of Myers.
In the meantime, have a think about the stressors in your life and how its affecting you. There's so much that can be done and knowledge is king.
Ali, Ather et al. “Intravenous micronutrient therapy (Myers' Cocktail) for fibromyalgia: a placebo-controlled pilot study.” Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.) vol. 15,3 (2009): 247-57. doi:10.1089/acm.2008.0410
Padayatty, Sebastian J et al. “Vitamin C: intravenous use by complementary and alternative medicine practitioners and adverse effects.” PloS one vol. 5,7 e11414. 7 Jul. 2010, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011414
Suh, Sang-Yeon et al. “Intravenous vitamin C administration reduces fatigue in office workers: a double-blind randomized controlled trial.” Nutrition journal vol. 11 7. 20 Jan. 2012, doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-7