IV Vitamin Therapy
Vitamin D injections can offer a boost for your health, and could be suitable if you are feeling run down, have a chronic health condition, gut problems, or simply aren’t getting enough vitamin D from your lifestyle and/or diet.
We don’t make enough vitamin D for our needs here in the West. In fact, it is thought that around 20% of the UK population is deficient in vitamin D. The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) advises that everyone in the UK should supplement daily with 10 micrograms of vitamin D between October and March, with minority ethnic groups encouraged to supplement throughout the whole year.
Vitamin D ingested orally can take weeks, even months, to have an impact on your health – and much of the dose is lost when it is converted in the gut. However, intramuscular vitamin D injections have a much more immediate impact – some patients report feeling the effects right away. And because the vitamins are administered directly into the muscle, bypassing the gut, a much higher percentage of the vitamins can be utilised by the body.
So, what does taking vitamin D do?
Maintains bone density and bone health
Supports the immune system
Regulates the activity of more than 200 different genes
Aids the absorption of calcium and phosphate in the body (these are essential for muscles, teeth, and bones)
Helps prevent osteoporosis
Protects against heart disease
Supports brain function
Modulates cell growth
May help protect against respiratory infections
May alleviate symptoms of arthritis (research is ongoing but shows promising results)
Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble vitamins responsible for the intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphate. Two major forms of vitamin D exist (D2 and D3):
This is found in plants and is produced by ultraviolet B irradiation of ergosterol. It can be consumed as a supplement or in fortified foods.
A product of ultraviolet B irradiation of 7-dehydrocholesterol, D3 is synthesised in the skin or consumed in the form of natural foods (like fish), fortified food sources or as a supplement.
Both D2 and D3 ultimately achieve the same thing, but we prefer using D3 rather than D2 as it is far more effectively absorbed by the body. D3 is also 1.7 to 3 times more potent (Trang 1998, Armas 2004, Houghton 2006) and longer acting than D2 as measured by the active form of vitamin D in the blood (25 hydroxy vitamin D)
A vitamin D deficiency can put you at higher risk of health conditions including heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and depression. Signs that you may need more vitamin D include the some of the following symptoms:
Fatigue and low energy levels
Musculoskeletal aches and pains
Generally feeling unwell
Although we get vitamin D from our food, we do not get enough, and what we do eat is usually poorly absorbed.
From sun: Our bodies create vitamin D from sunlight on the skin. The problem with this is that we need to protect our skin from harmful UV rays and so we wear sunscreen. Sunscreen with SPF 30 and above effectively blocks out UVB rays, indirectly reducing vitamin D production by up to 95%.
From food: Another source of vitamin D is from our food. However, we don’t consume as much from food as you may expect. Animals, just like people, need sunlight to make vitamin D. Intensively farmed animals and animal products won’t be rich in vitamin D. So look out for free-range, grass-fed animals.
Vitamin D is fat-soluble and as such, being delivered in a fattier format aids absorption. Low-fat foods fortified with vitamin D won’t be as good as full-fat products.
As most vitamin D rich foods are from animal sources, if you are vegetarian or vegan you may find it difficult to obtain enough vitamin D and will need to pay extra attention to supplementing.
We see a lot of patients with chronic health issues that lead to low levels of vitamin D. Gut issues, like celiac disease and Crohn’s disease can cause malabsorption, preventing the body from using nutrients from food. Although less common, because vitamin D is mostly stored in the liver, kidney and liver disorders can lead to problems converting vitamin D into its active form.
There are a number of other factors that can increase your risk of vitamin D deficiency including:
If you wear a lot of SPF when outdoors it blocks out UVB rays, indirectly reducing vitamin D production
If you have darker skin (Asian, Mediterranean and Afro-Caribbean, for example). Darker skin tones or skin that tans easily makes less vitamin D compared to paler skin
Age. Elderly people make less vitamin D. It’s thought that absorption may be poorer in older skins, and the body is less efficient in converting it to its active form
If you spend a lot of time indoors
If you cover up your skin when outside
Those with darker skin tones may require 3-6 times more in the sun to make the same amount of vitamin D compared to paler skin tones.
Dr. Harpal Bains
Short on time? Get results in just 15 minutes!
The cost of vitamin D testing within a lab setting is high, and it can take around 3-7 days to get results. We now offer vitamin D testing at our clinic. This includes a mini consultation to review symptoms and medical history – all we need is a single drop of blood via a finger prick test. It’s affordable, accurate, and you only need to wait 15 minutes for the results.
We use the results to establish if you have a vitamin D deficiency and then administer the most suitable regime for your individual needs. The whole process takes 30 minutes from start to finish. Our friendly and highly knowledgeable team will be able to answer any questions you may have and suggest other vitamins that will complement vitamin D.
That depends! Vitamin D deficiency is common in the UK (According to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) 1 in 6 adults are deficient) and it’s recommended that everyone in the UK supplements between October and March. In our clinic, we are also seeing different patients having different ‘optimal’ ranges. For example, one patient may feel great at low normal ranges but others function better if they are within high normal ranges. There is no one-size-fits-all magic number and so for many, it makes sense to find out what your personal range is that gives you optimal results.
We are also seeing another interesting phenomena where people are consuming excessive amounts of vitamin D thinking that more is better. This has led to a recent increase in vitamin D toxicity as it is not water soluble and hence stays in your body for prolonged periods of time. This has repercussions and needs addressing.
You may like to consider vitamin D testing if:
When we are treating a patient with chronic health issues, we may recommend that vitamin D is incorporated into a wider IV vitamin therapy treatment plan, if appropriate. By beginning treatment with a front-loading approach, we have found our patients with chronic illnesses experience a much quicker recovery.
For those with symptoms of low vitamin D, we can tailor a course of shots or infusions designed to improve your health. When you book with us you will get a complimentary consultation with our IV clinician who will listen to your symptoms and will be able to recommend the best vitamins shot or IV drip for you. Everything is prepared freshly in the clinic during your appointment.
We have blood testing facilities available on-site and all patients have the option to go ahead with this if desired. Blood testing can give us a detailed picture of the exact nutrients you need.
All IV shots include a complimentary consultation with our IV clinician. This is a great opportunity to tell us your symptoms and goals and we will be able to tailor your treatment specifically to your body’s needs.
Vitamin D test
Vitamin D test - course of 3
100,000 IU vitamin D3 intramuscular injection
200,000 IU vitamin D3 intramuscular injection
300,000 IU vitamin D3 intramuscular injection
100,000 IU vitamin D3 intramuscular injection – course of 3