See how Dubai residents are building immunity to fight COVID-19

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Many health and wellness clinics around the UAE offer multivitamin infusions. Picture for illustrative purposes only.
Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: In times of COVID-19 when stress and fear can compromise your immunity, we are all looking for a single shot one a month or once a fortnight that can work as a kind of magic potion that not only works as anti-ageing elixir but also helps boost energy, build immunity, re- hydrates as well detoxifies the body.

Welcome to the world intravenous vitamin infusions that are nothing but pick-me-up macro and micro-nutrition packed bombs that kick start the energy flow, revitalising your circuitry. Many health and wellness clinics around the UAE offer multivitamin infusions that not only work for hair, nails and skin but also work on supporting, blood sugar metabolism, hypertension and anti-ageing process.

Sanjay Parashar

Take the case of Nina D, an expatriate of an Indian origin from an East African country who recently moved to Dubai. Recounting her case, Dr Sanjay Parashar, Dubai-based cosmetic surgeon and founder of beauty and aesthetic clinic, Cocoona, said, “The patient came with severe facial skin pigmentation and low energy levels. She had received many kinds of treatment including peelings but her skin was worsening. We started her on multivitamin drips and after 2-3 sessions she had an excellent improvement in skin and overall improvement in her confidence as well.”

Why do we need multivitamin infusions?

Intravenous multivitamin drips help the body quickly absorb the nutrients through the blood stream and begun working immediately. Dr Fiona Caslin Cowie, aesthetician and Specialist in family medicine at Dermalase Clinic at Al Wasl, Dubai said that offers this treatment at the clinic explained: “Multivitamin infusions are a big part of wellness and integrative medicines where we look how to live optimally. Our bodies are exposed to such high levels of pollution, radiation, metal toxicity, chemical fumes from paints, bad food choices and toxic levels of stress that have a direct impact on our health. These drips help neutralise the impact of environmental stress and pollution on our body.”

Dr Parashar, pointed out that IV infusions of multivitamins had a far more efficacious outcome than ingesting oral pills. “Almost everyone today takes vitamins. However, the latest technique to replenish vitamins quickly is directly through the blood steam. The tablets we take have low absorption rates and most of it is not absorbed by the body. However the body can absorb up to 100 per cent of fluids and nutrients delivered intravenously, which go directly into the bloodstream and work immediately to rehydrate your body and improve your energy levels.”

How do these multivitamin drips work?

Dr Fiona Caslin Cowie

The daily wear and tear faced by our bodies has an adverse anti-oxidative impact that can be countered with these drips. Dr Cowie explained: “For instance, very often don’t think twice before having soft drinks from an aluminium can where we actually ingest some parts of that dissolved metal, when we take bath with water that is not having a PH balance, we damage our skin and hair, then we have high sugar, high oil fast food, junk food with high trans-fats that messes up with our digestion and interferes with the microbiome of our gut flora. In addition, we undergo stress at work, in relationship, environmental stress especially during COVID-19 times. This releases the hormone cortisol in our blood stream that has an adverse impact on our health. All these factors deplete the nutrition from our body and we see our hair, skin, nails and bones taking the impact. The hair starts falling, nails become brittle and skin becomes dull. We put on weight with stress eating that in turn gives rise to poor digestion. We have over13 different varieties of multivitamin infusions to address different issues. For instance, many people suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome or a leaky gut or attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) condition. It has been seen an infusion with essential amino acids has a therapeutic effect on boosting energy levels and addressing these issues.”

How infusing body with essential amino acids triggers deep healing?

Dr Cowie explained: “Our body requires several essential amino acids such as isoleucine, lysine, phenylalanine and many others which enhance the body’s ability to synthesise protein and provide nitrogen balance important for muscle building.” Quoting a research published in the journal of applied nutrition she said: “The subjects in this study suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and were given a combination of amino acid infusions to address different health issues and over 90 per cent of them reported a marked improvement in their condition. For instance, the amino acid Carnosine, which is composed of amino acids Histidine and Alanine helps buffer acidity and releases muscle fatigue. Other amino acids such as Aspartic acid, glutamine acid, proline and serine have an important role in conversion of carbohydrates to energy and help relieve CFS. There are infusions tailored to the needs of the individual ranging from activating your Gastrointestinal (GI) tract to correcting sugar metabolism and anti-ageing infusions to name a few.”

How is the patient assessed?

Dr Cowie conducts a non- invasive Oligo scan, which is a sophisticated device that measures mineral and metal imbalances and also multivitamin deficiencies. The scan takes less than 10 minutes and based on the reading, an infusion is specifically designed for the patient. Dr Cowie said: “It takes about 30 minutes for the infusion to be administered via an IV drip and people report amazing impact with one dose. For a course of multivitamin infusion to address a health issue, we prescribe one infusion in 15 days for a period of 3-6 months with very good results.”

Some Common infusions:

• Anti-Stress and Antioxidant: Fights oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Research has shown that raised glutathione levels decrease muscle damage, reduce recovery time, increase strength and endurance and shift metabolism from fat production to muscle development.
• Energy Boost and Fitness Hydrating Support Infused with B vitamins to boost energy levels and, glutamine that increases your ability to secrete human growth hormone, this infusion helps metabolise body fat and support new muscle growth.
• Glowing and Radiant Skin: Rich in vitamin C and glutathione, which is vital to detoxify the skin. Not only is glutathione a powerful antioxidant, but it is essential for helping your skin recover from the daily damage caused by sun exposure and great at combating visible signs of ageing
• Hair Regeneration: This is tailored to help the hair looks glossy, healthy, and full. It strengthens the hair and helps prevent hair loss. It is infused with essential vitamins and minerals such as b vitamins and zinc to stimulate hair growth
• Immune Boost and Hydration: This drip is tailored with high dose of vitamins and minerals required to boost the body’s immune system. With high dose of ascorbic acid, b vitamins and magnesium as the main components of this drip, resistance is increased against most pathogens.
• Amino Acids Drip: An advance IV Amino Acid Therapy that can tailor-fit your protein requirements. This drip can help relieve chronic fatigue, depression, insomnia, anxiety, addictive disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, and leaky gut. It can also help prevent memory loss and help those who are having a hard time gaining or losing weight. It also helps to provide positive nitrogen balance for effective body building.
• Vitamin Mix: A tailored multi- mineral vitamin, necessary to make you always feel and look great. With a mix of super-antioxidant, immunity booster and detox drips, this will give you a total wellness and prevention of any further disorders
• In addition to these there are specific drips for diabetic support, cardio- support, memory boost and other health issues.

At Cocoona Clinic too, vitamin therapies are customised to suit the needs of the patient. “Our vitamin therapy is customised for each patient. We do thorough blood analysis to understand what the patient needs and then a concoction is prepared exclusively for the patient. It’s important to do the analysis to ensure there is no overdose.”

Can people suffer form an overdose or toxicity?

Both doctors said that the insistence on prior examination and tailor-made solutions was to ensure there was no chance of toxicity. “Usually most vitamins are water soluble and are excreted out when in access,” said Dr Cowie.

Dr Parashar seconded that. “Most vitamin overdoses do not have serious implications and any discomfort or side effects experienced are temporary as excessive vitamins are not absorbed but thrown out of the body. But the assessment ensures the correct dosage to avoid any discomfort.”

Multivitamin Therapy not a substitute for healthy food and lifestyle

Both Dr Cowie and Dr Parashar pointed out that these infusions were not a replacement for a healthy lifestyle. “An important thing to remember is that this is not an alternate to healthy lifestyle. These are all boosters in addition to eating and living healthy. If a person was to eat unhealthy food and live a non-active lifestyle, the effect of these drips will be poor. As your body is under a lot of stress already and it is not going to give the results these treatments should,” concluded Dr Parashar.

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