091: Dr. Craig Koniver on Using IVs for Modern Nutrient Deficiencies

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Are IVs the Answer to Modern Nutrient Deficiencies with Dr. Craig Koniver
Wellness Mama » Episode » 091: Dr. Craig Koniver on Using IVs for Modern Nutrient Deficiencies
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091: Dr. Craig Koniver on Using IVs for Modern Nutrient Deficiencies

Dr. Craig Koniver is here to share about a health topic that might be new to many of you listening. It sounds a little unusual! Ever thought about taking vitamins … through an IV?

I’ve been interested in nutrient IVs for several years since receiving one at my doctor’s office and noticing the results. Thanks to a few gene mutations, it is hard for me to absorb certain nutrients correctly, and the IV seemed to really help.

Today, I delve into the science behind nutrient IVs with Dr. Craig Koniver, creator of the FastVitaminIV™ system, the only patent pending performance medicine IV that delivers vitamins, minerals, and amino acids directly into your bloodstream in 60 seconds or less.

A proactive (and natural) approach to health? Yes please!

Dr. Craig Koniver on Vitamin IVs

Early in his medical career, Dr. Koniver realized he wanted to offer his patients more than prescriptions. He opened Primary Plus Organic Medicine LLC in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2006 and turned his attention to learning about the cutting edge of natural medicine.

Dr. Koniver noticed the growing trend of professional athletes and patients interested in receiving nutrients intravenously and began to look for a better way to deliver these benefits (without sitting with a slow drip IV for an hour).

As someone who has struggled for a long time my thyroid, I know how challenging it is to figure out certain health issues. You can make all the “right” changes but still be missing a piece a big piece of the puzzle. Nutrient IVs have been a part of that missing piece for me, and I hope it can help some of you who suspect you might be in a similar situation.

In This Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • reasons why today’s population is more nutrient deficient than ever before
  • the major epidemic affecting women today
  • how much benefit we really get from those expensive oral vitamin supplements
  • why we often can’t get all our nutrients from food, even with a healthful diet
  • what macronutrients and micronutrients are, and how they control hormone balance in our bodies
  • Dr. Koniver’s unique solution to managing health proactively, and why he chose it
  • what makes fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D so important, and how to know if you have optimal levels
  • the role of amino acids in the body … it’s one we don’t want to ignore
  • benefits of glutamine: the all-important amino acid for gut health
  • the vitamins Dr. Koniver considers most essential to his protocol (he makes sure they are in every FastIV!)
  • why the speed of intravenous nutrients matters (beyond just saving you time)
  • where to get access to nutrient IVs, who should get them, and how often
  • positive hormone-boosting effects of putting down your phone and tapping into real community
  • Dr. Koniver’s own strategies for reducing stress and improving health in everyday life
  • my own take on how it feels to get a nutrient IV, and whether I recommend the experience!

Resources We Mention


List of Fast Vitamin IV nutrients and their indications

Have you heard of intravenous vitamin therapy? Would you try it?

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Katie: Welcome to, “The Healthy Mom’s Podcast.” I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com, and I’m really excited for today’s interview. It’s gonna be fun and it’s gonna be a new topic for probably a lot of listeners. I’m talking to Dr. Craig Koniver, who’s the founder of FastVitaminIV, which is the only patent pending performance medicine IV that delivers vitamins, minerals and amino acids into your bloodstream, and here’s the best part, it’s in 60 seconds or less. I’ve done nutrient IVs in the past but a lot of them take an hour or more, so his system is very, very quick.

Since graduating from Brown University and Jefferson Medical College, he has specialized in the cutting edge of natural medicine. I’ve met Dr. Koniver personally, and he’s an amazing doctor and an amazing person. So, several years ago, he noticed there was a growing trend of these nutrient IV drips and he performed these for professional athletes and for his patients, but he noticed while they were delivering results, he thought no one should have to wait that long to get the results, and there had to be a faster way. And thus, FastVitaminIV was born. And I’ve gotten a chance to try it, so I’m excited to chat with him today.

So, Dr. Craig, welcome. Thanks for being here.

Craig: Thanks so much, for having me. I appreciate it.

Katie: Of course. So like I said, I’ve been interested in the idea of nutrient IVs for several years since, I actually received one first at my doctor’s office and I noticed the results. And for me personally, I have some gene mutations that make it really hard to absorb certain nutrients correctly, and the IVs are a great way to kind of bypass that. And, of course, this is an area you’re really knowledgeable about, so for anyone who’s not familiar, can you explain what a nutrient IV is and why people use them?

Craig: Sure. So most people are familiar with IV fluids. When they get sick or they have a gastroenteritis, people often tend to get a bag of fluid, which is either water or saline. And a nutrient IV is trying to be proactive instead of just adding, you know, water or saline to the system, to the body, nutrients are added to that fluid so they’ll be different, commonly vitamins and minerals added so those nutrients can drip in.

And it’s different than, you know, someone being really sick and just needing to be rehydrated. It’s, they’re gonna get, in the terms of the nutrient IV they’re gonna get those nutrients in intravenously. And for most people it’s pretty profound because, you know, as you mentioned, it’s hard to assimilate nutrients for any of us and when we…you know, we estimate that when we eat food and we take oral supplements, we only get about 20% of those nutrients absorbed.

Katie: Yeah, that’s a pretty staggering amount, especially you hear all the statistics about with declining soil quality and all the over spraying of crops, where actually, it’s impossible to actually eat the same amount of food and get the same amount of nutrients that like for instance, our grandparents did. So it’s like one of those things it’s sad that we actually have to turn to it, but also great that there are solutions like this. So, who do you think benefits or who can benefit from nutrient IVs, in general? I know I mentioned professional athletes, but you’ve worked with all kinds of people on this.

Craig: I do, right. And so, right, it’s worth pointing out, right? So, soil studies over the last several years, I mean they parallel the rise of chronic disease. So the lack of minerals and elements in the soil is greatly attributed to chronic disease, just as you pointed out. And I agree, it’s one of these thing but it’s a shame we have to rely on using something like a nutrient IV. You know, I think almost anybody can benefit, commonly. So the most common populations of people who do nutrient IVs, you know, they’ve become very popular with the hangover crowd because people say, “Oh, you know, if I’m abusing my body with alcohol, it’s good getting these IVs.” There’s not a lot of truth to that, but that’s what people think.

But, you know, people who are tired, people who certainly have any gastrointestinal disorders, malabsorption, any of those type of disorders, chronic fatigue, any hormonal imbalance. You know, all of our hormones are dictated, in a sense, by certain nutrients and it’s a complex network that involves lots of hormones, lots of nutrients. You know, from my lens of the world, everything comes down to biochemistry, so if you’re missing some of these key nutrients, which could be vitamins, could be minerals, amino acids, then you don’t have the tools to do all the things you need. So they really apply really across many types of diseases or types of populations.

And, you know, really, for anyone who’s interested in changing how they feel quickly, I mean, I think that’s the best part about them, is that because when you do a nutrient IV you’re getting 100% absorption of nutrients, you can feel better very quickly. So that’s a really neat effect.

Katie: Yeah, for sure. Because even with…so we talked about food and the low absorption rate, and that typically applies to most supplements as well, right, that are taken orally?

Craig: Yeah. It’s the same thing. I mean, the principle of supplements is right, the name implies it’s a supplement to your diet, right? It’s supposed to give you what you can’t get through eating. But the problem is, you know, as I’m sure your listeners know is, number one, supplement quality varies greatly across different supplement brands. And unless you’re purchasing a supplement that’s high quality, you’re likely gonna get a supplement that may have fillers or contaminants or may not be tested. So that’s number one.

But number two, even when you take a high quality oral supplement, you’re only gonna be able to absorb, like I said, about 20% of those nutrients. And the way I think about that is if you were to go and take a $100 bill to the bank to cash it and they’d…you know, a $100 check, and they would give you less, you know, you’d say, “That’s not fair. I brought you $100, I should get $100 back.” And that’s kind of how it is when we’re eating and taking oral supplements, is we think, “Oh, we’re gonna get this great return,” but we don’t. And so, that’s a problem.

Katie: Yeah, exactly. So I wanna definitely go deeper on the IVs, but first I’d love to hear more about your story. Because you have Primary Plus Organic Medicine, which is a clinic in South Carolina. And I’d love to hear how you got into natural medicine, to begin with, and then, especially from there, how did you get into IV therapies?

Craig: Sure. So I’ve always been somewhat naturally-minded, thinking outside the box. You know, I was in traditional training through residency, I did family medicine, which I liked because I like building relationships with people.

And then once I finished my residency here in Charleston, South Carolina, I had to open my own practice because I wanted to do things differently. You know, working with people and you get to a point, I mean, I got to it early in my career is that, you know, I’m writing prescriptions because certainly, you know, traditional medical training is all based on the pharmaceutical model, which is we are taught that when a patient comes in complaining of a symptom that there’s one or multiple medicines that will fix the problem.

The reality is, though, is that that’s not true. And, you know, once you start realizing that as a doctor you’re just managing the medicines instead of helping the patient, that’s even worse. And so that got me thinking that there’s something else, that that can be done to help patients.

Another reason, I think more of a more personal reason, is my daughter was born and she had colic and so she was crying a lot. So we go to the pediatrician and was told, “Oh, don’t worry about it, she’ll get over it in a few months.” And I was thinking, well, that’s, you know, that’s not really good advice, if she was an adult you wouldn’t just say, you know, “Suck it up, we’ll see you in a few months.” It’s only because she can’t really talk for herself.

So that caused me to wanna look outside the box and say what else is out there? And you know what I learned, and I think what probably a lot of your listeners know is, you know, this thing we call health, there are so many tools available and there are so many options. And unfortunately, with medicine, especially traditional medicine, we have taken those tools and said none of them matter because now we have prescriptions, and prescriptions matter more than anything. And there is certainly a time and a place for prescription medicine, but there are so many other options, one that are natural and safe, that have been time tested over years and generations that work and work better.

And so, once I started, you know, opening that box to get outside of conventional medicine, it was very, very easy for me to think differently and want to approach how I work with patients differently, and wanting really just to be able to offer different options. And so from there, you know, one of those options that I learned early on was nutrient IVs. You know, again, instead of being reactive and just waiting for people to be sick, my approach is let’s be proactive and help people be, you know, healthy.

And so using nutrient IVs proactively is something that, early on, I aligned to because it was, again, it works, but also works quickly. And one interesting thing about health and wellness, and especially with conventional medicine is to forget or neglect, that for most patients, number one, they just wanna feel better, and so just giving out all these medicines is not solving that problem. But you give the patient a nutrient IV and very quickly do they feel better. So that’s kind of how I got into it.

Katie: As a family doctor, what are some of the problems that you’re seeing the most in patients, in today’s world? And what seems to be on the rise?

Craig: So there’s a couple. I mean, I think as a whole, I mean, there’s a couple that I see come back, time and time again. Number one, I think there’s this concept for patients that, you know, being healthy is easy, and so that, you know, just to look good and feel good, it should just come easily. It’s difficult, because we don’t live 100 years ago where we could eat really high quality dense nutrients easily by just, you know, how we could kill our own food or breeding animals or we could grow our own food including vegetables and fruits. We can’t do that anymore.

And so one of the biggest things is that people have this sense that health should come easy, and then they don’t wanna take care of themselves because taking care of themselves takes a lot of time and energy and even expense, right? Because in order to be really selective about what you eat, you have to make time to exercise, you also have to make time and practice healthy thoughts. And, you know, that alone, the healthy thoughts is really lacking by most people.

And I think some of that, if I had to say what is the biggest challenge for people these days, it’s really this digital technology and people getting lost in knowing how to communicate and not having downtime and not knowing how to be contemplative in their life. And that’s a huge problem. And that, I think, is tied into, you know, some self-responsibility, personal responsibility for really wanting to make yourself feel better. And I think what I see more and more, I generally see patients who have complicated medical problems, who have seen five or six doctors, who are frustrated, and the doctors really don’t know what to do with these patients because, you know, the doctors, again, only have one tool or so in their tool box, which is pharmaceuticals. And what the patients want is just to feel better and understand what’s going on with them.

And, so a lot of it is, you know, hormonal imbalances for women, low thyroid function has become an epidemic. I think that is due to nutritional issues, toxicity issues, in the environment where, you know, we have a lot of soy, people consume a lot of soy, we’re exposed to things like mercury and heavy metals. Our soil is replete with, you know, bad things versus, you know, healthy minerals and so we don’t get enough selenium, we don’t get enough vitamins.

And certainly, for women, I think, it’s low thyroid has taken over. And from my experience, low thyroid then contributes…the thyroid hormone seems to be the linchpin for other hormones to work. And so, you know, what do I see a lot? I see a lot of people with poor nutrient assimilation, so low, you know, bad nutrition, and then hormonal imbalances. I mean, those are the two biggest things.

Unfortunately, most people don’t wanna take the time to sort that out, eat well, exercise, think positive thoughts, and so they end up on multiple prescription medicines, which actually sets them back further than helping them move further along.

Katie: I love that you said that about people’s mindset and community in the interaction of technology. I’ve seen a lot of them, both articles and studies recently talking about how we really are, they don’t totally understand yet how we’re even gonna adapt to this whole social media world where it’s like a fake community, but it doesn’t have the same benefits. And I’ve seen the studies that show that both women and men who have close groups of friends and good community, live longer. And there’s a definite aspect there, the mindset aspect. And I think you’re right, in today’s world it’s easy to ignore that part, and I have a lot of people do. It’s a hard thing that you have to really pay attention to and be intentional with.

Craig: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you have to be deliberate to put down your phone and to be able to engage in some sort of contemplative exercise. I mean, I saw a patient yesterday, this gentleman who’s in his early 40s who’s busy working a lot, and, you know, I do a lot especially lab testing, and his cortisol was low. His stress hormone was really low. And he’s like, “Well, why is that? You know, I exercise a lot.” And I asked him, I said, “I’m assuming, I’m gonna guess here, that you don’t take much time where you’re just being and you’re engaging in that contemplative side.” He’s like, “No, I never do it.”

And I think that’s a huge problem because, you know, cortisol, our stress hormone, if you don’t pay attention to that, that ultimately catches up with people. Behaviorally we all have the option of, you know, again, engaging in some sort of contemplative exercise. You know, a lot is talked about meditation, but prayer, listening to music, journaling, something where it’s quiet, you’re not using technology, but you’re going inward, I think is vitally important.

And I think it’s gonna actually be the biggest challenges for families with children, you know, being able to tell those kids too that you have to have some limits for when they’re using phones and iPads and video games. And it’s not so much that the onset of the invisible waves, it’s literally that we don’t take time to just be. And I think that’s a huge problem.

Katie: I agree. And like you said, especially with kids, I feel like my childhood was pretty much lived outside. My mom would she’d send us out and be like, “Don’t come until dark.” And kids these days don’t do that.

Craig: I know. It’s crazy. I totally agree. I have conversations with people about that same topic all the time, because now kids come home and they’re just on the, you know, they’re on their phones or on video games. They don’t get outside. They don’t experience this natural world we live in. And that certainly, then attributes to things like, you know, more allergies and more autoimmune disease. It certainly goes hand-in-hand, so.

Katie: For sure. And I think you also hit the nail on the head with a lot of people who just assume that health should be easy these days, because for most of history it was. Like, our grandparents pretty much stayed relatively healthy and thin a lot of their lives, until I feel like the disease really start to hit their generation as they got older. But I think you’re right, people don’t wanna put the work in, the hard work in. And it is hard work.

And I think there’s also this perception that we should be able to get everything from food. I get that pushback a lot on my blog even, is, “Well, why do we need supplements, because we should just get everything from food?” And I would guess you might hear that same thing about the IVs, like why do we need IVs? We should just get it all from food. But like you said, we’re having deficiencies in a rate that’s not happened before in history.

So let’s go back to IVs and go deeper, like what specifically can they provide that food doesn’t?

Craig: Well, again, so if you look at it from a biochemical stance, if you break down nutrition first, right, nutrition, we have macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. And then we have the micronutrients, which are gonna be the vitamins and minerals, per se, elements. And they’re both important. But anything we eat is a macronutrient that gets broken down into further smaller molecules, you know, ultimately to individual nutrients.

So protein, you’re gonna break that down into different amino acids. And those different amino acids do several different things in the body. Number one, they help build neurotransmitters in your brain. So an easy example is serotonin, the social neurotransmitter that comes directly from tryptophan. Well, tryptophan is in all protein sources and unless you’re eating a sufficient supply of protein, you can’t get enough tryptophan. And if you can’t get enough tryptophan, you can’t make enough serotonin. It’s pretty linear.

And so if you can’t make enough serotonin, well, then that’s gonna leave people not feeling well and that tends to, you know, manifest with anxiety, depression, OCD. And that all goes back to a nutrient, tryptophan, which people are not assimilating well. And so, when we take a supplement, we can be more…we can take those individual nutrients. You know, you can take tryptophan as a supplement and you’re getting a higher dose because it’s very concentrated. And that allows us to, you know, get that nutrient in, in a way that we can then restore or restock those…you know, making serotonin, it goes into serotonin, first and foremost.

When we then take it a step further, and if we know that number one, we’re not absorbing oral nutrients well, so we have to then make up for it with supplements. But then the problem is, is we don’t absorb a lot of oral supplements well. Well, then the next step is, well, how else do we get these nutrients in? And the great way is to get them intravenously. And so the intravenous nutrients can be of wide varieties of, including tryptophan, amino acids, to vitamins and minerals.

The one area of vitamins that we can’t really get intravenously is the fat soluble vitamins, so vitamins A, D, E, and K. Generally, that has to come from food we eat or supplements. But, you know, very basically, the IV nutrients are the same things we’d be getting from food but, you know, as we know through studies in time, we’re just not getting those.

People say, “Oh, we definitely are getting all the same nutrients from food.” Well, then why are so many people, you know, sick, overweight, tired and depressed? Like, if it’s working, then why do we have a society of adults who, you know, greater than 50% are on more than one pharmaceutical medicine? Like, that’s not normal. But we’ve assumed it’s normal because that’s the only thing we know. So it’s a problem.

Katie: Yeah, definitely not normal. So, I wanted to touch on the fat soluble vitamins before we move on from that. So those, typically, at least, it seems like people are able to absorb more easily from food, is there a different mechanism by which they’re absorbed? And like, obviously vitamin D can be absorbed or created on the skin through the sun, but how can people make sure they’re getting those? As those are not ones they can really get from an IV.

Craig: Yeah. But I think it’s tough to get the fat-soluble nutrients, and I think actually that is a big problem. So vitamin D certainly, has gotten a lot of press because we assume that we will take the sun ray Vitamin D in our skin to active vitamin D in our bloodstream. And actually, that assumption was wrong and that’s why, you know, the vast, vast, vast majority of adults are vitamin D deficient. And when I say deficient, I don’t mean at, you know, there’s a range of between 30 and 100 as the level. When we talk about, you know, deficiencies, I look for people to be optimal. And there are several studies that support, you know, vitamin D level of 70 or greater as being optimal, and by optimal it means we’re preventing diabetes, helping with normal weight, preventing heart disease, preventing cancers.

So, many things come from just vitamin D alone, but what’s interesting is with the fat-soluble vitamins, is they all have to work together. And probably, what will get more press to have sufficient vitamin A for there to be normal vitamin D metabolism. And then we think that vitamin K, the fat soluble vitamin K is vitamin K2, which is needed to then regulate both vitamin D and vitamin A.

And so it’s hard, I agree with you that we can assimilate fat soluble vitamins better. I don’t know if we can assimilate them better, but they store in our fat. So there’s more of less of an issue with having to keep up with it because when we intake those fat soluble vitamins from, you know, fatty fish, fish oil, coconut oil, olive oil, different, you know, whole fat dairy, we are able to store those vitamins as opposed to the water soluble vitamins, which we can’t store. And so I think, I’m not 100% sure that we assimilate them better, but we’re able to store them. So, if that makes sense.

Katie: It does. So, then back to the amino acids and the other types of vitamins, I feel like, from talking to you before, you do IVs a little differently than a lot of people do as far as…until I met you I was getting only IVs that had glutathione or vitamin C or B vitamins. So talk about like why those would be on an IV, and then also what you add that’s different for that.

Craig: Sure. So, you know, the way I look at vitamin IVs or nutrient IVs is that, number one, we want nutrients that, you know, are synergistic, that work well together. And so taking something like glutathione, which is a powerful anti-oxidant, glutathione then breaks down quickly, so we don’t want to mix glutathione with anything else because it will break down quickly. Also on that note, because glutathione breaks down quickly, we wanna give it as a push. So we wanna, you know, you take it out of the vial, you wanna push it into the vein because you don’t want it sitting out in the, it will break down quickly and it really won’t be glutathione anymore.

So when people use glutathione in a bag and let it drip in, that’s, you know, if you just follow the science that’s not the way it should be done. Same with vitamin C breaks down very quickly and so vitamin C has to…you know, the other thing about vitamin C is it has high osmolarity. And so what osmolarity is, is every nutrient has this number called osmolarity, which is basically how thick or how big it is when it disperses in a solution.

Well, vitamin C has one of the highest osmolarities, meaning it’s very thick, it’s actually like syrup. So when you get vitamin C, it only works if you dilute it, and it only works actually if you get very large doses. And so when people get different nutrient IVs in general, some mistakes I see being made is, one, they’ll add glutathione to the bag. That’s incorrect. Or two, they’ll only add a little bit of vitamin C and say, “Yeah, we’ve put some vitamin C in there.” And vitamin C, when it works, it has to be significant, we’re talking 50,000, 100,000, 200,000 milligrams at a time. And that’s just a different type of IV.

So most people who use vitamin IVs use some type of B vitamins and then some minerals with it. The thing I see missing, though, is the amino acids. I mean, there’s a plethora of amino acids. Again, amino acids, you know, make up protein, and amino acids are responsible for solid structure, so muscle, ligaments, cartilage, as well as neurotransmitters in the brain. So they really help our nervous system.

And I like using amino acids a lot because I think they make a tremendous amount of difference in how people feel and helping to kind of build people from the inside out. And I’m talking about things like acetyl or carnitine, glutamine, again, I talked about tryptophan earlier, thyroxine. There’s a whole host of amino acids that work very well. And for some reason, you know, a lot of people who do nutrient IVs don’t include these amino acids like they could be, so.

Katie: That makes sense. So you mentioned the serotonin connection to tryptophan. And I’ve seen a lot of research on glutamine and the gut, what other things do these amino acids do in the body?

Craig: Yeah, that’s a good question. Yeah, glutamine is wonderful for building or restoring the gut lining. And glutamine may be the most important amino acid to regulate muscle growth or synthesis, that’s probably debatable in terms of another set of amino acids that are called the branched-chain amino acids, which is Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. Of the three, Leucine seems to be the best of the bunch.

And research shows that Leucine may be the key amino acid that’s needed for muscle growth, and this is why people who work out a lot, they use these protein powders after they work out. Those recovery drinks tend to have a lot of branched-chain amino acids and tend to have a lot of glutamine, because you wanna supply those muscles with that key nutrient after you’ve stressed the muscle from working out, lifting weights, whatever. You wanna supply those nutrients to help build it and grow.

But we can use those same nutrients intravenously and it works quite well. And, you know, people, again, are familiar with taking protein powder, but these…well, we can do the same thing intravenously, I just think people haven’t used them as much. I don’t know why. But I use them with my patients in our IVs and they’re very successful in helping people achieve a lot of their health goals.

Katie: So, are the absorption rates different? Like vitamins are absorbed, obviously, more easily in an IV, is the same true for these amino acids?

Craig: Yeah. I mean, again, you know, each amino acid is gonna have its own osmolarity. And they do have different pharmacokinetics in terms of how long they stay in the system and how well they’re absorbed. As a whole, though, any sort of nutrient that you give intravenously, whether it be vitamin, mineral, amino acid, is gonna be absorbed at a very high percentage compared to any other route.

And so the question then is, okay, if we’re getting these nutrients in, then how long do they last while they’re in the system? And that brings up the question of, you know, how often should people be doing any sort of nutrient IVs? Because, again, when we do these nutrient IVs, it’s only water-soluble nutrients, so we can’t store them. The ones we use with FastVitaminIV have a lot of amino acids again, but they’re not gonna last that long, and so really, for people to get benefit from nutrient IVs, you need to be doing them regularly. And for most people, regularly is once to twice a week.

Katie: And is that perpetually or is there like an acute phase where people are doing it more often and then once their body kind of is able to get back to a good level, or do they do them less often? What’s your typical protocol?

Craig: It’s a good question. And so, you know, in terms of how long do people need to do this? And it’s a hard question to answer because we’re faced with the dilemma that as a society, you know, we’re bringing more and more toxic things in the environment, which makes it much more difficult for us to assimilate nutrients. At the same time, we’re stressed out more than ever, than we’ve ever been, and so, as a whole, our health is just seems to be declining. And so it’s more of a struggle to be healthier.

And in that context then, you know, doing a nutrient IV which allows you to get very rapid and high percentage of these nutrients, and doing that on a regular basis, yeah, I mean you can do that indefinitely. And my patients who’ve been doing that for years and years have the best health. Now, those people probably it’s not just the IVs, right? I mean, if you have the attitude and approach that you’re gonna be very proactive about your health and you’re gonna get a nutrient IV every week or sometimes twice a week, you’re also doing other things as part of your health, right? You’re thinking good thoughts, you’re eating well, you’re exercising, because you take your health seriously.

And so, you know, the nutrient IVs are not gonna be the only tool in the tool box, they’re not gonna be a silver bullet, but they are a very powerful way to get nutrients in quickly and regularly in a way that you can’t with any other method. And so, yeah, I mean, they can be used perpetually. And I would argue that that’s a good thing because when you…again, I tend to see the world from this biochemical lens, like everything is biochemistry when you break it down. Well, when you’re always replenishing the fuel and the nutrients in your system, then you’re always giving yourself the best chance.

Katie: Okay, I definitely agree. So I wanna talk on the practical level now and have you kind of explain the process. So, from my own experience, I’d had regular nutrient IVs in the past, which looked like a normal IV, You sit there for about an hour and you just feel the fluid going in, but there’s no kind of dramatic or noticeable effect, except for maybe some energy afterwards.

And with yours, you kind of prepared me ahead of time, but it was wild. It was like you taste it for a second and then you feel like there’s really, like a warmth in your body that kind of, I guess it gets going with your bloodstream, because you feel it like in your head and then all over down to your feet. And then you feel a little light-headed, or at least I did. So explain, like, what that process is, and why are people feeling like that, as their bodies are assimilating these things?

Craig: Sure. So in the FastVitaminIVs which took, you know, years and years to develop and tested on thousands and thousands of patients, I was seeking to find something that would work, one, quickly, and two, that worked powerfully so people would really get a benefit. And so what I learned is that there’s a couple key nutrients that will provide that effect to help get the nutrients in. So one of those nutrients is magnesium, and so in every FastVitaminIV we use a lot of magnesium.

And we also use a lot of niacinamide. And people are familiar with niacin, as like the niacin flesh. Both of those, magnesium and niacin, are vasodilators, meaning they open up the blood vessels, and so, you know, when you…again, when you give it intravenously, you’re gonna open up those blood vessels quickly. So what we learned about the FastVitaminIV is that, while I was developing this is I have found through, again, doing a ton of these with patients, is the faster we’re able to get these nutrients in, the faster and better the result. And by faster, I really mean fast. And so we push these in 60 seconds or less, and that is where we see the benefit. This is quite, quite different than when we do a drip IV that slowly drips in, you know, taking 30, 60, 90 minutes.

And what I found is, and what I speculate, is that when we get all these nutrients in quickly into the bloodstream, we’re actually really helping to push those nutrients into the cells and muscles, and that’s the effect. And so we get this vasodilating effect from the magnesium and niacin, where we open up the blood vessels and then we get all those nutrients in and all of that blood is circulated around your body very quickly so you get that immediate burst, or we call the fast push effect, where the lights go on. And then, for most people that’s going to last somewhere between three and seven days.

Now, what’s interesting then is, and this certainly wasn’t intentional, but because we found that we’re able to get better results when we push the nutrients in, in 60 seconds or less, we also found then that people are able to do it on a regular basis. Because we’re only taking three minutes out of their day, they can commit to that once a week or twice a week as opposed to, you know, doing a regular nutrient IV where you’re sitting there for an hour or two hours at a time, which, again, we tried it in society is we’re running out of time.

And so, it works really well because, one, you get the boost effect but, two, you can do it regularly. And when you do it regularly, that’s when you get the most benefit.

Katie: Gotcha. So, I’m sure people may be wondering where they can find these and how they can find access to them. And unlike a supplement that you can buy on Amazon, there’s a little bit more of a barrier to entry, I would guess, and someone has to actually give an IV. So, talk about where people can find these and how do they find a location.

Craig: Yeah, it’s true. There’s a bit of a barrier to entry. So even though the FastVitaminIV is only 30 CCs and it takes a minute or less, it still has to be administered by a nurse who is going to do it, stick the needle in the vein. And while we don’t insert an IV catheter and let that needle stay there, we hold it in place for a very short amount of time. This is not something that you can do to yourself. This isn’t just like a B12 shot where people can just get B12 and have someone give it to them.

And so it’s a…you’re right, it’s a little bit more difficult to get this, so what we’ve done as a company, we currently sell to different clinics around the country. And then as of this week, we are in New York City opening up the direct to consumer model, where people in New York City can order the FastVitaminIVs and a nurse, or part of our mobile nursing network, will come give it to them. All this is listed on our website. And what we encourage people to do is, you know, even if you’re living in a place where there isn’t the FastVitaminIV, is located yet, please reach out to us. And that information is on our website. Because we will help you find someone to administer the FastVitaminIV. Because we’re gonna grow, and our goal is to be able to administer this to many people across the country as we can, one, because we’ve seen such amazing benefits. And two, when you get these amazing benefits, people really feel better, and when they feel better in a short amount of time, they’re able to do so much more with their day and their life, and they provide more meaning for themselves.

Katie: Absolutely. I know, for me, from the original nutrient IVs and then especially now from the FastVitaminsIVs, I feel like it’s even helped my thyroid quite a bit. That’s been my long term health struggle, and it really is helping. And I know, from when we talked before, people, if, they’re for instance their doctor is open to it, their doctor can reach out to you, like any doctor can reach out to you and order these, correct, and then give them to patients in office?

Craig: Absolutely. Yeah. So, again, we…another differentiating factor between our FastVitaminIVs and other IVs is we get all of our vials made in what’s called the 503B outsourcing facility. And so this means they’re all tested at the highest level of stability and sterility. And that means also, though, that they’re shipped and packaged and they’re easy to use. There’s no mixing in the back of an office or back of a van, it’s all ready to go. And so as such, we are able to ship them to doctors all across the country for patients to be able to, you know, participate in that.

Katie: Gotcha. So that’s an easy way, if someone maybe is listening and thinking this would really help them, they can see if their doctor can reach out to you. And, of course, the link will be in the show notes of how to get your doctor in touch with you.

Katie: Do you love the taste and the benefits of bone broth but don’t love how time consuming it is to make? With the time you spend sourcing the best ingredients and then simmering it for hours on end on the stove. Kettle and Fire solves that problem with their bone broth. So they use only bones from 100% grass-fed pasture raised cattle that are never given hormones and antibiotics. It’s also unique because they focus on bones that are especially high in collagen, which is one of the healthiest things you can put in your body. Another great thing about them is that they use really eco-friendly minimal packaging and their bone both is non-perishable. So unlike many bone broths on the market, it ships without the need for refrigeration, which is also much more eco-friendly. It is available in many stores, so definitely check your local area. But if it’s not, like it isn’t for me, you can order it online and have it shipped to your door, which is what I do. So to check it out and to find out more about why their bone broth is so wonderful, go to kettleandfire.com/wellnessmama

This episode is sponsored by Plant Therapy. There are so many options out there when it comes to essential oils and I’ve used a lot of them over the years. Now I most often turn to Plant Therapy because they have a large assortment of organic oils and a whole lot of kid-safe blends and they also have really good prices. The cool thing is their oils have no additives or synthetic ingredients like a lot of oils do. And they publish their testing results for all of their oils so you can verify the quality. I’ve talked a lot about the safe use of essential oils and their kid-safe blends are formulated by Robert Tisserand, who is largely considered one of the foremost experts in essential oil safety, so I feel I can trust him. If you want to check them out, especially right now they’re running some big sales that are changing daily. Go to wellnessmama.com/go/oils to get all the current discounts.

Katie: Do you think that it’s reasonable to hope that at some point in the future, things like these will be actually integrated into healthcare or at least be like widely available?

Craig: I mean, I hope so. I think the trend is that people are recognizing, you know, we’re still talking about the minority of people who believe that they can personally affect their health with natural means and not have to go down just the traditional medical model of using pharmaceuticals and relying on that.

So, you know, as a whole, though, that number, that minority is growing into a much larger population as people understand, one, that they can feel empowered to really take control of their health. Number two, that there are so many other tools that are outside the pharmaceuticals that work and can work better. And then number three, you know, these vitamin IVs are becoming more and more popular. Again, they’re becoming more and more popular because people are doing them for hangovers, but nonetheless, the word is spreading.

And so, yes, I hope, and it’s our goal that we can really supply these to people all over the country, and they can do them on a regular basis and see that it’s very quick and easy to kind of propel their health in a very positive and even fun way. The fast push effect, which you described earlier that you felt with the warmth and feeling dizzy, most people really like that feeling. I mean, it’s a really unique feeling because very few things that we take, whether it be a supplement or food or even a pharmaceutical, cause us to feel something in that moment.

And that’s one thing I like about, is when people get this fast push effect, it causes you just to be in the moment. And when you’re in the moment, that’s where you’re living life. And so, I think it works really well on several levels. And, yeah, it’s our hope that we can really spread this is to as many people as possible.

Katie: Yeah, for sure. And the question I’d love to ask, especially of doctors who are health-minded and who are themselves working to be very healthy, obviously, I’m sure the FastVitaminIVs are part of your routine normally, but also what other things do you do, do you feel like, that are kind of needle movers for your health or that are part of your routine, whether daily or weekly?

Craig: That’s a good question. You know, for me, I strive to have balance. It’s very important for me, even though I’m very busy at work, to have downtime. Like I just think that I put emphasis on that. I make sure that I’m reading a lot, I like to read, and I think that’s a very contemplative thing to do. So I like to read. I like to have downtime. And I think that’s a very important part of my schedule, daily, weekly, monthly.

Certainly, I do all the right things in terms of I exercise regularly. I also am a big believer in eating a lot of protein and fat. You know, probably I think fat is the most misunderstood macronutrient. And, you know, like I’m one who I love coffee but I use a lot of butter and heavy whipping cream in my coffee. I’m a big believer in eating as much fat as possible, and I think that that helps me feel good most of the time.

For me, also I just try to keep things simple. I think life is speeding up at a pace and, again, we’re challenged with digital technology to keep up. And if you’re able to take a step back and just simplify things in your life and focus on, you know, what really matters, then lots of good things happen.

You know, one of the things I tell my patients is, you know, we get in life what we focus on, and the problem is most people focus on the wrong things. And so if you just take that point and you just focus on what you want and don’t focus on the negative, it can be life changing.

Katie: Yeah, I love that, for sure. And the question I love to ask toward the end is, what are three things that people don’t know or understand about your area of expertise? You have a very specific area of expertise and you work with a lot of patients, so what are three things people misunderstand about that, and what would you tell them?

Craig: Well, number one is that, you know, building a product like FastVitaminIV takes a lot of time. We didn’t just come up with some protocol overnight that we, you know, use every day. It has taken years and years and years to get to this point. And I think, you know, the foundation for that starts with being open-minded and accepting that, you know, nutrients, biochemistry, really matter. So all these things I learned in terms of at college and in medical school in bio-chemistry and organic chemistry, come back into play, and it all kind of builds upon each other.

And it takes a long time to build something like a FastVitaminIV, like it’s this innovative vitamin IV that’s totally different than everything else, any other vitamin IV out there. And so that would be the first thing I would say.

The second thing I would say is that, you know, what I enjoy about what I do and practice is that I get to work with patients and I get to, you know, help them when things don’t always go well. And, you know, I think a trend now with social media and the internet is you have these doctors or healthcare providers who get to…you know, they get to promote products, but they don’t really understand how things work. And I can totally say that, you know, I do the work in the trenches and see lots of patients every day, and I’ve done that for years and years and years, and that has put me in a position where I’m very comfortable when things go wrong as well as right.

And I remember one of the first things that I learned in medical school was this pediatrician gave a talk and he said, you know, the job of you is going through medical school and becoming a doctor is learning who is really sick and who isn’t. And I think that’s a really key point, because there are a lot of really sick people, unfortunately. And I think as a doctor it’s really important to be able to work with those people and be able to help people with complicated issues that don’t always, you know, are not easy fixes, so to speak.

And so, for me, I take pride in the fact that I do this every day and it’s not something that I can just look at and say, well, and just give advice. Like I have to deal with the consequences when things don’t go well, and that’s a lot, right? Because everyone’s an individual.

And that leads me to my third point is that, you know, my view on health is different because I really think that we need to get away from this generic, you know, everything is the same for everyone, kind of the robotic way that, you know, generic pharmaceutical medicine has pushed, as everyone is an individual. And as such, we have to understand everyone’s story from their point of view. And that’s very challenging and very difficult to do, and I think it’s why a lot of people struggle to make health progress, is because we’ve all got different, you know, genes, we’ve all got a different back story, and we all come into this from different angles. And if we can all just appreciate that and hopefully understand that better, then I think we can make a difference in a faster way.

Katie: That’s beautiful. I love it. And I’m sure a lot of people are wondering, so where can they find you, both online and in real life? And also, where can they find vitamin IVs?

Craig: Yeah, I mean so the website fastvitaminiv.com. I’m in Charleston, South Carolina, where it’s beautiful here most days of the year. And, yeah, but FastVitaminIV is the easiest way to get a hold of me. That’s where I spend most of my time is, you know, figuring out how we’re gonna, you know, work with these vitamins IVs to get them to more people and to innovate. We have three formulas out now, we have several more coming out closer to the end of the year. And it’s just a lot of fun.

And I think one last thing I’ll say is, you know, what’s really neat about these FastVitaminIVs is that it puts a positive spin on people’s wellness and well-being, which is very different than, you know, medicine, which just tends to be negative and fear-based. And so, yeah, people are interested please check out, fastvitaminiv.com, and we look forward to hearing from you.

Katie: And I’ll definitely include all of those links in the show notes. And like I said, if you’re in the area that’s not close to where you personally are or not in New York City, what I’m working on doing here is getting a local doctor to be able to carry these. So reach out to your own doctor and you can put them in touch with Dr. Craig through his website. So all those links will all be in the show notes.

Dr. Koniver, thank you so much for being here. This was such a fun interview, and I’m personally very grateful for your technology.

Craig: Oh, thank you. Thank you for having me. I enjoyed it very much, enjoyed working with you.

Katie: And thanks so much, to all of you for listening. I’ll see you next time on the “Healthy Moms Podcast.”

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

Read Transcript

Thanks to Our Sponsors

This episode is sponsored by Kettle and Fire Bone Broth. If you love the benefits of bone broth but don’t love the time it takes to make and how tough it can be to find quality bones to make it, Kettle and Fire is for you! Their bone broth is a regular staple in my kitchen these days, and it was what I used to create the recipes in my new bone broth e-book (releasing later this year).

So they use only bones from 100% grass-fed pasture raised cattle that are never given hormones and antibiotics. It’s also unique because they focus on bones that are especially high in collagen, which is one of the healthiest things you can put in your body. You can find them in many Whole Foods on the west coast and you can also order online at KettleAndFire.com/WellnessMama

This episode is also sponsored by Plant Therapy. There are so many options out there when it comes to essential oils and I’ve used a lot of them over the years. Now I most often turn to Plant Therapy because they have a
large assortment of organic oils and a whole lot of kid-safe blends. (It doesn’t hurt that they also have really good prices!) Their oils have no additives or synthetic ingredients and they publish their testing results for all of their oils so you can verify the quality.


Their kid-safe blends are formulated by Robert Tisserand, who is largely considered one of the foremost experts in essential oil safety, so I feel I can trust him. If you want to check them out, right now they’re running some big sales that are changing daily. Go to wellnessmama.com/go/oils to get all the current discounts.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


9 responses to “091: Dr. Craig Koniver on Using IVs for Modern Nutrient Deficiencies”

  1. Nicole Nelson Avatar
    Nicole Nelson

    Hi Katie,
    I love your podcast and listen regularly while out walking my baby in nature! I have a kind of personal question about this particular episode and your own health practices. So, after quite awhile of dealing with what I believe is a thyroid issue but getting nowhere with Western medicine, I finally decided to bite the bullet and will be going to Dr. Christianson’s clinic in Scottsdale in November. I know that you personally saw Dr. Christianson and he helped you get to the bottom of some of your health issues. Unfortunately, he is not taking on new patients but I am able to see a colleague.
    In this podcast, it was mentioned that you have been doing “traditional” IV treatments until you tried Dr. Koniver’s FastIV. He also indicated that many practitioners are not giving patients the correct components in standard nutritional Ivs. So, I am curious if in your experience, Dr. Christianson’s practice has moved towards the FastIVS as an option or if you are seeing a different practitioner now. Are you still followed by Dr. Christianson? I imagine that you have a number of options given all the amazing experts you feature on your podcast.

    Love your work and curious about your experience with this! Thanks for all you do!
    A Happy Mama,

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      Hi Nicole! His whole office is great so whoever you see, you should have a good experience. The IVs he uses are still great and are the correct ratios based on what your body needs. I think Dr. Koniver was talking about these pop-up “hangover clinics” that offer IVs with general amounts of different vitamins without testing to see if they are needed. I’d still feel great doing either type (Dr. C’s or Fast IV) if needed.

  2. Nicole Nelson Avatar
    Nicole Nelson

    Hi Katie,
    Love your podcasts and listen to them while I’m walking the baby out in nature! I am dealing with a lot of long term health issues that I suspect are related to thyroid and symptoms have recently worsened after an injury. I finally decided to bite the bullet and am feeling very lucky to be seeing Dr. Lauren Beardsley with Dr. Christianson’s practice (he is not accepting patients) in November. I know that you personally saw Dr. Christianson and I believe Dr. Wentz talked about him as well during one of her interviews. I am curious if Dr. Christianson’s Integrative Health practice utilizes this type of IV. You mentioned that up until trying the fastvitamin IV you had been using more “traditional” IVs. This doctor made it sound like some of those traditional IVs are not very effective. Since nutritional IVs are a part of Dr. Christianson’s practice and it is very possible they might be recommended for me, I am just curious as to your experience. If you feel comfortable sharing, I’d love to hear more. Are you still followed by Dr. Christianson or have you switched doctors? You get to meet so many great minds, I imagine you have different options.

    Thanks for all the great information and wonderful guests. I always learn so much and have tried to incorporate many of the suggestions. But yes, I still do eat sugar in moderation! 🙂
    A Happy Mama,

  3. Kristen Avatar

    Great info! I’ve been wanting to do IV therapy so I’ll have to see if I can find one in my area.

    1. Kristen Avatar

      How do we find someone in our area? I don’t see that option on the website.

  4. Marcia Avatar

    Sounds very intriguing. Also, unfortunately, very expensive so out of reach for most.

  5. Iris Avatar

    Interesting interview. I have never heard of the Nutrient IV but it seems like a great idea. I have to check with my doctor but I don’t think that she would be up for it. Thanks!

  6. Jacee Avatar

    I’m sorry. I just can’t listen to someone (who obviously is very knowledgeable) continue to say “you know”, “like, you know”, incomplete sentences, “I mean” in inappropriate places. Seriously, Dr?

    1. Nikki Ostrower Avatar
      Nikki Ostrower

      GREAT interview.

      I’m opening a brand new wellness center in NYC, NAO Wellness on 28 West 12th Street where we’ll be administering the FastVitamin IV mid-August 2017,

      Mention Wellness Mama to get a 10% off discount on your first IV.

      XO, Nikki

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