Trim Wellness Cafe isn’t a cafe by traditional standards.
Customers are not greeted by a waiter when they walk inside, and they won’t find a menu to order food or drinks. Instead, a unique menu of intravenous and injection vitamin supplements awaits their perusal.
The brainchild of Dr. Brent Agin, a Clearwater-based family medicine practitioner, Trim Wellness Cafe, 9655 U.S. 41 N., does not offer food but it does offer nutrition. Through IV and injection supplements, the company’s vision is to prevent illness and promote health through nutrition. By sending vitamins directly into a person’s bloodstream, the effects of the IV and injection therapies are felt immediately and, according to Agin, are absorbed quickly and effectively.
“The school of thought is that people aren’t good about consistently taking vitamins or medicines they’re prescribed,” said Dana Roberts, an advanced registered nurse at Trim Wellness. “If people get the infused, they’re getting profusion everywhere where the venous system goes.”
When patients first arrive at Trim Wellness, they’re given the option to have micro-nutrient testing done to determine if they have any nutritional deficiencies in their system. While the test isn’t routine, it gives Trim Wellness the opportunity to address any underlying nutritional deficiencies with an IV tailored to supplement multiple deficiencies or address the problem with a singular injection, such as a vitamin B-12 shot.
Trim Wellness Cafe also offers therapies to aid in anti-aging, weight loss and weight performance. With the weight loss treatment starting at $299, each therapy comes with a variety of IV treatments and caters to the patient’s wants and needs.
Those involved with Trim Wellness acknowledge IV and injection therapy may not be for everyone, including those who are needle-phobic.
“It’s for people interested in cutting-edge health and doing whatever they can to maintain their health,” said John Munzenrieder, a business-partner with Trim Wellness. “If getting a shot interferes with that, then this isn’t for them.”
There are some in the medical community who are skeptical of Trim Wellness’ claims, especially when it comes to weight loss. Beth Brewer, a Naples-based registered dietician at Physician’s Regional Medical Center-Pine Ridge, says the best way to ensure a person has a balanced diet is through food, not IVs.
“I don’t believe in IV supplemental nutrition, but rather whole-food nutrition,” she said. “The best way to get vitamins and minerals is through lots of fruits and vegetables and a well-balanced diet.”
Research has yet to be done on IV treatments to determine its long-term effects on patients, Brewer said, noting that nutrition is still a relatively new field. She admits different strategies work for different people, especially when it comes to weight loss, and depending on the person, IV and vitamin injections may be an effective way to lose weight.
“The positive effects it gives you may be a quick fix if you can’t get your vitamins and minerals through food,” she said.
Not everyone who goes to Trim Wellness Cafe is looking to lose weight. As Agin puts it, there are people looking to optimize their health. For patient Dave Bruning, the Marco Island Half Marathon was the perfect reason to look into the Cafe. After speaking with Roberts, Bruning thought it was too good to be true. Despite his initial skepticism, he signed up for the sports performance package, and, after his first treatment, went out for a run.
“I had been stuck at a 26-minute 5k and I hadn’t been able to bust it,” he said, referring to the five-kilometer run. “I hit 25 minutes that night.”
At first, Bruning didn’t base his new time on the IV treatment — he called it a fluke. He continued with the treatments, however, and upon his last IV, Bruning was a day away from the half marathon. In a previous time trial, Bruning had run a two-hour and 25-minute half marathon — he completed the Marco Half Marathon in one hour and 51 minutes, nearly 30 minutes faster than he had ever run before.
“I was a little bit sore the next day, but nothing like what I should have been,” he said. “Breaking two hours is one of those things that half marathoners want to do. I don’t think I could’ve done it without the treatment.”
Agin has high hopes for Trim Wellness. Through continued research and use, he hopes to build his patients’ immuno-defense mechanism, which would help keep them from getting sick. With vitamin C being used in high doses as a cancer treatment in other countries, Agin said, he hopes to see positive long-term effects in his patients, but stressed that taking an IV supplement won’t change a patient’s life overnight.
“You have to be proactive,” Agin said. “The patient is the biggest advocate to their health. This is by no means a magic pill, but people have to do their part.”