It seems these days we are all looking for quick fixes and convenient solutions. However, some experts are saying beware to what is being sold as a healthy option.
Recently intravenous vitamin hydration treatments have become a popular solution to supposedly feeling better and giving your body what it needs. What was once reserved to a medical facility is now as simple as booking a spa like appointment or even having a professional show up to your home.
IV vitamin therapy was started by John Myers in the 1960s. It began as a way to treat conditions such as migraines, asthma attacks, and fibromyalgia. Recently the vitamin infusion trend has become a widely popular method to cure hangovers, increase energy, recharge your body or as some celebrities tout, help turn back the hands of time.
There have been some reports of companies that perform the treatments saying their IV therapy treatments can alleviate symptoms of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.
The trendy appointment is relatively quick and simple. The appointment typically runs 30 to 60 minutes and can vary in cost of $100 to $300. It is important to note to consumers that these type of IV therapies are not FDA-approved or are not covered by insurance companies.
Why This Trend May Be Hype
Vitamin supplementation is of course not harmful. Experts say however, our bodies need supplements in trace amounts, just few milligrams, which doctors say can be attained from diet. It is understood that water-soluble vitamins (vitamin C and the B) cannot be stored in the body. All excess comes out in our urine. On the flip side, the fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E and K can in fact can be stored in our liver, tissues, and muscles, but they can all be dangerous in excess amounts.
Experts say for the reason that our bodies need vitamins in small tiny doses and the body works to eliminate the excess, unnecessary IV vitamin drips are not beneficial.
Claims that these recreational IV bars can delay aging, boost immunity, or prevent serious disease, are myths. Experts say they are marketing that sounds good and sells services. Large amounts of vitamins are not stored in the human body like a gas tank. Despite what claims are being promoted, antioxidants are not being stored to help your body fight off aging or disease. Unless you have a known condition that is causing absorption issues, these types of treatments are not beneficial.
Medical professionals recommend obtaining the nutrients in a natural form through diet. Consumption of blueberries, broccoli and kale are the better route to take for antioxidant benefits.
Are the Procedures Safe?
IVs are essential in hospital care. When administered by a trained profession, putting in an IV line is not unsafe. However the procedures is in fact invasive and can involve some risk with the chance of infection. In addition, the vein can become inflamed or blocked with a dangerous clot.
There is also a chance of allergic reactions to infused ingredients being administered.
Another big concern is sanitation. Is the area where the IV cocktails are prepared sterile? Is the storage techniques proper to keep customers safe to potential major infection?
Current laws only allow health-care providers to give IV infusions, which would be medical doctors, RNs, PAs, NPs and LPNs. Companies offering drip IV services must have the special licensing. There has been known cases in the U.S. of IV clinics had non-licensed personnel administering the IV treatments to customers.
Bottom line, these fairly new types of businesses are unregulated and without proper inspection of the cleanliness of the environment and potential of expired products. Experts warn there can be a dangerous outcome for customers who are buying into the health benefits of the trendy procedure.