Do the Consequences of IV Vitamin Drips Outweigh the Benefits?

Despite being lauded by celebrities and influencers, IV vitamin drips may have health consequences.
Despite being lauded by celebrities and influencers, IV vitamin drips may have health consequences.

IV vitamin drips are popular among celebrities and influencers for boosting immunity, sleep quality and weight loss. Most IV drips have pre-mixed cocktails of vitamins and nutrients that are blended to hit a certain goal, whether it be weight loss, increased energy, younger-looking skin or to speed up recovery and improve fatigue from lingering Covid-19 symptoms.

A recent article in Women's Health delved deep into the topic and reported that, among other things, there isn't any scientific evidence to back up these claims. 

Related: [Study] Nutritional Supplements On the Rise

According to Ross Perry, GP and medical director at Cosmedics skin clinics, one of the main selling points is the ability to deliver a high dose of vitamin D. But the body takes a long time to break down the vitamins, and excessive exposure can lead to health problems like loss of bone density, heart attack, nausea, headaches and kidney problems.

Takács István, a professor at Semmelweis University in Budapest, told Women's Health that some IV vitamin drips can contain up to 600 times the amount of milligrams of certain vitamins needed by the body. István says the link between high doses of vitamin C and an improved immunity is not backed by science, and that excess intake will be disposed of through urine. Unfortunately, this can increase the risk of creating kidney stones.

Further, the body can control the absorption of nutrients when consumed orally, but the IV method bypasses the gut-liver system, removing that protective mechanism. This leads to dangerously high levels of nutrients and risks toxicity, said István.

In fact, Kendall Jenner was hospitalized in 2018 after reportedly having a bad reaction to a Myers cocktail IV drip, made up of saline solution, magnesium, calcium and vitamins B and C.

Women's Health reports that some clinics in the U.K. offer bespoke drips, which involve blood testing each client to ensure that they only receive the vitamins their body requires, thus removing the concern about nutrient levels that can cause the health problems listed above.

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