Let's be frank, here. Many of us like to jump on the back of celebrity wellness trends now and again - especially those that promise maximum results for minimal effort.
But one of such practice, which certainly fits that brief, has drawn criticism of late. Not simply for being expensive and ineffective, but for having the potential to be actively harmful.
If you've never heard of an IV vitamin drip before, it's essentially a bag of high-dose vitamins, minerals and other nutrients which enter the body via a small tube that's inserted in your vein. Its proponents claim this method of delivery means the vitamins can act quicker, as they directly enter your bloodstream.
Celebrities and influencers have been singing their praises for years, telling of how they've used the drips to help boost their immune systems, sleep better or even lose weight. However, a doctor has said that there is no scientific evidence to back up their benefits.
Dr Takács István, of Semmelweis University in Budapest explained to the Daily Mail: 'People who suffer from long Covid, athletes who expect to see improved performance and faster recovery or anyone looking to feel more energised or fit visit these places regularly.'
However, he went on to say that some of these IV vitamin drips could contain up to 600 times the amount of mg our bodies need when it comes to certain vitamins, and 'very few (people) are aware of the risks involved' when taking this amount.
'Linking higher doses of vitamin C to improved immunity is not backed by science. Since the body doesn't store it, the excess will be disposed of through urine increasing the risk of kidney stone creation,' he explained.
While he also claims that the IV drips don't help your body absorb the vitamins quicker: 'Since vitamins administered via IV bypass the gut-liver system, larger quantities enter the body than what it can safely tolerate. This leads to dangerously high levels of nutrients and risks toxicity.'
He continues: 'While the body has the ability to control the absorption of the nutrients consumed orally, IV therapy doesn’t allow for any "protective mechanism".'
It follows the following warning from NHS England's top doctor Professor Stephen Powis back in 2019.
'People who are healthy do not need IV drips,' he said. 'At best they are an expensive way to fill your bladder – and then flush hundreds of pounds down the toilet – but at worst they can cause significant damage to your health.'
To get another lens on the topic, WH contacted Dr Ross Perry, GP and medical director of Cosmedics skin clinics.
'One of the main selling points of these vitamin drips is their apparent ability to deliver a high dose of Vitamin D, amongst other all-important daily vitamins our bodies need to be healthy,' he explains.
'However, it does take the body a long time to break these vitamins down and administering them excessively can lead to health problems such as loss of bone density, heart attack, nausea, headaches, and kidney problems.'
Most IV drips have pre-mixed cocktails of vitamins and nutrients, blended to hit a certain goal: weight loss, increased energy, younger-looking skin or - latterly - to speed up recovery from long Covid.
However, some clinics around the UK offer bespoke drips, which involve blood testing each client.
They claim this means clients only receive the vitamins their body requires, thus removing the concern about overburdening the body with excess levels of fat-soluble vitamins that highlighted by various medics, above.
Still, given the therapy's pretty dismal risk / reward ratio, we'd urge you give this particular wellness aid a wide swerve.
And please do keep in mind that if something promises to speed your path to peak wellness, without you contributing much besides a generous chunk of your paycheque, it is probably too good to be true.
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