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  • Writer's pictureDr. Tamer Rezk

Do IV vitamin drips really cure it all? (Spoiler, the answer is no!)

IV vitamins and IV rehydration drips have become increasingly trendy in recent years, sold with the promise of improving health and wellness. Of course, IV fluids have long been used in medicine to help patients who are dehydrated or need replacement of certain minerals (potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium).

Other instances requiring the use of IV fluids include infections, diarrhoea and vomiting where the body is unable to take in and absorb minerals and electrolytes such as sodium and potassium.

So why have IV vitamin drips become so popular? IV vitamins are often used after excessive use of alcohol, poor sleep and poor nutrition, after periods of stress or partying.

But IV vitamin drips are not without risk. Did you know that most companies and brands are selling solutions that have not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or other medical associations?

The solutions used include extremely high doses of things like Vitamin B’s and Vitamin C and claim to promote the clearing of free radicals etc. Drips are often administered in non-medical clinics by a nurse or healthcare assistant and if you read the small print you’ll see that an IV vitamin drips are notconsidered a prescribed medical treatment.

Here’s what’s important:

There is NO evidence backing the benefits of IV vitamin drips and it is unlikely that they have any significant short or long term effect. They are not used in the treatment of diseases and most importantly if they had such a powerful role in boosting immunity or energy the medical profession would be using them to support patients undergoing taxing treatments such as chemotherapy.

What’s more – remember, vitamins and minerals naturally enter the human body through the stomach and intestine. And - certainly in the case of minerals - when they are replaced by excessive amounts (as is the case in some of these IV solutions) the kidneys simply clear the excess into the urine! Nearly all vitamins and minerals can be found in natural food sources such as fruit and vegetables; or if truly deficient they can be taken in tablet form.

My advice:

Stay clear of IV infusions unless you have a hangover. And even then, a £1 IV saline (salt and water bag) is better than a £300 IV vitamin bag which claims to cure all!

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