Taking intravenous vitamins, a health fad or a good idea?

If you’re a fan of The Kardashians, you’ve probably seen the episode where Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber get an IV injection of a strange substance: NADH+ (for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide). “I know it’s weird, but things like this comfort me and make me happy,” says the youngest of the clan on screen. But what exactly is NADH+? “The body produces energy in tiny cells called mitochondria, and this NADH+ substance is the cog in this loop that produces energy. These are micromolecules,” explains nutritionist Raphaël Gruman. If this practice can be dangerous, especially for the liver, there is an even bigger problem: intravenous vitamins. Banned in France, the method is quite widespread in the US and Spain, for example in health clinics. Cocktails used as a tonic to help fight falling out of shape, colds, water retention, body aches or even hangovers… Stars like Rihanna, Madonna and Cara Delevingne have never hidden that they are fans, but this is what he really hides. behind these stings? Are they not taking risks?

Vitamin cocktail party

On paper, serum therapy, as it is called, has it all: “it is especially suitable for people who want to quickly and effectively restore biological balance with as little toxicity as possible,” assures Dr. Rosario García. Department of Regenerative Medicine at At the SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain. In infusions given to patients? About vitamin C, B or D, nutrients or even cocktails depending on the desired effect. “Their versatility makes them great allies in drug treatment programs.” They combat the effects of sports overtraining and fatigue, reduce stress-related vulnerability, improve metabolic activity and emotional balance, and promote cell regeneration. They can also be used as a preventive treatment because they help to slow down the oxidation caused by free radicals,” continues Dr. García.

Faced with this unusual practice, we can ask ourselves the question: is the administration of vitamins directly into a vein more effective thansupplement ? According to the professional, intravenous nutrients can be replenished much faster and more efficiently than taking them orally. The reason is quite simple: they go directly into the blood and cells. “They use what they need and remove what they don’t.” In addition, we avoid crossing the intestinal barrier, which is often not in ideal condition, which affects the absorption of these nutrients. What does Dr. Rosario García recommend? Prophylactic treatment at least once a year and usually for fatigue or exhaustion, insomnia or mood disorders. A language Raphaël Gruman doesn’t quite share.

Practice with drifts

According to the nutritionist, it would be useless to drink vitamin cocktails intravenously. “People who use it believe that the body absorbs vitamins worse with food, drops or tablets. “Wrong observation, according to a specialist who ensures that the body absorbs the necessary amount of vitamins. “You should know that when vitamins are obtained with food, they are absorbed much better than when they are obtained synthetically. In today’s society, we still have a diet that remains varied and balanced enough to avoid major deficiencies,” he adds. The only exception? People who have a real deficit, such as those who have had their digestive system bypassed. Rare cases. “Intravenous vitamins are not for people who just feel tired. »

Worse, according to Raphaël Gruman, injecting vitamin serums would be dangerous to health. In some cases, this practice can increase fatigue, because the body is overloaded with the vitamin, which will then have to be removed and therefore work a little more. “There is a risk of excess vitamins, that is, we exceed the doses of the body’s capacity, and this can lead to blood and liver poisoning, which can be really, really serious,” warns the nutritionist.

“Orally soluble forms are sufficient for many”

Before taking any supplements, it is important to have a blood test to make sure you are indeed deficient. When a vitamin deficiency is detected, “we see how to correct it, but under no circumstances should it lead to an intravenous vitamin cocktail. There are more than enough orally soluble forms,” ​​says Raphaël Gruman. For his part, Dr. Rosario García wants to explain that serotherapy does not solve a specific nutrient deficiency, but rather the problem caused by this deficiency. “That’s why at SHA we have different formulas that allow us to personalize the treatment and adapt it to the specific needs of each client, always given in the recommended therapeutic doses for each case,” she concludes. We remind you that this practice is still prohibited in France.

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