Taking intravenous vitamins, wellness fad or good idea?

If you’re a fan of “The Kardashian” series, you’ve probably seen the episode where Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber are injected intravenously with a bizarre substance: NADH+ (for Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide). “I know it’s strange, but this kind of thing comforts me and makes me happy”, assures the youngest of the clan on the screen. But what exactly is NADH+? “The body produces energy in tiny little cells called mitochondria and this NADH+ substance is a cog in that loop that helps produce the energy. These are micro-molecules,” explains nutritionist Raphaël Gruman. If this practice can be dangerous, especially for the liver, in its wake is an even larger problem: that of taking vitamins intravenously. Banned in France, this method is quite widespread in the United States and Spain, in wellness clinics for example. Cocktails taken as an infusion that would help fight a drop in shape, a cold, jet lag, body aches or even a hangover… Stars like Rihanna, Madonna and Cara Delevingne have never hidden being a fan, but that is he really hiding behind these stings? Are they risk free?

The party of vitamin cocktails

On paper, serum therapy, as it is called, has everything going for it: “it is particularly suitable for people who want to quickly and effectively regain a biological balance with as little toxicity as possible”, assures Dr. Rosario García, Coordinator of the Revitalizing Medicine Unit at the SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain. In infusions administered to patients? Vitamin C, B or D, nutrients or even cocktails depending on the desired effects. “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 functioning and emotional balance, and promote cell regeneration. They can also be used as a preventive treatment as they help slow down the oxidation caused by free radicals,” continues Dr. García.

Faced with this unusual practice, we can then ask ourselves a question: is taking vitamins directly into the veins more effective than a food supplement? According to the professional, the intravenous administration of nutrients allows a much faster and more efficient replenishment than when they are taken orally. The reason is quite simple: they pass directly into the bloodstream and the cells. “They use what they need and eliminate what they don’t. In addition, we avoid crossing the intestinal barrier, which is often not in perfect condition, which affects the absorption of these nutrients. What does Dr. Rosario García recommend? Have recourse to a preventive treatment at least once a year and generally in case of fatigue or exhaustion, insomnia or mood disorders. A speech that Raphaël Gruman does not quite share.

A practice with drifts

According to the nutritionist, taking intravenous vitamin cocktails would be of no use. “People who use it consider that through food or taking drops or tablets, the vitamins are less well absorbed by the body. “An erroneous observation according to the expert who ensures that the body draws the quantity of vitamins which it needs. “You should know that when vitamins come from food, they are much better absorbed than when they are provided synthetically. In our current society, we still have a diet that remains diversified and sufficiently balanced so as not to have any major deficiencies,” he adds. Only exception? People who have real deficits such as those who have had a bypass in the digestive system. Cases that are rare. “Intravenous vitamins are not for people who just feel tired. »

Worse still, according to Raphaël Gruman, the injection of vitamin serums would have a dangerous side for health. In some cases, this practice can accentuate fatigue because the body finds itself overloaded with a vitamin that it will have to eliminate later and therefore work a little more. “There are risks of overvitaminosis, that is to say that we exceed the doses of the body’s capacity and this can cause poisoning of the blood and the liver which can be really very serious”, warns the nutritionist.

“Orosoluble forms are largely sufficient”

Before embarking on any intake of food supplements, it is important to carry out a blood test to see if you have a real deficiency. In the event that a vitamin deficiency is observed, “we see how to correct it, but in no case should this lead to an intravenous cocktail of vitamins. Orosoluble forms are more than enough”, launches Raphaël Gruman. For his part, Dr. Rosario García wishes to clarify that serotherapy does not solve the lack of a specific nutrient but rather a problem generated 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 administered at the therapeutic dose recommended for each case,” she concludes. As a reminder, the practice remains prohibited in France.

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