Vitamin injections have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, especially among celebrities and influencers. From improving skin clarity to boosting energy levels, the promised benefits of vitamin infusions are endless. However, are these claims backed by science, or is it just clever marketing? In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the ingredients in these celebrity vitamin infusions, the actual benefits they provide, and separate hype from fact.
A typical celebrity vitamin infusion usually contains a mixture of vitamins, minerals, and sometimes amino acids. Popular ingredients include vitamin C, B-vitamins, calcium, selenium, zinc and magnesium. These vitamins and minerals play an important role in almost all biological processes but do they really need to be injected rather than obtained through diet?
Many celebrities claim that vitamin injections help with everything from weight loss to anti-aging. Still, most of these alleged benefits are based on anecdotal evidence rather than any scientific findings.
Let’s take a look at some of the actual research behind intravenous vitamins and minerals in order to separate fact from fiction.
The Myers’ Cocktail is an intravenous (IV) treatment that consists of a combination of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, calcium, vitamin C, and various B vitamins. It was developed by Dr. John Myers in the 1960s and has been used to address various health conditions such as fatigue, migraines, fibromyalgia, and others. While there is limited research on the Myers’ Cocktail, some studies have explored its potential benefits:
A study by Gaby (2002) published in “Alternative Medicine Review” provided a review of the clinical experience with the Myers’ Cocktail. The author reported that the IV treatment had shown positive effects on various conditions, including acute asthma attacks, migraines, fatigue, fibromyalgia, and chronic sinusitis. However, it’s important to note that this review is based on clinical observations rather than randomized controlled trials.
A randomized controlled trial by Ali et al. (2009) published in “Medical Science Monitor” investigated the effects of the Myers’ Cocktail on fibromyalgia patients. The study found that the participants who received the IV treatment experienced significant improvements in pain, tender points, and depression compared to the control group.
In a pilot study by Zhang et al. (2012) published in “Global Advances in Health and Medicine,” the researchers studied the effects of the Myers’ Cocktail on patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. They reported improvements in fatigue levels, but the small sample size and lack of a control group limit the study’s conclusions.
High dose Vitamin C for Cancer?
Yes, there has been research exploring the potential benefits of high-dose intravenous vitamin C in cancer treatment. However, the results are mixed, and more research is needed to establish its effectiveness conclusively. Here are a few notable studies:
A study by Ma et al. (2014) published in “Science Translational Medicine” found that high-dose intravenous vitamin C selectively killed colorectal cancer cells with specific genetic mutations. The authors suggested that vitamin C might be used as a targeted therapy in some cases.
A study by Welsh et al. (2013) published in “Cancer Cell” reported that high-dose intravenous vitamin C enhanced the effects of chemotherapy in mouse models of pancreatic cancer. The authors concluded that vitamin C could be a potential adjuvant in pancreatic cancer treatment.
A systematic review by Fritz et al. (2014) published in “Canadian Medical Association Journal” analyzed several clinical trials on the use of intravenous vitamin C in cancer patients. They found that intravenous vitamin C was safe and well-tolerated, but its effectiveness in improving survival and quality of life was inconclusive.
A phase II clinical trial by Hoffer et al. (2015) published in “PLOS ONE” investigated the effects of intravenous vitamin C combined with chemotherapy and radiation therapy in patients with stage 3 or 4 non-small cell lung cancer. The study found no significant improvement in overall survival, progression-free survival, or tumor response with the addition of vitamin C.
Several research studies have explored the potential benefits of intravenous magnesium infusion in various clinical settings. Here are a few notable articles:
James et al. (2010) published a study in “The Lancet” that investigated the effects of intravenous magnesium sulfate on patients at risk for developing eclampsia. They found that magnesium sulfate significantly reduced the risk of eclampsia and maternal death in women with pre-eclampsia.
Shiga et al. (2012) conducted a study published in the “Journal of the American College of Cardiology” that demonstrated the benefits of intravenous magnesium sulfate in reducing the incidence of postoperative atrial fibrillation in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting.
In a meta-analysis by Fawcett et al. (1999) published in the “British Medical Journal,” the researchers found that intravenous magnesium infusion reduced the risk of death in patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction.
A study by Cinar et al. (2011) published in “Anesthesiology” examined the effects of intravenous magnesium sulfate on postoperative pain management in patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty. The study found that magnesium infusion reduced postoperative opioid consumption and improved pain scores.
Miller et al. (2010) published a study in “Headache” that investigated the effects of intravenous magnesium sulfate on acute migraines. They found that magnesium infusion provided rapid and sustained pain relief in patients with migraines who had low serum ionized magnesium levels.
Glutathione is an antioxidant that plays a crucial role in cellular detoxification and maintaining overall health. Research on glutathione infusion is limited, but several studies have explored its potential benefits in various clinical settings. Here are a few notable articles:
A study by Hauser et al. (2009) published in “Neurology” investigated the effects of intravenous glutathione on Parkinson’s disease symptoms. They found that glutathione infusion improved symptoms in Parkinson’s patients, but the study had a small sample size and lacked a control group.
A pilot study by Kern et al. (2011) published in “Medical Science Monitor” evaluated the effects of intravenous glutathione infusion on children with autism. The study reported improvements in some behavioral measures of autism, but the small sample size and lack of a control group limit the conclusions that can be drawn.
A study by Pizzorno et al. (2014) published in “Integrative Medicine” assessed the impact of intravenous glutathione on quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia. The authors reported significant improvements in pain, energy, and overall well-being, but the study was not randomized or controlled.
In a study by Allen et al. (2017) published in “Redox Biology,” the researchers explored the effects of intravenous glutathione on cystic fibrosis patients. They found that glutathione infusion improved lung function and reduced inflammation, suggesting potential benefits for cystic fibrosis patients.
A study by Naito et al. (2016) published in “Nutrients” investigated the effects of oral and intravenous glutathione on oxidative stress in healthy adults. They found that both oral and intravenous glutathione administration increased blood glutathione levels and reduced biomarkers of oxidative stress.
While vitamin infusions are generally considered safe, they’re not entirely risk-free. Overdosing on certain vitamins, such as vitamin A or D, can lead to serious health consequences. Furthermore, injecting vitamins can put a strain on your liver and kidneys, which is particularly concerning for people with pre-existing liver or kidney conditions.
Most of the time we can obtain the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants our body requires thorough a healthy diet. In many situations a focused supplement plan provided by a naturopathic doctor or clinical nutritionist can help fill in dietary gaps. Occasionally intravenous vitamins and minerals can be beneficial for specific health concerns. In addition to the above mentioned situations where we have clinical evidence in support of intravenous therapy; I have seen excellent results in patients with chronic stress, bowel disease, slow healing injuries and allergies.
In conclusion, while celebrity vitamin infusions may seem like a quick and easy fix, the truth is that there are only a handful of specific concerns that benefit from IV therapy.
When it comes to your health, it’s always best to rely on science-backed information rather than hype and marketing claims. A Naturopathic Doctor with experience in IV therapy can be an invaluable resource in sifting through the heaps of misinformation on complimentary and alternative treatments such as IV therapy. Interested in making an appointment? Book a free 15min introductory consult with me today!