Do Vitamin Drip Treatments Work?

Vitamin drip treatments have been popular in Hollywood (Rihanna, Cindy Crawford, Madonna, and Simon Cowell are all reportedly big fans) for when celebrities need a quick boost of energy before a big event, but in recent months the trend has trickled down to the rest of the population and is now gaining popularity in doctors' offices across the U.S.

According to an article in The Daily Mail, vitamin IV treatments first became popular about five years ago when basketball players began using them as a legal way to enhance their performance.

"It's basic biochemistry; when the body has its building blocks, it works better," Jeffrey Morrison, M.D., told The Daily Mail.

Vitamin IV treatments, which are not FDA-approved as medical treatments, often include four to six weekly sessions and are made up of a cocktail of different vitamins and minerals. They can be used to treat a variety of conditions including chronic fatigue, depression, and anxiety, and can be beneficial to patients who are severely deficient in certain minerals or nutrients. Patients often report feeling much more alert, energetic, and invigorated after receiving the treatment.

Now, though, doctors are seeing more patients use them as a quick fix after nights of heavy drinking or partying.

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Peter Weiss, M.D., medical director at Earthbar, says that while vitamin drip treatments are not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle, "they can supplement what the body is missing and needs in a more efficient way," even if you're not an athlete. "Many of us run at a very hectic pace and can benefit from such therapies, and there are patients who suffer from chronic ailments who can benefit as well,” he adds.

But not everyone in the medical community agrees.

"I’m not convinced that there is conclusive evidence to suggest that vitamin drips work," says Michael Finkelstein, M.D., an integrative physician and author of 77 Questions for Skillful Living. "Plus, they are expensive and like any 'invasive therapy,' carry risk."

Vitamin drip treatments often are not covered by insurance and can start at $135 per session. There's also limited research that suggests the treatments work as more than a placebo effect, and it's not clear if there are any long-term side effects to be concerned by, LiveScience reports.

If you need an energy boost, Dr. Finkelstein recommends skipping the IV and focusing on getting quality sleep, eating wisely, dealing with stress, managing relationships, and trying to find a job that's aligned with your passions.

What do you think? Would you try a vitamin drip? Tell is in the comments below or tweet us @Shape_Magazine.

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