Intravenous modalities are making their way out of the hospitals and into the world of beauty. Intravenous nutrition have been making a big buzz in the recent months as it offers quick fixes, from instantly glowing skin to increased energy levels. More commmonly known as beauty drips, these injectable cocktails may contain Glutathione, Vitamin C, Vitamin B Complex, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Magnesium, Amino Acids, Carnitine, and other antioxidants. The combination of these vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants is said to combat inflammation, increase metabolism, remove toxins from the body, and get rid of free radicals. But are beauty drips really the new fountain of youth?
We sit down with Dr. Yanee Alvarez, founder of Aesthetic Science Clinic, to know more about Intravenous Nutrition.
What is Intravenous Nutrition?
"Intravenous vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants therapy or Nutritional IV is a treatment to replenish micronutrients of the body and to improve the nutritional status of a person. It is preventive and functional and it is anti-ageing. It is all about wellness."
What are its benefits?
"IV nutrition is a great way to improve many health conditions or simply to achieve a sense of well-being, increased energy, and to also to super-charge our health for optimum performance of our cells, tissues and organs including the skin, which is the largest and most visible organ of our body."
Why do others call it the fountain of youth?
"Simply put, whatever you put in your body can manifest in the appearance of your skin. Whether all your other organs are functioning well or not and whether you have enough vitamins and minerals in your body—all this can affect how your skin looks."
Would you say that Intravenous Nutrition is the easiest way to achieve beautiful skin?
"IV Nutrition is one way to achieve healthy skin. It complements and may be integrated with treatments and procedures for skin and body rejuvenation." Dr. Yanee also mentioned that it shouldn't replace your skin care regimen.
In what ways is it better than oral supplements?
"The digestive system especially in cases of malabsorption can limit absorption of nutrients and what happens is the excess or what cannot be absorbed and retained by the body is just excreted. IV therapy bypasses digestion and you get a better and faster therapeutic response."
Who can take it? Is it safe for pregnant women?
"IV Nutrition is not meant for everyone, e.g. pregnant and breastfeeding women, those with the following conditions: active and severe medical illness, G6PD deficiency, and those allergic to the components of the IV cocktails.
"It is indicated though for healthy individuals subjected to the following: stress, poor nutrition, exposure to environmental toxins and pollution; those with unhealthy habits e.g. smokers, regular alcohol drinkers; those maintained on prescription drugs e.g. steroids, OCPs, anti-cholesterol drugs, antacids; and those who lead sedentary lifestyles. These lifestyle conditions can all lead to depletion of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants needed by our cells and tissues to function in an optimum manner.
"In addition, athletes who would like to boost their performance as well people who would like an aid to manage their weight may also benefit from IV nutrition. Individuals who are also feeling a bit under the weather may take IV cocktails to improve their immune system response."
Are there precautionary measures one must take before taking it?
"Complete blood tests and a thorough medical history are done for proper evaluation of the patients to avoid complications and side effects from the procedure."
Could you take us through the procedure?
"A CBC (complete blood count), liver and kidney function tests, serum electrolytes, and other tests needed based on the medical history of a patient are requested prior to an IV Nutrition procedure. Once cleared by our medical doctor, treatment may be done in a clinical setting by medical doctors and IV nurses."
Is there pain?
"Treatment is comfortable with minimal pain on the needle injection site."
Is there any down time?
"No down time. Patients may go back to their usual activities after the procedure."
How often can one take it?
"It depends on the patient’s condition but generally can be done once or twice a month."
Intravenous Nutrition is not a cure for all ailments, but a therapy that has to be integrated with conventional medicine practices, including the intake of oral medications and supplements. It neither obliterates the need for eating healthily nor does it give you the green light to completely forego your skin care routine. The pivotal role of Intravenous Nutrition could be that it is able to prepare the body to respond better to medical treatments by keeping the cells healthy and functioning to their maximum capacity. Always, always consult your doctor before having anything injected into your body.