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Intravenous Vitamin Therapy: Harmless Supplement or Powerful Drug?

18 MAR 2014

This week’s AAPS blog looks at the growing popularity of intravenous vitamin therapy – available at numerous wellness clinics across Canada and the United States. We all know vitamins are good for us, and we often take supplements to compensate for any lapses in diet. But, should so many Torontonians be flooding their bodies with megadoses of various vitamin combinations? These high intensity cocktails are believed to restore strength and vigour and potentially, to treat serious medical conditions. The blog post, Intravenous Vitamin Therapy: Harmless Supplement or Powerful Drug? explains that faith in the disease-fighting power of vitamins in not unfounded by clinical proof. In fact, Nobel Prize winner, Linus Pauling’s

 well respected clinical research on the benefits of vitamin C goes back as far as the 1970s. Since then, researchers have continued to test the effects of super-high doses of vitamin C on terminal cases of cancer. And the results have meant years of successful remission for numerous patients. These days, vitamin therapy has become a go-to source of rejuvenation for many, a sort of miracle lift believed to restore vitality and treat a range of conditions. But does science really support popular belief in its far-reaching powers?

The post does not question established clinical research on the benefits of vitamin megadoses in specific cases, but rather its increasing popularity as a sort of recreational energy cocktail. The FDA cites several side effects that consumers should consider when hooking up to a locally supplied IV drip. Kidney stones, iron overload, and the destruction of red blood cells are just a few of the noted repercussions of unregulated usage.  The agency seeks tightened controls over the manufacture, consumption, and health claims of vitamin therapy – but for now, it continues to be available without prescription.


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