I’ve been wanting to try this for a while now: Intravenous Vitamin Therapy, which is basically a solution of vitamins and minerals that’s injected into the blood stream via an IV drip. Hollywood celebrities in recent years swear by it as a hangover drip, detox drip or post-party drip.
Even though I first found out about this seven years ago from a beauty treatment and skincare regimen book authored by Taiwanese celebrity Barbie 大S Hsu, this treatment (aka 美白針 or 美容點滴 in Taiwan) has actually been around for a while. In the US it’s called a Myers’ Cocktail —invented over 30 years ago by Baltimore physician John Myers. The cocktail generally contains magnesium, calcium, various B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and B12) and vitamin C. The vitamins are typically given in larger doses than are present in vitamin pills. For example, the amount of Vitamin C (up to 25 grams) is almost 300 times the recommended daily dose of 90 milligrams. When vitamins are delivered intravenously, they reach the blood faster than when taken orally.
Other vitamins or ingredients may be added to the Myers’ Cocktail protocol, “customizing” it to the patient’s diagnosis and overall health as well as the condition being treated. The procedure typically takes between one to two hours, depending on the body’s natural ability to absorb the infusion. If you have a fine vein, it will probably take you about two hours. Cost-wise, it can be anywhere from US$200 to US$300.
You’d think that this treatment is really popular in Asia but I couldn’t find it anywhere in Singapore. Initially I thought this therapy was purely for glowing skin and improved complexion, but after reading up on it a bit more, I realized that there are other things it can help improve beyond the beauty benefits – particularly in the health department, such as improved liver functions, immunity boost, cardio health, and anti-fatigue. Since I was in Taipei for a few days, I hunted down a reputable clinic and gave this IV Vitamin Therapy a shot (heh!). The clinic I went to in Taipei had three different types on the menu:
(i) the basic type with only Vitamin C costing US$80,
(ii) a collagen production boosting type costing US$115,
(iii) and the top-tier blend that promises skin brightening, memory enhancement, detoxifying properties, and energy boost cost US$250. That’s the drip I got and I snapped a pic of the components below.
Even though there are no side effects other than the risk of bruising and mild dizziness (or maybe even fainting if you’re really spooked by needles), according to experts there is little evidence that IV Vitamin Therapy or Myers’ Cocktail has quantifiable health benefits. There are certainly anecdotal stories about people with various conditions who said they felt better after an infusion, like improved energy, a more radiant complexion, etc. but it is not clear whether the reported effects are long-lasting. From what I’ve personally experienced (and was similarly advised), one treatment isn’t going to magically show results. There are multiple-session packages offered and one can get the infusions as frequently as 2-3 times a week.
Well, that was fun. And yep I’d do it again a couple more times because it’ll be awesome if/when it works. I’ve been getting blood drawn left and right for medical checkups and blood tests, so placebo effect or otherwise, I feel gratified that the needle is inserting some goodies back into my body.