Posted at 3:15 p.m
“After the quietest weekend of my summer (thank goodness) I start my week at the private clinic with an IV drip filled with vitamins and minerals. Hydration, immune system, sleep. »
This is how Olivier Dion described his visit to the Go Rapid Test Clinic (GTR) in Montreal on Instagram on Monday. In the video (now removed from the social network), the singer is comfortably seated on a couch, with a needle connected to a bag of yellow liquid in his forearm.
The GTR Clinic has been offering IV therapy or drip therapy for the past six weeks. On its website, the company claims that this therapy — which retails for $250 — helps “feel hydrated and improves immune function.”
Olivier Dion didn’t want to talk about his experience The pressbut the CEO and co-founder of the GTR Clinic, entrepreneur Daniel Selcer, called us back.
“We’re always trying to be on guard,” he explains, noting that his company was the first in the country to offer an on-car testing center for COVID-19. IV therapy is widely accepted in the United States, but for some reason its availability in Canada has been very, very limited. »
The press counted seven other companies offering this service in the greater Montreal area, including the Montreal IV Clinic, which is also active on social networks. In one of their posts, the Montreal IV Clinic uses quotes from American stars Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner, both of whom received IV therapy in a recent episode of the series. The Kardashians. The company didn’t call back The press.
Clinique Nord in Laval will be the first medical clinic to offer IV therapy in Quebec in June 2021, according to its executive director, Nurse Chems Diouri. The clinic, she says, welcomes two types of customers: those who care about their health and want an “extra boost,” and those who come with a prescription in hand for a specific element, like iron and vitamin C to obtain. “Everyone is different and everyone needs to be evaluated and treated differently and appropriately,” says Chems Diouri.
For its part, the Drip Bar Mtl clinic is located in plastic surgeon Arthur Swift’s clinic in Westmount. According to nurse Stephanie Ozcanian, the clientele consists of pre- or post-operative patients “to heal faster and give energy”, but also people with health problems and athletes.
It was indicated in these three clinics The press that nurses take care of the IVs and that a doctor is involved in prescribing.
These vitamin infusions are credited to American physician John Myers in the 1960s. In the last decade, Hollywood stars have embraced IV therapy (such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Chrissy Teigen) and its popularity has skyrocketed.
In both the United States and Canada, scientists complain about the lack of scientific data on these therapies. Companies use vague terms to describe its benefits, such as “sleep,” “energy,” “detox,” “immunity,” “hydration,” “mood,” “recovery,” etc.
In 2009, researchers studied the effect of the “Myers cocktail” on patients with fibromyalgia. They showed an improvement, yes, but that improvement was comparable to what was seen in the placebo group.
GTR Clinic entrepreneur Daniel Selcer argues that scientifically examining a person’s mood after therapy is difficult, given all the factors that can come into play, of course, and I can tell you, that gives me one extra jump in my crotch [du pep dans le soulier] he says.
For her part, nurse Chems Diouri from Clinique Nord points out that “the scientific literature is and always has been contradictory”. “There are practitioners and studies that support IV therapies and some that don’t,” she says.
” Useless ”
The director of the Molecular Physiology Research Unit at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute, researcher Mathieu Ferron, combed through the literature, including those cited on these companies’ websites. He found outdated articles and several dealing with the effect of a specific micronutrient on a specific pathology.
“These companies do cite articles, but those articles are not relevant to what they offer,” summarizes Mathieu Ferron.
Since these liquids are not considered medicines but food supplements, the manufacturer does not have to prove their medical effectiveness to treat a specific disease, points out Mathieu Ferron.
You are using a scientific coating to sell a commercial product that is not backed by any scientific evidence or studies. It’s pseudoscience, it’s based on wind.
Mathieu Ferron, biochemist
Cardiologist and epidemiologist Christopher Labos wrote a column about IV therapy in The newspaper in 2015 when it was offered in Ontario. “The medical consensus on this subject is that intravenous vitamins don’t cure anything except in very, very specific patients for very, very specific reasons,” summarizes the Dright Labs giving the example of a patient with a certain vitamin deficiency who cannot be fed orally.
If you eat fruit and vegetables regularly, you don’t have to worry about vitamin deficiencies.
“Many people believe that if it’s good to eat a little vitamin, it’s even better to eat more,” says Dr.right laboratories. But the reality is that when the human body has enough vitamins to perform its biological functions, the water-soluble vitamins (like B and C) are excreted in the urine. »
Professor John White of McGill University’s Department of Physiology believes that “for a normal, healthy person” these intravenous therapies are “entirely unnecessary”.
“We evolved to include vitamins in our diets,” says John White. It’s cheaper and a lot easier than going to one of those fancy shops. »
What regulates these vitamin “formulae”? Health Canada notes that “it is not yet possible to determine whether these activities fall within the scope of pharmacy practice or whether they would fall within the definition of a medicinal product”. Health Canada has also received complaints about Canadian clinics and “follow-ups are ongoing”. If the activities were in the field of practicing medicine or pharmacy, they would come under the supervision of the provinces and territories.
Vitamindrip, which supplies companies from Montreal, is a Canadian pharmaceutical company. In an email, Vitamindrip stated that its compounds fall into a “new product category” and that they “meet the specifications” of the Ontario College of Pharmacists, the National Association of Regulations of Pharmacists, and the United States Pharmacopoeia.
At the medical association, the population is asked to proceed with “great caution” and, if necessary, to discuss this with a doctor first. “The college is not a learned society, but this treatment is not based on solid scientific evidence,” says Leslie Labranche, Senior Media Relations Advisor.
Since there is no study on what effect the combination of all these micronutrients could have and we do not know the exact amount of vitamins these products contain, researcher Mathieu Ferron advocates the precautionary principle. “I find it absurd that there are no more regulations,” he said.
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