Many medical experts have laughed off the idea behind the alternative treatment known as intravenous vitamin (IV) therapy. To such people, it is just another form of quackery. It appears the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is starting to turn up the heat on practitioners. This is after it recently charged a company offering such treatment for false advertising claims.
IV therapy, which some people also call intravenous micronutrient therapy (IVMT), has been promoted as the solution to a variety of health issues. The diverse conditions it supposedly helps with seem to be making more people to take interest in it.
However, there is nothing by way of reliable scientific evidence that the therapy is indeed helpful for those conditions.
The FTC has cracked down on iV Bars, an Allison, Texas-based company that has been offering IV therapy to interested persons since 2015, for making false and unsupported claims about conditions the treatment can help with.
“This enforcement action should send a clear message to the burgeoning IV therapy industry and sellers of all healthcare products,” FTC Chairman Joe Simons said. “Health claims must be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence,”
IV Bars has reportedly been charging clients amounts ranging between $100 and $250 for each session of its IV therapy. The FTC accused the company of making false claims, among which is that its $125 Myers Cocktail possess the ability to treat diabetes, fibromyalgia, cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction, neurodegenerative disorders, and cancer, among others.
But there was no evidence that the therapy did any of those things.
The FTC noted that the website of iV Bars was filled with images of people dressed in white lab coats and looking through microscopes. It stated that the company claimed to have a research lab boasting trained medical professionals, but no such lab was found to exist.
According to Marketwatch, the regulator did not hand out any fine against IV Bars. It instead warned that there will be a $41,484 penalty against the company if there is further violation of its order at some point.
There has been a surge in the number of entities offering IV therapy in the U.S. in recent years. It has been featured on the website of the “lifestyle brand” company Goop founded by actress Gwyneth Paltrow, among other health sites. Some people laud the therapy for its hydrating effect and ability to slow the aging process.
It was reported in a 2011 survey that intravenous vitamin therapy was one of the most commonly advertised services by naturopaths.
The FTC has warned companies offering IV therapy against making claims that are not supported by research, as regards efficacy for treating diverse diseases.
The treatment, also referred to as hydration therapy, has not been satisfactorily proven to be effective. And not just that; it is argued that the administration of vitamins and herbs intravenously may also be less potent compared to oral usage.
iV Bars and similar companies commonly provide their services at events, such as ladies night-outs or bachelor parties, or in a spa-like setting. There is report of some clinics, including cancer clinics, also offering the treatment to patients.
Myer’s cocktail is on the whole a multivitamin that a person injects. iV Bars charges $175 per 15-minute session of a “recovery” cocktail, Marketwatch reports. A cocktail for enhancing brain function costs $225 per session of similar duration.
Yet, there is no evidence that these cocktails may be more effective than regular vitamin supplements that cost just a tiny fraction of their prices for a month supply.
In an email sent to its customers recently, iV Bars noted that there was no scientific proof that the therapy it offers was effective for combating any disease. It advised speaking with a healthcare provider before having the treatment.