Action News Jax investigates: Do IV vitamin drips really work, can they fight off viruses?

Vitamin IV treatments have increased in popularity over the last couple of years with famous celebrities touting the treatments as a quick fix to heal your body.

Action News Jax investigator Alicia Tarancon looked into if this trend really works and if it could help your body fight off viruses like COVID-19.

Boosting your immune system, fighting fatigue, and curing a hangover -- these are all the things vitamin IV drips promise.

Gonzalo Corzo told Tarancon that due to the COVID-19 pandemic he wanted to get something to strengthen his immune system so he went to Thrive Infusions in the St. Johns Town Center.

“What I saw from it is a ton of vitamin C and it hydrates you so that’s basically what made me get it and I also got a dose of B-12 for energy,” Corzo said.

Thrive Infusions offers 10 different types of vitamin concoctions that range from $95 to $175 and take about 45 minutes to administer.

Tarancon decided to try it out. David LeDuke, a nurse and one of the company founders made her a bag with vitamin C, vitamin B, magnesium and zinc.

“Vitamin C is phenomenal. It boost your body’s immune system. It’s also good for collagen production and it helps with iron absorption. B complex is good for energy. It’s good for circulation. Things like B12, great for energy, also good for your heart. Glutathione is good for helping detox the body,” LeDuke said.

The vitamin industry itself is booming. According to the National Institutes of Health, Americans spent more than $14 billion on vitamins and minerals containing supplements in 2014.

LeDuke said vitamin IV treatments aren't a cure for cancer or more serious illnesses, but said they can help your body fight off viral infections.

"When it comes to COVID...things like our immunity support infusion is really great at boosting your body's immune system and also helping prevent viruses from replicating within your system," LeDuke said.

Action News Jax took those claims to our medical expert Dr. Michelle Aquino who said there’s no scientific evidence to back that up.

Story continues below:

“We don’t know any vitamins that contract or that stop viruses. I can tell you that having a high level of vitamin C or vitamin B-12 in your system right now isn’t going to help slow down virus replication or the chance of you passing it on to someone else,” Aquino said.

“The only one that I think is remotely legitimate is if you have gone out drinking the night before -- and you’re hungover the next day. Chances are you’re dehydrated. So yes, if you’re dehydrated and you get IV fluids, you are going feel better,” Dr. Aquino said.

She believes the best way to maintain a strong immune system and fight infection is to live a healthy lifestyle.

“We eat a normal, healthy American diet. We get all the vitamins we need. A lot of us don’t need supplementation. If you’re healthy, you’re exercising, you’re living a healthy lifestyle. I think that is the best way you can help combat any viruses that might come at us in the future,” she said.

She also said vitamin supplements aren't a quick fix.

“It’s not a ‘one shot and you’re done’ deal. Those supplements takes weeks and months until you really start feeling better. But there’s no magic pill is what I’m saying,” said Aquino.

Action News Jax reached out to Thrive Infusions again to get its comment on what our medical expert had to say.

LeDuke cited several studies, including one that found patients who were given an IV solution with vitamin C recovered faster from a viral infection.

IV infusions should only be administered by a licensed health care professional.

You should always talk to your doctor before you start any regimen of vitamins or medication. They can test you for vitamin deficiencies and determine what you actually need.

For Tararcon personally, she did notice a boost of energy after her immunity-boosting treatment.