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What is Gluta Drip? — Everything You Need to Know
What are the benefits of Gluta Drip?
An IV glutathione treatment is popular due to its speed in whitening one’s skin. You’ll often find glutathione taken in capsule form or tablet form, and often mixed in the formula of many skincare products with added whitening effects. But first, we must understand what exactly glutathione does.
What does glutathione do?
Glutathione itself is an ingredient that is naturally found in the body and is composed of three amino acids: glutamine, cysteine, and glycine. It’s super important in plenty of our bodily functions, being a powerful antioxidant. Often, stress, aging, and other lifestyle factors can deplete glutathione levels in the body.
Its FDA approved use is for treatment of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases. Usually, it is given to a patient intravenously and in high doses.
In skincare, you’ll find it infused into whitening products like lotions, creams, etc. touted as solutions to early signs of aging, acne scars, and even dull skin. Products like these are often all over Facebook, Instagram, etc. and probably in your local beauty shop. There’s a reason it’s so popular, and it’s because it often delivers fast, visible results in a way that most people are content with.
Does Gluta drip really work?
Because this product is believed by many to be a powerful skin lightening agent, you’ll find it packed into whitening soaps, whitening lotions, sunscreens, moisturizers — you name it, and a beauty store on Facebook or Instagram probably has it. Aside from its topical application, you’ll also find it in oral forms, such as capsules and tablets, supplements that all aim to produce a lighter skin tone or at least even out dark spots.
However, some believe that all these aren’t enough to be effective. According to Orlando Skin Solutions website, the glutathione loses its benefits during the digestion process. This renders it almost useless, states the website.
Enter the glutathione IV drips, a sort of breakthrough in the world of dermatology, or at least beauty and skincare. Despite its apparent side effects, IV infusion of glutathione remains as popular as ever in the Philippines.
A person will often be able to attain this treatment in a designated clinic where one can book a session in advance. The glutathione is injected directly into the muscle, usually in the upper arm or on the gluteal muscle for fast absorption. Many clinics recommend getting regular injections as frequent as 2 to 3 times a week. The IV for gluta drip patients is often mixed with Vitamin C, another known skin lightener.
Is Gluta drip safe?
The question remains: are glutathione IV drips even safe? Despite the molecule itself being a potent antioxidant with wonderful health benefits, injecting high doses directly into one’s bloodstream for the purpose of whitening the skin is not approved by the FDA nor the Philippine Dermatology Society. Dr. Elle Asuncion, a member of the PDS glutathione advisory committee, emphasizes that there have been no high-quality clinical trials to back the claims of “gluta” being an effective skin whitener at all.
To get a few things clear, let’s answer some common myths surrounding glutathione drips, specifically ones found in the Philippines.
MYTH 1: Gluta Drips are safer than oral capsules because they go directly into the blood.
When you tell someone glutathione drips are dangerous, they’ll often reply something similar: drips are a lot safer because they don’t go through the kidneys, as opposed to oral glutathione which passes by the kidneys and liver.
This is patently untrue. Whether it takes the oral route or intravenous route, the glutathione will still be processed by your kidneys and liver. This is why high doses of this molecule is often believed to result in toxicity of these body parts as well as the nervous system. In rare cases, overdose may result in adverse skin conditions like Steven Johnsons syndrome.
MYTH 2: Only fake gluta drips are dangerous.
While it is true that a fake glutathione drip may have the ability to produce an adverse reaction in patients, the FDA still has not approved the use of gluta drips in the Philippines, meaning the products that all clinics use are unregulated, even Dr. Vicky Belo’s! While some may disclose trusted sources, it still bears repeating that these are unregulated by governing bodies of dermatological practice in the country. Unlike places like Korea where glutathione IV treatments for skin whitening are FDA-approved, these practices are much more expensive.
Finally, more and more people are sharing certain side effects that happened during their first treatment, including lightheadedness and dizziness.
However, Dr. Belen Dofitas believes that certain cases of serious illness following regular sessions should serve as a wake-up call for governing bodies to regulate these practices before the health of more people suffer. Dr. Dofitas is referring to the case of one 34-year-old patient who suffered from acute renal failure due to 3 years of weekly IV infusion of gluta and vitamin C.
Plenty of clinics that offer this service claim intravenous gluta has visible skin lightening effects in as little as two weeks after the first session. It’s also worth noting that normal doses of glutathione have no lightening effects. In fact, whitening of the skin is more often considered a side effect of too much glutathione, meaning your body will have had to have processed too much of it before it shows any whitening effects.
Despite all of this, it’s worth mentioning that gluta pills are an FDA-approved supplement as seen in their website, and their antioxidant benefits still stand.
Joey is an AB Psychology graduate of the University of St. La Salle – Bacolod. Her life’s passions include writing, film, and spending hours on end binge-watching fashion vloggers on Youtube.