The Department of Health (DOH) warned the public about unlicensed clinics that illegally operate intravenous (IV) glutathione and stem cell treatment.
The advisory comes after a woman died due to alleged complications from a stem cell treatment, according to an ABS-CBN News report.
Health bureau Chief Dr. Ted Herbosa said that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve intravenous glutathione products. "Off-label use at illegal po ang paggawa niyan. At ito na ang nakita natin na ito na ang pwedeng rason, pagkamatay," he stated in a press briefing on Tuesday, January 16, 2024.
Dr. Ted advises the public to adhere to the department's list of licensed clinics before booking an appointment for their desired treatment. "Para hindi kayo mauwi sa morgue dahil sa inyong pagpapaganda o pagpapabata, i-check po sa website yung listahan ng mga stem cell clinic na lisensiyado. ‘Pag wala sila doon sa listahan, ‘yan ay ilegal," the health secretary explained. He also notes that too much IV gluta can damage one's liver.
What is an IV gluta drip?
ICYDK, glutathione is a naturally occurring substance in our liver. It is a small, low-molecular weight and water-soluble thiol-tripeptide formed by three amino acids: glutamate, cysteine, and glycine.
While we mostly know glutathione or gluta as a skin-whitening material, it's actually not its strongest feature. An expert said in a 2018 interview, "The role of glutathione as a skin lightening agent was an accidental discovery, when it was noticed as a side effect [after taking] large doses," says Dr. Gaile. She further explains that it lightens the skin by affecting our melanin production, or the pigment of our skin, in several ways.
READ MORE ABOUT GLUTATHIONE HERE: Here's Everything You Need To Know About Glutathione
What is stem cell therapy?
The health department defines stem cell treatment as a medical procedure that "introduces new adult stem cells into damaged tissue." Aside from being a way to avoid aging, people can also undergo stem cell treatment to treat a disease or injury.
What are the benefits of stem cell therapy?
Stem cell therapy is a form of "regenerative medicine" that can be beneficial for various medical conditions like autoimmune diseases, orthopedic conditions, lupus, heart disease, and more.
It is highly advised that you seek help and recommendation from trusted and official dermatologists and experts, especially if you are thinking of undergoing these medical procedures. Moreover, it's good practice for us to also read up and research on something before deciding to apply it on our bodies. Be informed, ladies!