Vitamin Vaping: Does It Work? Is It Safe? Is It FDA Approved?
Lately, there’s been a great deal of Internet and social media chatter about vitamin vaping, the health benefits associated with it, and whether it is a legitimate delivery method for vitamins.
As a nutritionist and nutraceutical scientist, this recent practice raises three critical questions for me:
- Is vitamin vaping safe? Specifically, is it safe to smoke vitamins and inhale them into the lungs? After all, the normal route for vitamin absorption is through the gastrointestinal tract.
- How effective is vaping vitamins in introducing a viable source of nutrients into the bloodstream?
- Is vitamin vape FDA approved and what is the FDA’s view regarding the legality of vitamin vaping as a means of dietary supplementation?
Question #1: Is Vitamin Vaping Safe?
In 2014, vitamin vaping was introduced and immediately extolled for being a nicotine-free, vitamin-laden formula.
Do vitamin vapes work and can you absorb vitamins through your lungs?
According to Dr. Norman Edelman, a senior scientific adviser at the American Lung Association, it is establihsed that smoking e-cigarettes causes irritation of the airways and bronchitis, but it is difficult to gauge the long-term effects of vitamin vaping because it is a relatively new fad.
In 1953, researchers studied the inhalation of vitamin B12 via aerosol administration in patients with pernicious anemia. Results were that, while inhalation of B12 did increase blood levels of this nutrient, the researchers did not think that the increase was sufficient. They stated, “There is no question but that B-12 inhalation therapy involves additionally some degree of oral therapy including sublingual and gastrointestinal routes.” [i]
A subsequent study [ii] in 1967 found that aerosol inhalation of vitamin B12 helped patients with pernicious anemia, but researchers were concerned about the possibility of inducing damage to the lungs. There have also been a couple of similar animal and human vitamin D [iii] and vitamin A [iv] studies, since then, both showing some degree of efficacy.
Question #2: Does Vitamin Vaping Work?
In assessing these results, it seems that there was at least some benefit associated with inhaling vaporized vitamins. However, the issues with each of these studies is that they were relatively short-term and were conducted in diseased individuals or animals. Consequently, it is not clear whether or not inhaling may cause any damage to the lungs or would necessarily have the same results in healthy individuals as in diseased patients.
Can You Absorb Vitamins Through Your Lungs?
Through the process of vaping vitamins, the vitamins avoid going through the stomach altogether and are delivered directly into the respiratory tract. Researchers do not know if vitamin capes work or what the vitamin's effect on the body would be, since vitamin vaping is a new trend and there is no up-to-date research that scrutinizes the results of vitamin vapor.
Question #3: Is Vitamin Vaping FDA Approved?
Regarding legality, there is no question that the FDA does not view vitamin vaping as a legitimate form of nutrient supplementation. The only FDA-recognized route for nutrient supplementation is the gastrointestinal tract—in other words, the supplement has to be swallowed, not inhaled. Consequently, the sale of vitamins and supplements in vapor form is not legal.
What Do Industry Experts Have to Say About Vitamin Vaping?
Here's what some of the industry's leading experts are saying about the topic on social media:
No one needs to inhale heated chemicals and nicotine deep inside their lungs to deliver vitamins. Pure marketing scheme conjured to make these products seem safe or even 'healthy'.— Dr. Dave Stukus (@AllergyKidsDoc) October 29, 2018
Vast majority of healthy people get all the vitamins they need from a well balanced diet. https://t.co/uNSAOCTZ2F
So Can You Vape Vitamins?
Verdict: Vaping Your Vitamins Is Not Advisable
Until there is more science on about the safety and efficacy of vitamin vaping in healthy populations, it is my considered opinion that the supplementation of vitamins is best achieved via the oral route.
How do you feel about the topic? Would you vape your vitamins? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!
And, for more information on manufacturing custom vitamin and supplement products in approved nutraceutical delivery formats such as capsules, tablets and powders, contact the experts at NutraScience Labs. Speak to a live representative now by calling 855-492-7388 or send us your request to receive a dietary supplement manufacturing price quote in 48 business hours.
[i] Smith FJ, Monto RW, Rebuk JW. B-12 inhalation therapy in pernicious anemia. Trans Am Clin Climatol Assoc. 1953; 64: 27–39.
[ii] Shinton NK, Singh AK. Vitamin B-12 absorption by inhalation. Br J Haematol. 1967 Jan;13(1):75-9.
[iii] Taylor SK, Sakurai R, Sakurai T, Rehan VK. Inhaled Vitamin D: A Novel Strategy to Enhance Neonatal Lung Maturation. Lung. 2016 Dec;194(6):931-943.
[iv] Biesalski H1, Reifen R, Fürst P, Edris M. Retinyl palmitate supplementation by inhalation of an aerosol improves vitamin A status of preschool children in Gondar (Ethiopia). Br J Nutr. 1999 Sep;82(3):179-82.
About the Author: Gene Bruno
Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG) - With decades of experience working along side healthcare professionals and natural product retailers, developing innovative nutraceutical formulations, and working with academic institutions, Gene has cultivated a truly unique and impressive catalog of nutraceutical knowledge and insights.