Cigarettes, weed….add vitamins to the list of things people are vaping. So, is there any benefit to vitamin vaping? Or, is this wellness trend full of hot air? (Sorry, couldn’t help ourselves). Here’s what you need to know about puffing — instead of popping — your vitamins.
What is vitamin vaping, exactly?
Similar to any kind of vape, the vitamins come in a liquid form. The vape pen heats up the liquid, turning it into a vapor that you then inhale. Proponents and the brands making these vapes tout that this is a more effective way of getting the benefits than ingesting or even injecting vitamins, delivering a higher dose, faster, and at a more cost effective price.
What are the potential pros?
“Theoretically, vaping vitamins is a more convenient way to take supplements, particularly for people with digestive problems, and there’s the possibility that the vitamins are easier to absorb,” explains Dr. Richard Firshein, DO, a leading expert in integrative health and precision-based medicine and founder of the Firsehin Center in NYC. But the key word here is theoretically: “This method of delivery has not been thoroughly tested. The lungs may or may not be a good way to absorb nutrients, and studies on vaping are exclusively based on animals, with virtually no current human studies, which should be a cause for skepticism,” he warns.
What are the potential cons?
Per Dr. Firshein’s point on there being limited data surrounding the efficacy of vitamin vaping, other risk factors and possible side effects are also unknown. There may also be other problematic ingredients in the vape, he cautions, not to mention that when vitamins go through a heating process, other unknown compounds can be produced, too. It’s been shown that smoking e-cigarettes causes irritation of the airways, but because there is currently no inhalation safety research, the long-term effects of vitamin vaping are still unclear.
The bottom line
If you smoke or have respiratory problems, steer clear. On the flip side, if you don’t do well with oral supplements and/or are curious to try this trend, your best bet is to look for a vape that uses a water soluble vitamin, such as B12; in theory, this will have the most benefits. Still, do your research to determine where the vitamins are manufactured, what they’re derived from, and to make sure you know what other ingredients are in the product, notes Dr. Firshein. (FYI, that universal bit of advice applies no matter how you’re getting your vitamins.) At the end of the day, proceed with caution. “Vitamin vaping is a trend with a lot of hype, and this method of taking vitamins is, in the long run, limited,” says Dr. Firshein.