Vaping Your Vitamins: What You Need To Know

The pros and cons of the latest wellness trend.

Woman breathing out vapour.
Image: PhillyVoice

You might be on board with vitamin IVs and the good, old-fashioned supplement, but have you considered vaping your vits?

You’ll likely have seen people using nicotine-infused e-cigarettes after scientists unanimously concurred that vaping is technically better for you than smoking regular ciggies, but did you know that you can use one of these contraptions to inhale your vitamins? Yes, your vitamins!

Here’s the deal on whether or not this millennial wellness craze is actually good for you.

A new frontier of wellness

Woman in a cloud of vape from vaping.
Image: Inverse

As the wellness industry continues to expand at a rapid rate, it’s no wonder that the technology that has seen vaping shoot to popularity has been taken and given a health-focused spin. While it feels contradictory in visual terms—smoking something that’s purportedly good for you—companies argue that vitamins can actually be “more effectively absorbed through vaping than through pill or sublingual forms.”

Vitamin vapes are essentially just e-cigarettes or battery-operated personal vaporisers that deliver vitamins such as A, B12 (a particularly popular option), C, D and E, and herbs or essential oils via flavoured steam that you inhale. Intrigued?

Is it *actually* beneficial?

Young couple vaping and taking a selfie.

According to Vox, “when you take a vitamin (or eat food, for that matter) enzymes in your stomach and all along your colon break it down until its smaller chemical components can be absorbed into your bloodstream. Nasally, vitamin B12 can be absorbed across epithelial cells, which line the nasal cavities and airways. Epithelial cells act as a gateway for things to be absorbed or blocked. This is how medicines like asthma inhalers are able to penetrate into the lungs.” Which, means that there is some rationality behind claims that it could work for vitamin B12, but for the others? Less likely.

B12 vaping company Breathe cites studies from the 1950s and 1960s to support their claims, however, the general consensus throughout the health community is that there is little knowledge surrounding what happens when chemicals are heating up and then get inhaled through the device into the lungs. There’s nothing to say that other chemicals and harmful particles aren’t getting inhaled at the same time, so it’s all a bit of an unknown.

The bottom line

Woman in sunglasses using a Breathe vitamin vape.

While there has been little conclusive research conducted into the safety of vaping essential oils and other propellants that can found  be in vaping fluids, a preliminary study suggests that some flavourings could cause cell damage. For example, Breathe uses vegetable glycerin as its propellant, but the long-term effects when inhaled are completely unknown.

The bottom line is that we just don’t know what kind of damage vapes—especially ones without nicotine as these have been studied less, can do in either the short or long term.

While we’re not here to tell you that you absolutely shouldn’t be vaping your vits; do so with caution, and consider whether IV’s or simple supplements might be a more straightforward and clear-cut choice.

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