Nutritionists are casting doubt on the health claims about vaping.
Health authorities have warned against buying the hype accompanying the latest vitamin craze – vaping your supplements.
Vaping became a thing several years ago when smokers trying to quit the nastier parts of the habit took to smoking battery-powered electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes as they are commonly known.
They work by heating up liquid that contains nicotine, sometimes food flavours, propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine. Once the liquid is turned into vapour through an atomiser, the user inhales the ‘smoke’.
In the quest to make vaping more widely appealing, some manufacturers are spruiking its ‘health benefits’ by saying they have dropped the nicotine and added vitamins to the liquid.
YourLifeChoices readers are big fans of vitamins, with more than 55 per cent of 4900 respondents to the 2018 Retirement Matters Survey saying they took nutritional supplements.
The main companies marketing nutritionally infused vapes – VitaminVape, Breathe and Vitastik – hope that nicotine-free vaping will replace vitamin infusions, pills and injections, according to a report in Insider.
The companies claim that breathing in vitamins through a haze of vapour is one way of ensuring you get all your nutritional requirements.
But health experts remain unconvinced, saying there are no key scientific studies showing that vitamin vaping is good for you.
The manufacturers beg to differ, with Breathe saying that inhaling B12 is a more effective way of absorbing the vitamin than taking it as a pill, according to an article published in 1967 in the British Journal of Haematology.
VitaminVape also makes claims about the wonders of puffing B12, saying it results in improved nerve function, cell health and energy levels.
And it goes easy on your wallet, with a $16 vapouriser containing 10 shots of B12, compared with injections on which you would have to spend $280 in order to receive the same dosage.
That company also cites published medical papers. But Insider reports that most of the cited research is about the benefits of vitamins themselves and not about vaping them.
Further, “a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2017, which looked at the link between the use of B vitamins and lung cancer risk, supported the theory that taking too much of certain vitamins can be harmful”.
“To me, (using vitamins and nutrients) is a marketing ploy to sell this product and make it look healthier,” said Regan Bailey, a nutritional epidemiologist at Indiana’s Purdue University.
“These products might be completely safe, but they might not be. We know literally nothing about the safety or efficacy of inhaling vitamins.”
Pulmonologist at New York’s Weill Cornell Medicine Ron Crystal was reported in Science Alert as saying that while inhaling vitamins may seem like a “rational concept”, it is still unclear how well the lungs actually take in nutrients and what the effects might be.
“You're putting something inside your body and it's unknown,” Dr Crystal said. “Unfortunately, this means that any possible risks are also unknown.”
Would you consider vaping vitamins if your doctor said you suffered from nutritional deficiencies? Do you believe vitamins even work, whether or not you eat a balanced diet?