Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Niacin, and Thiamin – Maximizing Benefits and Minimizing Side Effects
Vitamins are anti-addictive. It is difficult to perceive the benefits and easy to perceive the side effects. With time, perceived benefits tend to fade away while common side effects emerge and increase in severity. Many people feel the side effects and stop taking supplements altogether.
Vitamin C, vitamin D, niacin, and thiamine are the most important vitamins. Read more here. Each of these vitamins is available in multiple forms. Each form of the vitamin, taken by mouth, will have slightly different side effect sensations and thresholds. Vitamin C is available as the acid, the salt (calcium ascorbate, magnesium ascorbate, sodium ascorbate), and an ester (Ester-C). Vitamin D is available in several forms as the diol and additionally as the triol. Niacin comes as niacin, niacinamide, and niacin inositol (among others). Thiamine comes as the hydrochloride, the nitrate, and as a family of fat soluble molecules known as allithiamines. The most common allithiamines are TTFD and benfotiamine. If you are experiencing side effects, it’s a good idea to try different forms of the vitamins.
Finding the right pill, however, is only the beginning. Each molecule can be placed into the body using several routes. The most common are swallowing pills (the current paradigm), injection (the common route no one likes and that is typically conducted under physician supervision), rubbing onto the skin (increasingly common as more and more vitamins become available in skin creams), and breathing into the lungs.
Vitamin skin creams are wonderful products, most of which have been available to the consumer for less than 20 years. They are very modern products. Unfortunately, they tend to be expensive. I don’t think people realize that they don’t need to pay for vitamin D, vitamin C, niacin, and thiamine skin creams if they don’t want to. Vitamin D, ester-C, niacin inositol, and the allithiamines are stable in tap water and will pass through the skin. Vitamin D can be purchased dissolved in oil. This oil can be rubbed on the skin. The other vitamins can be purchased as powders (typically in gelcaps). The powder can be spread on the skin and rubbed in with water. Over the course of the day, much of the dose will be absorbed.
Vitamin powders can also be inhaled. I haven’t done this myself, and don’t know anyone else who has. I’m not recommending this method. That said, if forced to choose between injections and inhalation, I’d definitely choose inhalation. More importantly, I’m trying to open the minds of vitamin users and health care providers. Why isn’t inhalation more widely used? It is an effective and proven method for delivering medications. There is a recent patent specifically covering inhaled vitamins. It is U.S. 5944012.
If a vitamin is causing a side effect or if swallowing pills is a problem, there are many other options besides completely giving up swallowing vitamin tablets. If you have problems with a knee or an ankle, higher doses of vitamins can be delivered selectively to those joints by rubbing vitamins into the nearby skin. Vitamins that are subject to degradation in the digestive tract can be delivered to the bloodstream more effectively by inhalation. This improves dosage control compared to injection and shouldn’t require any more supervision from a physician than the commonly used inhalers for asthma. Perhaps there are other options. Many readers will find that there is much to be gained and little to lose by giving some of these uncommon methods a try.