How Long Do Vitamins Take to Work?
Next Health Staff | | 0 comments
We’re often told to take our vitamins with food and to balance our diets, so we get plenty of healthy vitamins. Although most of us follow this advice, we often don’t notice the results through diet alone.
So, just how long do vitamins take to work? As it turns out, vitamin efficacy and efficiency are contingent on several factors like age, the bioavailability of vitamins, and more. Let's break down vitamins in more detail.
How Your Body Uses Vitamins
In a nutshell, your body uses vitamins for a variety of natural processes, including but not limited to:
- Building up bones, muscles, and other tissue
- Supporting the immune system and bodily functions
- Converting food into energy
- Catalyzing metabolic reactions
Vitamins are essential because our bodies only make some of them. Certain vitamins, such as vitamin C, have to be absorbed from our diets. Alongside minerals, vitamins are essential nutrients and are absolutely necessary for overall wellness.
If you don’t have enough of certain vitamins, you could eventually develop a vitamin deficiency.
What Do Specific Vitamins Do?
Each vitamin has one or more specific roles in the body. Vitamins have different molecular structures, making them more or less suitable for different tasks. Here’s a breakdown of the main vitamins necessary for human health and their primary functions in the body:
- Vitamin A – Necessary for vision functionality, tooth formation, bone formation, and immune system functionality
- Vitamin B1 – Releases energy from foods and maintains your nervous system
- Vitamin B2 – Helps with eyesight and healthy skin
- Vitamin B3 – Assists with digestion, metabolism, and enzyme functionality
- Vitamin B5 – Helps metabolism and hormone creation
- Vitamin B6 – Helps your body produce certain proteins as well as red blood cells, hemoglobin, and insulin
- Vitamin B7 – Releases energy from carbohydrates and helps metabolize fats, proteins, and hydrates
- Vitamin B9 – Produces normal red blood cells and helps maintain the nervous system
- Vitamin C – Helps the body absorb iron and produce collagen, plus helps with bone formation and wound healing. Improves the immune system
- Vitamin D – Assists with the growth of teeth and bone tissue. Assists with the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus
- Vitamin E – Acts as an antioxidant to fight off infections and keep your red blood cells as healthy as possible
- Vitamin K – Keeps bones healthy and helps blood clot near wound sites
Overall, each of the above vitamins is critical. It’s important that we give our bodies enough of each to maintain holistic wellness, and so we feel and perform our best.
But while it's important to make sure our bodies get enough of each vitamin, different vitamins may be absorbed and utilized at different rates. Furthermore, several biological factors can affect how long it may be before you notice the effects of a vitamin injection or oral vitamin supplement.
Let’s explore some of the main factors that can affect the vitamin absorption rate in the body.
Water-Soluble vs. Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Firstly, the above key vitamins can be separated into two main groups: water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins.
Water-soluble vitamins are any vitamins that can dissolve in water. This feature allows water-soluble vitamins to be absorbed into your body’s tissues quickly and easily. More importantly, our bodies can use the water-soluble vitamins stored in tissue whenever necessary.
As a result, water-soluble vitamins have to be replenished regularly since they cannot be stored in our bodies over the long term. If they aren’t used, they’re excreted in feces or urine.
Furthermore, water-soluble vitamins will usually provide results or benefits more quickly than fat-soluble vitamins.
Water-soluble vitamins include all of the B vitamins and vitamin C. Fat-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are vitamins that only dissolve in fats. When absorbed by our bodies, they enter fat globules and are distributed throughout our bodies as body fat. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in fatty tissues and the liver and can be used in the future. But they must be retrieved with more effort.
As a result, fat-soluble vitamins might provide their benefits or effects more slowly than water-soluble vitamins. For example, our bodies store up vitamin D when we expose our skin to the sun. When we get less sunlight during the winter months, our bodies gradually retrieve stored vitamin D as needed. The excess vitamin D we build up during the summer isn’t used immediately, so we don’t feel any of its effects. Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
How Are Vitamins Absorbed?
Next, the absorption method for a given vitamin can affect how quickly your body uses it, or you experience any benefits. There are two primary vitamin absorption methods:
- Oral vitamins, such as by taking a once a day vitamin capsule
- IV injection vitamins, such as by signing up for an IV infusion with Next Health
Between the two options, vitamins injected by IV are much more bioavailable (more on that below), and your body absorbs them more quickly. Why?
In brief, when you enjoy an IV infusion, any vitamins or minerals are provided directly to the bloodstream. Your body’s blood cells then take the vitamins and minerals and immediately use them where they are needed.
In contrast, if you take an oral vitamin, the vitamin must:
- First, go down the esophagus and enter your stomach
- Be digested by your digestive tract. During this process, your stomach’s acids may destroy some of the vitamin content in a capsule or tablet
- Be absorbed by your small and large intestines
By the end of the process, many oral vitamins have lost some of their included vitamins and minerals. On top of that, it takes more time for your body to absorb nutrients through the intestines than it does to absorb nutrients straight from the bloodstream. Therefore, vitamins work more quickly when they are injected rather than swallowed.
Your body develops a vitamin deficiency if it doesn’t have enough of one or more vitamins for daily bodily functions or specific needs. For instance, if you don’t have enough vitamin D, your body may not maintain its bone mass as normal.
A vitamin deficiency may cause your body to absorb certain vitamins more quickly when it detects them entering your body. Again, suppose you have a vitamin D deficiency but take a vitamin D tablet. In that case, your body will absorb and utilize that vitamin D almost immediately (as soon as a vitamin D is available from digestion).
In contrast, if you don’t have any vitamin deficiencies, your body will either:
- Excrete the excess vitamins if they are water-soluble
- Store the excess vitamins if they are fat-soluble
In such cases, your body won’t experience any benefits or effects from the vitamins in question since it already has enough of them.
The "bioavailability" of a vitamin or another compound is best understood as how much of that vitamin content is absorbable or usable in your body. Very few, if any, compounds are fully bioavailable. But some are more bioavailable than others.
Our bodies have a limited capacity to absorb and use vitamins, even if they are deficient. For example, magnesium usually has a bioavailability rate of between 30 to 50 percent. That means, out of any given magnesium vitamin or supplement you take, your body will only benefit from between 30 to 50 percent of the magnesium molecules in that vitamin.
However, some supplements or vitamins may increase the bioavailability of others. To continue the above example, vitamin D can increase the magnesium absorption rate in your body. In this way, certain vitamins may increase how quickly your body benefits from a vitamin supplement or infusion.
So, How Long Do Vitamins Take to Work?
As you can see, many factors go into vitamin efficacy and absorption rate.
- If you are vitamin deficient or take a water-soluble vitamin, vitamins start to work almost immediately. In general, you’ll feel results within minutes to hours, depending on whether you receive an IV infusion or take a vitamin tablet.
- If you are not vitamin deficient or take fat-soluble vitamins, vitamins may work more slowly. You may feel results within days to weeks after consuming a vitamin.
Furthermore, major vitamin deficiencies may take several months to sort out, even if you give your body plenty of vitamins to compensate. Let’s go back to our vitamin D example.
In the winter, many people burn through their bodies’ stores of vitamin D. With no vitamin D left; it takes some time for the body to build up new vitamin D stores when we start going outside and getting plenty of sunshine again in the spring and summer.
For this reason, many individuals suffer from “delayed vitamin D deficiency.” They may start to feel vitamin D deficient in the middle of winter, such as during January or February. They may only stop being vitamin D deficient closer to summers, such as in May or June.
Ultimately, there’s no single timeframe for when you may feel the effects of a given vitamin supplement. Even if you get an IV infusion from Next Health, how long vitamins take to work will depend on:
- What vitamins are included
- The bioavailability of those vitamins
- Your current vitamin stores
But there’s one thing you can rely on for certain: IV infusions of vitamins and other key minerals are far superior to oral supplements and tablets.
Next Health’s IV Drip Therapy is a transformative, rejuvenating treatment that starts with a Myers' Cocktail Base. This effective blend of electrolytes, amino acids, and plenty of vitamins will re-energize your body. It may provide ancillary benefits such as increased energy, supporting immune system functionality, detoxification, and more.
For example, our Energy Plus IV Drip treatment can offer long-lasting energy thanks to its unique combination of key vitamins without any risk of an energy crash later in the day.
Even better, getting your vitamins through IV Drip Therapy means you can enjoy a comfortable, state-of-the-art IV lounge with massage chairs and a team of registered nurses who will keep an eye on you throughout your appointment’s duration.
IV Drip Therapy from Next Health is by far the best way to ensure your body has all the vitamins it needs to succeed. Contact us today to set up an appointment or for more information!