How Long Does It Take for Vitamins to Work?

How Long Does It Take for Vitamins to Work?

Apr 04, 2023 Alex Brecher

Are you thinking about taking vitamins? Did you just start some supplements? Are you trying to decide which supplements to take? Something you may be wondering is how long it takes for them to work. It depends on many factors, but many people are turning to vitamin patches as a solution. Here is what you should know about how long it takes for vitamins to work. 

Factors That Can Affect How Long It Takes for Vitamins to Work

There are many factors that impact how long it takes for vitamins to work. Here are a few of them.

  • Baseline levels.
  • If you are taking vitamins for a severe deficiency, it may take longer for the supplements to work than if you start off with normal or nearly normal levels. With a severe deficiency, your body is more depleted, and could take longer to build back its stores.

  • Mode of delivery of the vitamin supplement.
  • There are many different types of supplements. Some of the main ones include oral supplements, such as capsules, liquids, sublinguals, and tablets, intravenous (IV) infusions, injections, and patches. Injections and especially infusions can give very high doses in a short amount of time, and can be the fastest way to boost vitamin levels. Iron infusions, for example, are sometimes given to patients with very low levels of iron.

    When it comes down to absorption into the body, oral supplements can have a delay compared to vitamin patches. Oral supplements go through the digestive process before entering the bloodstream. PatchAid Vitamin Patches, on the other hand, are topical patches that depend on transdermal absorption across the skin and directly into the bloodstream for circulation throughout the body.

  • How consistently you take your vitamins.
  • Even if we are motivated, it can be possible to skip doses. This slows how long it takes for them to work. Some reasons to skip doses may be forgetting or needing to take them at an inconvenient time, such as with a meal or between meals. Taking multiple vitamin pills at different times can also increase the risk of forgetting. In addition, if you are supposed to be taking your vitamins but you hate swallowing them or they taste bad, you may be more likely to skip doses. 

    PatchAid Vitamin Patches are easy to use and can be used regardless of mealtime, which can make you more likely to take them consistently. You can also use multiple patches at once, which means you don’t have to remember to take different vitamins at different times of the day.

  • Vitamin interactions
  • Some nutrients compete for absorption during the digestive process. Iron and calcium are a classic example of this, as they compete for absorption. In addition, some compounds in foods, such as oxalates in spinach, can reduce absorption of nutrients. With vitamin patches, this isn’t an issue, as nutrients go across the skin and not through the digestive process. 

  • Which vitamin or mineral it is
  • Some vitamins and minerals may take more or less time than others to work. If you are taking iron, vitamin B12, or folic acid for nutritional anemia, for example, consider that the life of red blood cells is about 120 days. That means it takes 120 days to get a whole new set of red blood cells that are formed properly once you start to correct the deficiency, though you may feel better within about 6 weeks.

  • Reason for taking the vitamins.
  • The reason why you are taking the vitamins can affect how long it takes them to work. Fixing deficiency symptoms could take weeks or months, but weight loss can take longer. There have even been studies on vitamin C infusions in cancer patients over the course of years.

  • Underlying conditions that you may have.
  • Some underlying conditions may affect how long it takes for vitamins to work. Malabsorptive conditions, for example, may inhibit absorption during digestion, so that your body is actually getting and using less of the nutrient than you expect. Some bariatric surgery patients, older adults, celiac disease patients, and people with IBS or colitis may have trouble absorbing some nutrients that were taken orally. Vitamin patches avoid the gastrointestinal system.

    Monitoring Your Vitamin Levels

    How do you know if your vitamins are working? You can probably judge for yourself if you are taking vitamins to feel better. You know the vitamins are working if you start to have more energy, or are better able to focus, or can sleep better, if those are the reasons why you started taking vitamins. 

    You can also probably judge for yourself if you are taking vitamins for other visible signs. For example, you might notice that your hair is shinier, or skin is clearer, if dull hair or skin that is broken out were reasons why you started taking vitamins in the first place.

    If you started taking vitamins because you had low levels, or if you found out that you had low levels when you brought up the issue with your healthcare provider, you may not be able to feel or see when the vitamins are working. In many cases, one or more blood tests can help monitor levels. Vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron, and folic acid are examples of nutrients whose levels can be gauged from simple blood tests that are widely available. You can probably get them done in your doctor’s office or a standard clinical lab, and you don’t need to fast beforehand to get accurate results.

    Taking vitamins can be a sign that you are interested in supporting your health, but how long will they take to work? There are many different answers, depending on types of vitamins and your individual factors. Vitamin patches may be helpful as you decide on which supplements to take. Just be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about any health concerns and before starting a supplement. 

    *The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. PatchAid products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone with a medical condition should seek the advice of a licensed medical practitioner. Individual results may vary.

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