Vitamin vaping. Nutrient-depleted rice. Nutritional Pixy Stix. Supplement stories dominated headlines this week, but if you’re anything like us, you found it hard to catch all the news you wanted to. Here’s our weekly roundup of the trending supplement stories you might have missed over the last few days.
Can you vape your way to health?
What’s the deal with the latest vaping trend? Despite the fact that in some places, e-cigs have been banned wherever cigarettes are banned, and the fact that experts say they still carry long-term risks for users, there’s a new breed of vapers puffing away to their health. Their vape of choice? Vitamins.
But the word is still out on whether or not this latest trend is as healthy as companies like VitaStik are leading users to believe. There’s not much compelling evidence that shows that vaping these mixtures of organic vitamins and essential oils are any more beneficial to health than taking regular supplements orally.
Vaping e-cigs initially became popular as a “healthy” alternative to smoking tobacco. And it caught on quickly. In 2016, 3.2% of adults vaped an e-cig, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Early iterations of the e-cig still used nicotine and chemicals in their blends. But then wellness companies saw the potential, and created vitamin-rich infusions, marketing them as the perfect way to get vitamins into the bloodstream fast. The claimed benefit? A nearly immediate hit of happiness and health.
But do the studies that vitamin vaping companies share hold up to the truth? Between outdated studies and meager scientific research and evidence directly aimed at the effects of vitamin vapor, the research is weak at best. Dr. Norman Edelman of the American Lung Association believes the lack of current research leaves the question of vitamin vaping’s effects and safety up in the air, and doesn’t recommend vaping vitamins.
Even e-cigs themselves haven’t been around long enough to determine long-term health risks. Vitamin vaping may sound healthy and fun, but at this point it’s simply a pricey fad that hasn’t been scientifically proven as safe or effective.
That bowl of rice just became a whole lot less nutritious
Rice has been on America’s radar for some time as not being particularly nutrient-rich. After all, in our search for muscle gain and fat loss, the carbs in rice have become taboo. But what we’ve failed to realize is that rice is actually a good source of nutrients like magnesium, phosphorous, manganese and iron. It also contains protein and a bit of fat. That is, it was semi-nutritious until now.
Our carbon footprint isn’t just changing and damaging the environment, it’s changing our food, and therefore our health as well.
That’s because as carbon dioxide levels rise throughout the world, the nutritional elements of rice, like protein, iron, zinc and B Vitamins, are being zapped. And that problem doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon, since we’re sending 2.4 million pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere every second.
Nutritional changes in foods have been happening for some time though. While foods like rice, barley and potatoes have been considered staples for thousands of years, they haven’t always been of the high-carb variety they are today. Some studies have shown that, concomitant with increased CO2 emissions, the carb count has gone up while protein levels have declined.
This can pose a major problem for millions of people who are already malnourished and lacking even the basic nutrients of good health. Now, with the declining nutrients of the most basic foods, malnourishment may increase—especially in countries that are heavily dependent on rice, such as Myanmar, Madagascar and Cambodia.
Powdered vitamins: the fad that lets you have your vitamins and eat them too
You live life on the go, and expect your food and nutrition habits to do the same. And that’s the idea behind new supplements like powdered vitamins. Unlike existing products that you can add to your water or morning coffee, the latest trend is akin to a Pixy Stix, ready to eat right out of the package. Care/of, a customizable vitamin company, has created “quick sticks” as one of the latest health fads. The pill-free vitamins are meant to give you an “extra health boost.”
Sounds tasty? With names like “Gut Check,” “Extra Batteries,” and “Dream Team,” they sound fun and healthy too. And for people who hate popping pills (or drinking vitamin waters) these may provide a dreamy alternative. The vitamin combinations are backed by varying levels of emerging and solid research.