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Questions About Natural Products

Spray Vitamins


Dear Dr. D'Adamo, what is your opinion on spray vitamins? Are they better absorbed than ordinary tablets? Thanks for your interest.


In 1998, the FDA issued a warning letter citing manufacturing violations and stating that it was illegal for any company to market "spray vitamins" as dietary supplements. Spray vitamins (atomizing vitamins in solution and typically spraying them into the nasal cavity) violate the Dietary Supplement Act.

In one instance the labeling stated that "Vitamin B12 is best absorbed through the tongue membranes or injection because if it is ingested, gastrointestinal juices will break down the vitamin, thereby destroying its value. Just one spray under the tongue enables the vitamins, including over 100% of the recommended daily value (DV) of vitamin B 12 to be absorbed into the body efficiently."

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) became law on October 25, 1994. Section 201(fl) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (Act) defines the term "dietary supplement" to be a product that is formulated with vitamins, minerals, or a botanical that is intended for ingestion in tablet, capsule, powder, softgel, gelcap, or liquid form. Consequently, any spray vitamin which is not intended for ingestion cannot meet the definition of "dietary supplement."

This is just incorrect, especially since the type of B12 used in the formula is the very inexpensive cyanocobalamine form versus the biologically active methylcobalamine form.

The body is a wonderful mechanism, which does not typically require any esoteric delivery system. Remember your digestive tract is designed for assimilation, not your nose.

The Ask Dr. D'Adamo internet advice column ran from 1996 to 2009, at which time Dr. D'Adamo's teaching and programming responsibilities no longer allowed him to devote time and resources to directly answering visitor questions. However we've recently reorganized this treasure-trove of material and made it again available to his readership. He occasionally posts new entries. These are marked with a NEW tag.

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