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How Long For Vitamins To Work?

Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson’s Highlights
  • Vitamins are essential compounds that your body needs to function properly, even though it can’t produce them. Common vitamins include vitamins A and D, as well as biotin and folate. 
  • How long it takes for a vitamin to work very much depends on the kind of vitamin, what you’re using it for, and your particular body. 
  • Some vitamins are used to replenish substances that we don’t often get just through the foods we eat, like C15:0. This fatty acid supports cell health, and you can get your recommended amount by taking a supplement like fatty15.

What started off as a daily chewable shaped like a beloved cartoon character developed into a habit many of us carry through adulthood.  Taking vitamins is one of the foundational elements of ensuring the best care of our bodies, and many of us depend on vitamin supplementation to fill in the holes in our diets.  

Vitamins aren’t regulated for efficacy by the FDA, so it’s important to do your homework, speak with your doctor, and buy vitamins and supplements from companies that you trust.  Not all vitamins are created equally, and some vitamins and supplements contain things you may not want or need.  Your vitamin supplement might give you the extra dose of vitamin A you need in your diet, but it may also be giving you artificial colors and genetically modified oils.  It’s important to learn to read the labels so you know exactly what you are getting.

If you’re considering a multivitamin or supplement, or are simply curious to learn more about vitamin supplementation, we can help.  

What are Vitamins?

Vitamins are essential chemical compounds that your body must have to ensure proper cell function, growth, and overall health.  Vitamins cannot be produced by your body, meaning you have to get them from an outside source, like food.  Ideally, all your vitamin needs would be met by eating a well-balanced diet, but if you’re like most of us, your diet probably isn’t quite as balanced as it should be.  Unbalanced diets can lead to vitamin deficiencies, which is why many of us turn to vitamin supplements.

There are thirteen essential vitamins that your body needs to survive.  Here is a list of what they are, what parts of the body they support, and where you can find them.  

  • Vitamin A - Helps keep skin, hair, and nails healthy.  Vitamin A also keeps cells healthy.  You can find vitamin A in fish like salmon and eggs.  
  • Vitamin C - This vitamin helps build strong immune systems and is also an antioxidant, which means it helps your body fight off free radicals.  Vitamin C isn’t just found in citrus fruits, you can also get vitamin C in broccoli, peppers, and even potatoes. 
  • Vitamin D - Referred to as the sunshine vitamin because your body can actually make it when exposed to sunlight, vitamin D helps assist calcium in strengthening your bones and teeth.  Vitamin D can be found in butter, egg yolks, fatty fish, and fish oil.
  • Vitamin E - Another great antioxidant, vitamin E helps protect fatty acids and is essential for healthy muscles and red blood cells.  Vitamin E is found in eggs, nuts, and seeds.
  • Vitamin K - You need vitamin K so that your blood can clot properly.  Vitamin K is plentiful in broccoli, leafy green vegetables, and liver meat.
  • Thiamin - Aids in metabolism, digestion, and appetite.  Thiamin is found in pork, beans, seeds, nuts, and grains.  
  • Riboflavin - Necessary for energy metabolism and supports healthy vision and skin.  You can find riboflavin in grains, lean meats like chicken and pork, dairy, and mushrooms.
  • Niacin - Assists in metabolic function and helps promote healthy growth.  Niacin is found in chicken, pork, seafood, milk, eggs, and beans.
  • Pantothenic acid - Aids in metabolism and helps regulate healthy blood sugar levels. Almost all foods have some amount of pantothenic acid.
  • Biotin - Supports proper metabolism and healthy skin and nails.  Biotin is found in egg yolks, soybeans, nuts, and whole grains.  
  • Vitamin B6 - Promotes protein metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, and helps keep you energized.  Meat, fish, chicken, whole grains, root vegetables, and leafy green vegetables are great sources of B6.
  • Vitamin B12 - Helps create DNA, RNA, and red blood cells.  Vitamin B12 can be found in all animal products and byproducts.  
  • Folate - Helps create DNA and RNA, and is especially important for pregnant women.  Folate also helps with red blood cell health.  Folate can be found in liver meats, leafy green vegetables, orange juice, beans, and avocados. 

When we say we are “taking vitamins,” what we really mean is that we are taking a vitamin supplement.  A vitamin supplement is a capsule, liquid, gel, or powder that contains a vitamin.  Supplements help us make up for our unbalanced diets and can aid us in other areas of our overall health.  

How Long Does it Take for Vitamins to Work?

The question of how long it takes a vitamin to work has a multi-faceted answer.  There’s no one-size-fits-all response that will tell you exactly how long it will take for your body to feel the effects of your new biotin supplement, or when you are likely to see healthier hair.  

Vitamins don’t work like an over-the-counter pain reliever; you don’t take one and feel better in half an hour.  Rather, the vitamins you take are used by your body (if needed), and over time the systems and processes that the vitamins support may make a difference in the way you feel.

We’re a society of people that wants lightning fast results, but unfortunately when you begin taking a supplement, it is unlikely you will actually feel anything, at least not immediately.  Generally speaking, it can take up to three months for you to feel the effects of any vitamin or supplement.  How your body reacts to a particular vitamin or supplement depends on the following parameters:

  • Your weight, age, and personal body chemistry
  • Your level of deficiency of the particular vitamin supplement you are taking
  • The overall quality and bioavailability of the vitamin supplement you are taking
  • Your own diet and level of activity

These factors all determine how your body processes a vitamin supplement, which makes it impossible to say how long it will take for you to feel or see a difference from taking a vitamin.  You should know, however, that the vitamin supplement itself will likely begin quietly “working” (i.e. being digested and delivered to different parts of your body) within half an hour of taking it.  

Do I Actually Need to Take Vitamins?

Whether or not our body actually needs a vitamin supplement is the subject of much debate.  If you don’t actually have a vitamin deficiency, your body may not absorb the vitamin supplement you are taking.  It’s best to speak with your doctor about whether or not you may need a vitamin supplement.  A simple blood test can determine if you are deficient.  

A good option to support general health is to search for a supplement that can benefit your body in a way that may not be dependent on a vitamin-specific deficiency. 

For instance, fatty15 offers C15:0 as a supplement, which has growing global scientific evidence of health benefits for every human, as it helps build health and wellness on the most foundational level -  keeping our cells healthy and helping them function better.*

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What is C15:0?

C15:0 (also called pentadecanoic acid) is an odd-chain saturated fatty acid found in trace amounts in whole dairy products like milk and butter, as well as in some fish and plants.  Chances are, you haven’t got much C15:0 in your diet, because we’ve spent the last 40 years vilifying saturated fats in an effort to stay more “heart healthy.”  Unfortunately, we treated all saturated fats as equal, and it now appears that we got it wrong.  Turns out, not all saturated fats are bad; the difference is in the amount of carbon atoms each type of saturated fat carries, which determines how our bodies break them down.  

While even-chain saturated fats (like C16:0) are still associated with higher levels of inflammation, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, odd-chain saturated fats are actually associated with good health, including:*^

  • Balanced immunity.  As our bodies age, our immune systems can become off-balanced.  This happens at the cellular level.  C15:0 helps restore cellular signaling and balance, so our immune systems can function as they should.  
  • Healthier heart function.  Science now supports that odd-chain saturated fatty acids were never the enemy of the heart, in fact, C15:0 may help promote heart health by helping you maintain healthy cholesterol levels and encouraging the proper function of red blood cells.
  • Thriving metabolism.  When we sentenced saturated fats to dietary prison, we saw an increase in metabolism-related diseases like type 2 diabetes and obesity. Science supports that C15:0 helps support healthy metabolism by naturally binding to receptors throughout your body that regulate metabolism and working with your cell’s mitochondria to support their function. 
  • Liver health.  Our livers filter our blood, so it is crucial we make sure they are supported and functioning properly to avoid liver disease.  As we age, our liver function can begin to decline.  Science supports that C15:0 can help your liver maintain proper function, keeping you healthier, longer.   

How Can I Get C15:0 in My Diet?

C15:0 has been hard to come by in the modern diet because of outdated dietary guidelines that eliminate all saturated fats, especially those in whole fat dairy products. Eating more whole fat dairy products, however, comes with eating much higher levels of even-chain saturated fatty acids (such as C16:0) that are associated with poorer health.  It can also be difficult to get the proper amount of C15:0 if you are on a restrictive diet; for instance, if you are vegan or have a dairy allergy.  Thankfully, there’s a way to get all the C15:0 you need in a simple, easy to take, once a day capsule called fatty15.*  

Fatty15 is the first and only pure powder C15:0 dietary supplement that offers you all the benefits of C15:0 with no animal sources or animal byproducts.  Fatty15 provides daily C15:0 doses matching what we used to get from whole fat dairy products.  It contains only one simple ingredient, FA15, a pure, powder form of C15:0.  It is colorless, flavorless, and odorless, and contains no dietary allergens.  

If you’re curious how long it will take for fatty15 to begin working, the answer is between one and three months, which is why it is available in a convenient three-month supply.  Science supports that fatty15 begins supporting aging cells almost immediately, strengthening your cells and helping them maintain optimum performance levels.  Although not everyone may “feel” differently from taking fatty15, you should know it’s working hard in your cells to keep them younger, longer.*  





Profile photo for Eric Venn-Watson

Eric Venn-Watson M.D.

Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.

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