Questions On DIY Topical B Vitamins

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A few questions for anyone who knows how to make DIY topical B vitamins from B vitamin powders, water, and ethanol. I'm asking because my GI has suddenly stopped tolerating oral B vitamins, and I need B1 and niacinamide in larger doses than would be convenient to get from Georgi's Energin (since I'd end up getting more than I want of other Bs).

What kind of ethanol would you use? (I don't know whether there are different grades/types for different uses.)

Roughly how much ethanol and water would you need for a given amount of B vitamin powder?

Do you just mix the ethanol, water, and B powder well, or is the process more complicated?

Any other tips or potential pitfalls?

Because of my history of deficiencies, B vitamin supplements are an important part of my regimen, so I need to make the transition to topical supplements quickly. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
 

JanP

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Get B1 and niacinamide without any fillers. Just pure vitamins, nothing else added.

You will likely have hard time getting pure food-grade ethanol (depending on where you live), but you should be able to get pharma-grade ethanol (expensive).

Alternatively, you could use vodka (which is ethanol + water) but I'm not sure if the ethanol wouldn't be too diluted.

Don't use technical / industrial ethanol, it has been denaturated by methanol (toxic). I would not use isopropyl alcohol either.
 

Creative Nature

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Get B1 and niacinamide without any fillers. Just pure vitamins, nothing else added.

You will likely have hard time getting pure food-grade ethanol (depending on where you live), but you should be able to get pharma-grade ethanol (expensive).

Alternatively, you could use vodka (which is ethanol + water) but I'm not sure if the ethanol wouldn't be too diluted.

Don't use technical / industrial ethanol, it has been denaturated by methanol (toxic). I would not use isopropyl alcohol either.

Thank you for these tips, @JanP. Much appreciated.
 

Creative Nature

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For the last few days, I've been dissolving thiamine HCl powder and niacinamide powder in warm vodka and applying the solution to my wrists and forearms. I've been dissolving about 100-150 mg of B1 and 200-300 mg of niacinamide at a time (both vitamins in the same solution). I haven't measured the vodka, but the volume of vodka is a few times greater than the volume of dry powder -- easily enough to dissolve the powder.

When I took these two vitamins orally, it was easy to detect the effects. On the days I've taken them topically, I haven't noticed these effects, and indeed, I've noticed the symptoms I usually get from insufficient B1: shortness of breath, feelings of heaviness in the legs and chest, shaky hands, lack of stamina, etc., and a feeling as if my metabolism is shutting down. I've also noticed some powder residue on my arms, as if the powdered vitamins are not absorbing fully.

So, in short, dissolving B1 and B3 in vodka and applying the solution topically doesn't seem to be working for me. Any ideas about what I'm doing wrong?
 

Andman

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Could try upping the dose of b1 a little. Also, its neccessary to let the mixture on the skin for around 1 hour when using the transdermal route for optimal results - bit of a hassle with energin because of the staining nature of the riboflavin

not sure about the powder residues, i never get them with energin - could be fillers in the powders maybe?
 

JanP

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Ray says about 10% of topical fat soluble vitamins is absorbed. Topical absorbtion of B vitamins is very similar, in my experience. You need to multiply the oral dose at least 5x to get similar results.
 

Creative Nature

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Could try upping the dose of b1 a little. Also, its neccessary to let the mixture on the skin for around 1 hour when using the transdermal route for optimal results - bit of a hassle with energin because of the staining nature of the riboflavin

not sure about the powder residues, i never get them with energin - could be fillers in the powders maybe?

Thanks for these thoughts, @Andman.

You're right -- 100-150 mg of thiamine HCl is not a very large dose for me. I started low and am increasing. I'm using 200 mg of B1 today.

During the time I've been experimenting with topical B vitamins, I have washed my arms first thing in the morning but generally haven't washed them later in the day, so the solution of B vitamins in vodka has had plenty of time to absorb. I've been mixing the B vitamin powders with warm vodka and then applying the solution to my arms over the course of an hour or two -- say roughly 1/4 of the solution every 20-30 minutes.

Maybe I need to spread the solution over a larger area of skin?

Yes, it's strange that Energin doesn't leave a residue, but my solution in vodka does. I'm using powders from Pure Bulk, which claims the powders contain no additives.
 

Creative Nature

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Ray says about 10% of topical fat soluble vitamins is absorbed. Topical absorbtion of B vitamins is very similar, in my experience. You need to multiply the oral dose at least 5x to get similar results.

Thank you, @JanP. My experience seems consistent with yours. In the Energin thread, a few people refer to a study showing high absorption of B vitamins applied topically, but since I haven't had time to hunt down the study, I don't know how the experimental protocol differs from the method I'm using.
 

Andman

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Thank you, @JanP. My experience seems consistent with yours. In the Energin thread, a few people refer to a study showing high absorption of B vitamins applied topically, but since I haven't had time to hunt down the study, I don't know how the experimental protocol differs from the method I'm using.

i seem to remember that study was done on a skin graft so results may and probably will vary

personally i find 5 drops energin topically a lot stronger than the same amount orally, which i barely "feel"
 

JanP

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i seem to remember that study was done on a skin graft so results may and probably will vary

personally i find 5 drops energin topically a lot stronger than the same amount orally, which i barely "feel"
Where are you applying it?
 

Creative Nature

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i seem to remember that study was done on a skin graft so results may and probably will vary

personally i find 5 drops energin topically a lot stronger than the same amount orally, which i barely "feel"

Thanks; that information helps.
 

Creative Nature

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As @Andman and @JanP suggested, I've been increasing the doses. I'm now applying topically a solution of around 200 mg of B1 and 300 mg of niacinamide in vodka 3X/day.

At the higher doses, it's clear I'm getting some benefit from the topical B vitamins, but I'm still experiencing the symptoms I associate with low B1 for a large part of the day.

If I knew I just needed to take, say 3X as much of each B vitamin topically as I would orally, I could make this method work, but for now, it seems like the effects and their timing are inconsistent. So have to keep experimenting...
 

JanP

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As @Andman and @JanP suggested, I've been increasing the doses. I'm now applying topically a solution of around 200 mg of B1 and 300 mg of niacinamide in vodka 3X/day.

At the higher doses, it's clear I'm getting some benefit from the topical B vitamins, but I'm still experiencing the symptoms I associate with low B1 for a large part of the day.

If I knew I just needed to take, say 3X as much of each B vitamin topically as I would orally, I could make this method work, but for now, it seems like the effects and their timing are inconsistent. So have to keep experimenting...
Well, maybe the carrier is the limiting factor. As a next step, I would focus on getting a better carrier. Alcohol penetrates skin much more, than water. It enhances absorbtion. And also dissolves the compound better. Something like 80% ethanol might be optimal.
 

Andman

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Ah youre right that could be the issue, vodka is usually about 40% alcohol if im not mistaken, might not be enough

B1 seems to be a bit tricky in any case, not sure if youve read the dr.lonsdale threads, but from what i remember to correct a true lack of B1 may take a while even at high doses
 
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