Is it possible to absorb nutrients through Skin?

Nicotine, hormones and certain medications can all be delivered through the skin through medicinal patches or creams. Why not vitamins and minerals?

When we think about taking nutrients into our bodies, we usually think about swallowing them, in the form of pills, powders, or that radical format known as food. For that matter, when we talk about nutrient absorption, we’re usually talking about the absorption of nutrients from the digestive system into the bloodstream.

But a handful of companies are trying to change the way we think about nutritional supplementation. Instead of swallowing a handful of pills and worrying about whether or not they are being absorbed, why not bypass the digestive tract altogether and apply them directly to your skin?

In nutritional supplement patches developed by the military and others, in order to incorporate a compound which does not have the characteristic of "lipophilic or lipophilic" and "compound particles small" into the body, "decompose large molecules into nanoparticles" And "injecting compounds into materials that are easy to diffuse in the lipid layer of the skin", etc. are tried and repeated in various ways. There are other methods, such as using a small needle to open a small hole in the skin to make the substance easier to penetrate into the body, a method to change the surface of the skin to porous using a chemical substance, A method of spreading the compound and invading the compound therefrom, a method using microdialysis, etc. are also proposed.

These methods are being tested by pharmaceutical companies and the military, but all of them are under development and we do not know which method will succeed. However, it is obvious that these state-of-the-art technologies are not used in vitamin patches and the like which are sold for several hundred yen, and it seems that the current situation is that it does not need to mention its efficacy.Like nicotine patches and estrogen patches "Percutaneous absorption patch from lotion to cream, there are a number of things to transmit substances to the body in the form of application to the skin. Then, can nutrients such as vitamins and minerals be transmitted to the body via the skin? The US military has prepared a patch for ingesting nutrients and other compounds from the skin in preparation for "high-intensity conflict period" or the like which can not obtain adequate nutrition from food development. However, a scientist working on developing this patch seems to think that it is difficult to bring it to a stage where field tests can be carried out within the next ten years.

In fact, human skin has a structure that adhered components are not easily transmitted to the body. If all of the things that touched the skin melt in the bloodstream, you can easily imagine that it will be serious. Nutrients contained in lotions and beauty solutions can have a cosmetic effect on the surface of the skin, but rarely penetrate from the outside to the inside of surprisingly strong skin. Therefore, it is possible to apply a mineral-based sunscreen using zinc etc. on the skin. One study, It has been revealed that even if sunscreen containing zinc is used, the effect on zinc content in the blood is very small. Still care must be taken in that it does not mean there is no effect at all.

Depending on the ingredients, the ease of absorption of the skin will differ. In particular, magnesium can not be effectively absorbed from the skin determined by research. Therefore, if you develop a method of ingesting nutrients from the skin, it is necessary to consider the ease of absorption for each ingredient firmly.

In order to absorb nutrients from the skin into the bloodstream in the body, it is necessary for the compound to be absorbed to have at least the characteristic "lipophilic or lipophilic" and the characteristic "small particle of the compound" is. Basically, it is said that there are many cases where safety and effectiveness are not sufficiently verified because the compound contained in the product that sells an existing commercially available "nutritional supplement patch" does not meet either .