How Vitamin Supplements Could Help You Quit Smoking

Woman smoking
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If you're having a hard time managing cravings and staying focused on your smoking cessation goal, you may be wondering about vitamins to help quit smoking. While there's little firm data to prove that vitamin supplements will directly assist with smoking cessation, some of the overall health benefits related to taking supplements may improve your chances of successfully quitting.

Cigarette smoke is a toxic blend of poisons and cancer-causing chemicals that put virtually every internal organ at risk when we smoke. It creates an abundance of free radicals that can cause cellular damage and deplete essential vitamins and minerals in our bodies.

Research shows that the nutritional status of smokers is poorer than that of non-smokers or ex-smokers. 

Vitamins That May Support Smoking Cessation

Before you begin taking supplements, talk about it with your doctor. Other medications or health considerations may affect the type of supplements or dosage you should take. Discuss whether a general multivitamin would be best or whether you should increase your intake of one or more specific vitamins. Some of the options to consider:

Multivitamins

Smoking is hard on the body. As with any addiction, a period of nutritional recovery can help you to regain your energy and good health, so you need to ensure you're getting the right balance of nutrients.

The best way to boost vitality is through a well-balanced diet, including lots of fruits and vegetables, which have been study-proven to increased satiety in smokers (who often mistake hunger cues for nicotine cravings) making them less likely to light up. 

Eating right is not always easy, so for some people, a multivitamin is a good way to ensure you get the appropriate nutrients every day. It will also help keep the fatigue that often occurs during nicotine withdrawal to a minimum.

Vitamin B Complex

B vitamins, including vitamin B1, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin B9 (folate), are vital for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver.

Anecdotal reports indicate that these vitamins may help curb nicotine cravings and irritability, but there is no research data to prove these claims.

Niacin (Vitamin B3)

Niacin is chemically similar to nicotine, and in fact, its name was changed from nicotinic acid to niacin to avoid confusion between the two substances.

No studies have proven that Niacin can help smokers quit, but there has been some speculation that niacin eases nicotine addiction.

The theory is that the vitamin attaches to the niacin receptor sites in the brain (which are taken up by nicotine in smokers) in the same way that opiates take up the endorphin receptors in the brain in opiate addicts. Large doses of niacin can result in liver damage and other health complications, so you'll need to talk with your physician before adding a supplement to your diet.​

If you're struggling severely with nicotine cravings, you might want to discuss with your healthcare provider whether it's safe to try these supplements — but remember there are no "magic pills" that will make quitting easy.

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Article Sources

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