The stomach may be the quickest way to a man’s heart, but it’s a roundabout way to anyone’s bloodstream. That’s why Harvard University biomedical engineer David Edwards invented Le Whif breathable vitamins, which get into blood faster than pills do.
When you swallow vitamins, your intestinal tract and liver can degrade the active ingredients and also slow their absorption into your body. Breathable vitamins, on the other hand, skip the digestive system and dissolve into the highly permeable tissue lining your cheeks.
To make Le Whif, Edwards (who also pioneered inhalable chocolate, coffee and insulin) ground various vitamins into aerosolized particles, mixed them with different teas to enhance flavor, and packed the mixture into a lipstick-shaped inhaler that you draw on like a pipe to pull the particles out. A plug at the end of the device directs the vitamin spray upward and prevents the mist from shooting down the throat and making the user choke.
The manufacturer Breathable Foods sells three varieties: green tea with vitamins C and E, hibiscus tea with a multivitamin, and wine tea, which delivers vitamin D and 20 milligrams of resveratrol, a compound found in the skin of red grapes that may fight cancer and inflammation. Eight inhales a day supply 100 percent of the daily dose of each vitamin.
Edwards’s team is exploring other edibles, too. Food substitutes, he says, provide flavor without adding calories, satisfying cravings in a healthy way. Mmm, huffable mac ‘n’ cheese.
In Related News: Unspillable Snacks
Worry no more about potato-chip crumbs grinding into your living-room carpet. A new line of snacks from British company Benjoy are the first spill-proof single-serve munchies. Rather than using a replaceable lid, Benjoy stretches a semi-rigid polyester membrane 50 microns thick (about half that of a sheet of paper) over the mouth of the cup. The layer is crosscut so you can reach in to grab a piece of dried fruit or a veggie chip, but it’s elastic enough to spring back into place and reseal the cup. Look for similar snacking tech in the U.S. soon.