Supplements are most beneficial when their potency is at the highest, before the seal is ever broken. Once opened, they become extremely vulnerable. Depending on the conditions they are stored in, one could easily be degrading the quality and performance of the supplement. Are you unknowingly exposing your vitamins to dangerous conditions?
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How should supplements be stored?
Whether you are taking vitamin D or a multivitamin, they must be stored in the proper conditions in order to make sure that they retain all of their properties to deliver maximum results. The ideal environment for vitamins should be dry areas. Dark areas are recommended storage places for vitamins. Light and heat can actually affect the potency and cause damage to the vitamins.
Same storage, different vitamin?
Omega-3 fats like fish oil should be stored in the refrigerator. Colder temperatures preserve the fat molecules and prevent them from going bad. Any type of supplement that can be classified as a probiotic should be refrigerated due to the live bacteria. All fat-soluble supplements like vitamin A should be stored in a cool, dark and dry environment. Vitamins should also be stored in dry environments to eliminate unintended exposure to humidity and heat.
Conditions affecting the quality and integrity of the supplement
The kitchen or the bathroom may actually be the worst place to store supplements in a home. Humidity and moisture compromise the vitamins. High humidity can actually damage the supplements during a process called deliquescence. Vitamins like B and C are much more vulnerable to these conditions.
- Only probiotics and fish oil belong in the fridge to preserve shelf life.
- Bathrooms are the worst environment for supplements due to heat and humidity.
- Kitchen environments are terrible for supplements due to inconsistent temperatures resulting from operating the stove and the refrigerator.
- High, dry, cool. This is the best environment for storing any type of medication or supplement.
- Windows should never be an option. Temperature and humidity levels can be affected when stored in this environment because of the direct sunlight.
- Never mix. Some people combine vitamins into one container when they run low. They should always be kept separate in their own containers due to their different properties.
- Unless traveling, vitamins should never be served in a plastic bag. This is because the vitamins are exposed to sunlight.
Conducting a periodic audit to see whether or not the expiration date has been reached on a specific type of vitamin is always encouraged. Vitamins should always be stored high and dry in rooms where humidity levels are controlled and where temperatures remain consistent.