Killing your vitamins

If you're like half of all Americans, you take vitamin supplements everyday. But, you might not know that you could be killing your vitamins without even knowing it. It all comes down to where you store them. The wrong place could rob them of their health benefits.

Good hair,  good eyesight, good mood, good cholesterol. People take different vitamins for different reasons, but when it comes to storing them, most people agree on one place-- the bathroom. It might be convenient, but it might not be best location.

A new study from food scientists at Purdue University found bathrooms are actually the worst place to store vitamins and other medications, even with the bottle tightly closed. "We found that Vitamin C and some of the B vitamins degrade very quickly when exposed to elevated temperature and elevated humidity.

"Just one long, hot shower can cause humidity levels in a bathroom to reach up to 98 percent." Many vitamins are water-soluble. They dissolve quickly in the stomach. Water from humidity has the same effect, causing vitamins to become less effective.

"What happens when that chemical structure changes is that we lose the nutritional availability of that vitamin, so it no longer has the same function in our body."

Researchers exposed different vitamins to varying levels of humidity. When vitamins dissolve, their chemical makeup changes. Some vitamins will start to dissolve in just 30 percent humidity. In one week, some products containing Vitamin C had lost all nutritional value.

"The best place to keep your vitamins and medications is in a cool, dark, dry location -- not in the refrigerator. Refrigerators are humid, even though they're cool."

Look for brown spots. They're a sign moisture is ruining them. Finding a new place to store vitamins is easy. Remembering to take them is the hard part.

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