Studies show supplementation plays a key role in potentially preventing and treating COVID-19. As more and more of us are adding vitamins such as vitamin D, zinc, and omega-3 to our daily regimen, it is important to understand how to properly store supplements to maintain their optimal freshness as you work toward optimal health.
Temperature And Humidity
The impact of temperature and humidity on supplements has been studied over the years. One such study conducted by food scientists found vitamin C showed signs of deterioration when humidity levels rose to 80 percent and higher.
As heat and humidity can degrade supplements, the products have the following recommendation printed on the bottle label: “For optimal storage conditions, store in a cool, dry place (59° – 77° F/15°-25° C) (35-65% relative humidity).”
Selecting The Ideal Place To Store Your Vitamins And Supplements
Storing vitamins where you can see them serves as a reminder to take them. However, the temperature and humidity of that location are critical. A good rule of thumb is to store vitamins and supplements in a place you would be the most physically comfortable—with the optimal location being not too hot, not too cold, not too dry, and not too humid.
In The Bathroom
The bathroom suffers from major humidity issues and temperature changes. Each time the supplement bottle is opened, the contents in the bottle are potentially exposed to higher than recommended levels of humidity. Storing the supplements in the medicine cabinet can also be problematic depending upon how much time is spent in front of the cabinet mirror with the hot water running and razor in hand for the morning shave. If you typically store your supplements in the bathroom, the linen cabinet or closet is a better option.
In The Bedroom
Light, heat, and humidity affect quality and potency so the bedroom is an ideal place to store supplements as it is usually cool, dark, and dry.
In The Kitchen
Storing supplements in the kitchen can be dicey. Both temperature and humidity can vary widely near or above the stove, oven, and sink. Although most vitamins and supplements do not require refrigeration, the refrigerator is an ideal place to house sticky soft gels, as cooler temperatures (35° F /1.6° C) make soft gels firmer and eliminate stickiness. However, be sure to fully close the bottle lids to prevent too much humidity from getting in. Since most supplements are best absorbed with food, the kitchen table or island can provide a great visual reminder for you to take your vitamins. A kitchen cabinet or counter is also acceptable as long as it isn’t near water or heat.
At The Office
Many employees keep their vitamins and supplements on their desks or in a drawer or cabinet in their office. This is not only a safe space for supplements as office temperatures stay fairly constant, but is also a practical place to keep them within reach with the bottle remaining in eyesight to serve as a reminder to take their daily dose.
In The Car
Avoid leaving them in the car, especially in extreme summer and winter temperatures. While softgels disintegrate in high temperatures, tablets lose their potency as extreme temperatures oxidize and degrade the ingredients. To preserve quality and potency, it is recommended to not store in your car.
Essential Nutrients Matter Most
The first thing to understand about gummy vitamins is that the amount of actual nutritional compounds in the gummy is limited. In other words, gummies will never be able to provide the same level of nutritional compounds that you would find in capsules, tablets, liquids, and other forms of supplements. In addition, many nutrients are not as well suited for use in gummies because they taste so bad. Gummies may be fine for providing small quantities of vitamins and other lower dosage nutritionals, but they cannot provide meaningful levels of major minerals and many other nutritional compounds.
Find here more about apple cider vinegar gummies benefits.
Gelatin Or Pectin?
The most popular base for gummies is gelatin, with the second more popular being pectin. Is one better than the other? The big difference is that one is from animal sources, the other from fruit.
Gelatin is a processed protein from pigs, cattle, and, to a much lesser extent, fish. It is primarily a byproduct of the meat industry. Pig gelatin is by far the most popular source of commercial gelatin. This source creates a problem for both people following Halal and Kosher diets that forbid the consumption of any part of the pig.
Gelatin has a lot going for it as a gummy base because it is tasteless, clear, and provides a “melt-in-your-mouth” quality. However, the reason for that melt-in-your-mouth experience is also a drawback as it means that gelatin is sensitive to heat. While the heat in the mouth is responsible for melting the gelatin to produce the more intense, rapid release of flavor, heat can also be a problem in shipping gelatin-based gummies during the summer months.
Pectin is a fruit-based gelling agent. Citrus peel is the most widely used source of pectin, followed by apple. It appeals to people following vegan, vegetarian, Kosher, and Halal diets. A pectin is a great option over gelatin, for other reasons. It is more heat resistant than gelatin and can be shipped all year without concern of melting. The drawback for some is that while it is still able to deliver a gel-like feel, it has a different texture than gelatin. Pectin is softer with less chewiness and elasticity. However, many people prefer pectin-based gummies for these reasons.
Check The Ingredient List
Another issue beyond the sugar content of many gummy supplements is that they often contain undesirable ingredients such as artificial preservatives, colors, and flavorings. It is recommended to read product labels carefully and avoid any gummies that contain these additives.
As temperature and humidity affect the efficacy of vitamins and supplements, remember to evaluate the environment when selecting where you’ll store them.
Make sure to discuss the vitamins and supplements you take with your physician as they best understand your health circumstances.