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Long term vitamin storage is a topic that many of our readers are concerned about , so we are providing this comprehensive guide to answer all your questions. While most of you may be looking for storage solutions to make your vitamin and supplement supply last and retain efficacy as long as possible, there are also issues related to vitamin solubility and dissipation in the body that are of interest. This article addresses two variations on the phrase ‘long-term vitamin storage’ because we see that many of our readers are searching for this information. Read on if this is the information you were searching for!
Keeping Vitamins Fresh – Long Term Vitamin Storage
How long your vitramins and supplements can last and remain useful depends on may factors, including how long they were on the shelf at the store, the nature, content and quality of thee vitamins, how you store them and how quickly they lose their nutritional value. While many commercial multi-vitamin supplements contain filler, for instance, this same factor allows for longer-term storage capacity and less spoilage.
While vitamins do, of course, last longer than perishable foods, many do have limits. Fresher substances such as fish oils and organic herbal formulas may need to be refrigerated and consumed quickly (within product specifications), and it may be wise to buy them in smaller quantites for this reason. Vitamins in hard pill form generally tend to last longer and remain stable.
According to experts, many of the common places people store vitamins are inadequate or imappropriate, and vitamins stored improperly can lose their potency. For instance, exposure (especially repeated exposure when opening and taking vitamins) to humidity or fluctuating temperatures can lessen the viability of vitamins and supplements, making the bathroom cupboard and the fridge both no-no’s.
While the general consensus is that vitamins should be kept in a dry, room temperature sealable container away from heat and light (such as a sealed container in a cupboard), vitamins vary greatly and you should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. You may wish to check with your pharmacist for advice as well, and buy in smaller amounts to ensure freshness (despite the urge to buy in bulk in order to save money), and always use vitamins before their expiration date.
Vitamins in the Body
As you may already know, there are two main types of vitamins our bodies need: water soluble vitamins and fat soluble vitamins. Some of these essential nutrients our bodies can create, and some we need to obtain from our diet. Still others need certain dietary or other input to trigger our bodies to manufacture them.
How our bodies with vitamin content taken from food depends on the vitamin type. Our bodies cannot store water soluble vitamins, and this means that a person needs to replenish their water soluble vitamin intake on a daily basis. The eight B vitamins and vitamin C are water soluble vitamins, and any intake gets used and the excess washed out through normal bodily processes such as urination. (See this article for food sources of these vitamins).
Not only can our bodies not store water soluble vitamins, but they are less stable generally and easily destroyed by improper storage, handling, or cooking of foods that contain these vitamins. In particular, it is important not to overcook vegetables – especially by boiling – as the water soluble vitamins are in effect washed out of them. Keep the vitamins in your vegetables intact by growing and/or buying as fresh as possible, eating as soon as possible after picking, eating them raw or very lightly cooked, preferably steamd, and using any water you’ve used in cooking to supplement the meal (in a light sauce, for instance).
Because the body cannot store vitamin C or the other water soluble vitamins, it is obviously essential to eat a balanced diet with generous helpings of a variety of fruits and vegetables daily, to ensure you receive all the nutrients you require for healthy living. Rounding out your diet with whole foods containig iron and other essential vitamins and minerals will ensure oyu have a balance and obtain the full spectrum of vitmains and minerals. You may wish to supplement with quality vitamin supplements to fill areas where you may be deficient due to diet restrictions, hereditary factors or other reasons. Consult your doctor and/or a dietitian for more information.
On the other hand, the body can store vitamin content that is fat soluble. The body will store vitamin content in the fat cells so that it can be used when required, and a person does not need to consume as many of these fat soluble vitamins on as frequent a basis as they do with water soluble vitamins. The fat cells store vitamin A, D, E, and K as these are all fat soluble vitamins.
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