Results of a new study suggest that the majority of people taking vitamins may want to store them in a different place. Researchers from Purdue University have found that the high humidity present in bathrooms and kitchens may seriously degrade vitamins and other dietary supplements.
Lead study author Lisa Mauer, an associate professor of food science at the university, and her colleagues found that crystalline substances—which include vitamin C, vitamin B and other natural supplements—are susceptible to deliquescence, a process by which humidity forces water-soluble solids to dissolve.
“You might see salt or sugar start to cake in the summer, start to form clumps, and that’s a sign of deliquescence,” said Mauer.
“You can also get chemical instabilities, which are a little more problematic if you’re consuming a dietary supplement with vitamin C,” she added.
The researchers found that even a minimal amount of moisture can significantly decrease the nutrient delivery and shelf life of vitamins.
Specifically, they discovered that vitamin C can degrade within one week when high amounts of moisture are added to a bottle that is regularly opened and closed.
Nutrient degradation is commonly marked by brown spots on vitamins or small amounts of liquid in the container.