CAROLYN O'NEIL: Well, I'veremembered to takemy daily multivitamin-- that'sa good thing.But what'swrong with this picture?Well, I can tell you what itis-- the vitamins are storednext to the kitchen sink.In fact, storing your vitaminsanywhere in the kitchen wherethere's moistureand there's heatis not a good thing because itactually reduces the potencyof the vitamins.They won't last as long.
The other place people liketo keep their vitaminsis in the bathroom.Again, not a good choice to havethem in the bathroom cabinetwith showersand the heat and the moisture.Instead, thinkof cool, dry placesin your home that areconvenientto your routine like the familybreakfastnook, your dressing or bedsidetable, even your office, but notyour car.
The key is to choose a spot awayfrom moisture, heat,and direct light.Keeping your vitamin tabletsin the refrigeratoris another poor choice.That's because goingfrom cold temperaturesto room temperatureand back again can causecondensation, and that moistureaffects the potency of vitamins.
While the FDA does not requirethat vitamin companies putexpiration dateson their products, most of themdo anyway.And it's a good thing to lookfor.If the expiration is outof date, it doesn't meanthat the product is bad for you,it just means that the vitaminsmight have lost their potency.Another thing to keep in mindwhen you're storingyour vitamins at home, keep themaway from children.Even if they havea child-proof cap, it's just notworth the risk because vitaminstaken in high dosescan be toxic.
So here are the important pointsto remember.Avoid heat, moisture,and direct light.Avoid using the refrigeratorunless directed to store themthere.Examine the expiration date.And keep all supplements faraway from children.