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    Tips for Storing Vitamins

    Supplements don’t last forever and can lose potency over time, especially when not kept in proper storage. Check expiration dates, store in a dry, cool place and avoid hot, humid storage locations like bathrooms.

    Keep supplements in a secure location out of children’s reach.

    Which Multivitamin Form Should You Choose?

    Most multivitamins come in capsules, but are also available as tablets, powders, chewables and gummies, and liquids and injectable formulations that can be administered by health care providers.

    In addition to varying amounts of vitamins and minerals, the difference between them is the rate your body absorbs the supplement. Liquids tend to be absorbed quicker, while coated pills are slower because the coating prevents absorption in the stomach.

    If you have trouble swallowing pills, you may find a gel-coated capsule or liquid easier to swallow.

    Some people prefer to take multivitamins with breakfast or before bed. It really doesn’t matter what time of day you take your vitamin, but taking them with food can help lessen any stomach discomfort.

    Multivitamin Safety

    The government sets tolerable upper limits on most vitamins and minerals, which take into account the nutrients also provided by the food and beverages you eat. Composition of multivitamins varies by brand, but each must contain three or more vitamins and minerals at a dose below the tolerable upper limit, and not include herbs, hormones, or drugs.

    Vitamin supplements are regulated by the FDA as “dietary supplements” -- which are products taken by mouth intended to supplement the diet.

    A measure of safety is to look for the designation "USP" on the label. A multivitamin that meets the requirements of the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) meets the standards and ensures the product is pure and actually contains the listed ingredients.

    Finally, it is always a good idea to consult your health care provider when taking any supplement, especially if you take prescription or over-the-counter medication, or have a history of a chronic condition, such as cancer.