As Rick Warren expressed, "Your body is a gift from God. He loans it to you and it's your responsibility to manage it well. What are you doing with what He has given you?"


Spiritual Wellness

Taking care of your body is a natural and God-honoring activity for the believer. Because our bodies are created by God and are the Temple of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 6:19), we must take good care of them and treat them properly. As Rick Warren expressed, "Your body is a gift from God. He loans it to you and it's your responsibility to manage it well. What are you doing with what He has given you?"

 

A key component to good health is getting enough vitamins. Our bodies require quantities of these organic compounds, but are incapable of producing the necessary amounts. Most vitamins are acquired through the foods we eat, but vitamin supplements are also an important option for many. When you purchase these supplements, where do you store them? The location you choose can have a significant effect on the potency and longevity of the vitamins, so consider your answer carefully. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when choosing a location.

 

1. Forgo the bathroom. The bathroom medicine cabinet is a traditional choice for storing vitamins, but it may not be the best location. With the amount of heat and moisture typically generated in a bathroom, the shelf-life of vitamins and medications can be drastically reduced. Through a process called deliquescence, water-soluble vitamins can absorb the moisture from the air, potentially rendering the vitamins useless. Even using airtight containers will not help if the bottles are repeatedly opened and the content subjected to the moisture. Plus, the temperature fluctuations can still affect the contents of an airtight container.

 

2. Nix the kitchen shelves. Vitamins are often taken with food or water, which makes the kitchen an attractive option. As with the bathroom, however, the kitchen generates both moisture and heat. Keeping vitamins on a shelf above the stove, for example, makes them vulnerable to the heat from the stove and the steam created from boiling water. Vitamin B, vitamin C, multivitamins, and other supplements easily degrade under such conditions, making the kitchen a less-than-ideal location after all.

 

3. Avoid the refrigerator. Unless instructed to do so on the packaging, vitamins should not be refrigerated. The same holds true for medications. Moving them in and out of the refrigerator would create condensation, which in turn would reduce the potency of the vitamins and medications, greatly reducing their shelf lives.

 

4. Steer clear of the car. Even when parked inside a garage, your vehicle can be subject to wide temperature variations. Neither the heat nor the condensation-producing cold temperatures are good for preserving the shelf life of vitamins. Instead, they would lose their potency, perhaps leaving them completely ineffective. Furthermore, exposure to strong light sources (such as sunlight) can cause degradation in many vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin D, folic acid, vitamin K, vitamin E, pyridoxine, and riboflavin.

 

5. Opt for a cool, dry, and convenient location. Your bedroom may be an obvious choice, or perhaps a dining room or breakfast nook. Vitamins should be kept in a location you are sure to pass through regularly (so you do not forget to take them), yet protected from temperature fluctuations, moisture, and strong light sources.

 

6. Use opaque, air-tight containers. Doing so will prolong their shelf lives by protect vitamins from the harmful effects of humidity and light. Many vitamins are purchased in such containers, but you can add an extra layer of protection yourself.

 

7. Keep containers away from children. Even vitamins that come in child-resistant packaging should be kept safely out of reach. Child-resistant bottles are not infallible, and high doses can be toxic. An accidental overdose could result in serious--even fatal--complications.

 

So where do you keep your vitamins? Keeping these tips in mind will help you find a suitable location in your home that preserves the potency of the vitamins, ensures you remember to take them, and keeps the other members of your household safe.