Destressing in the bathroom stresses out your vitamins

The pillYou run the bath water, chuck in some nice smelly stuff and then slowly ease your body into the piping hot water.  You lie still in the water, absorbing the scent of the bath salts mixed with the water vapour in the air.  As the water envelopes your body, you allow your mind to unpack the day………..

You then hop out the bath and continue the bathroom programme, which for many people includes  swigging down a supply of vitamins and supplements.

But what did you swallow – has you destressing ritual stressed out your vitamin ?

High humidity degrades vitamins

A vitamin tablet with no vitamin in it, is a very expensive, awful tasting  “sweet”.   So you need to pay attention to where you store your vitamins and health supplements.

A Purdue University study found that even if the lid is on tight, many chemicals suffer from deliquescence in warm humid environments.   The environment you just created in the bathroom. 

Deliquescence

No, this is not when a kid is particularly badly behaved and described as “delinquent”.  But it does reflect bad behaviour on the part of a chemical.

What happens is the chemical dissolves in the water that is in the atmosphere.

The trouble is that when the atmosphere dries out, the chemical returns to being solid, but as it comes back into the solid state is ends up being a “little different”. 

It sometimes happens with kitchen supplies.  Sugar or a powdered drink mix, go from being soft free flowing powder to a lumpy mess.  In the case of sugar or a powdered drink mix, they don’t look too good, might be a bit of a challenge to get out of the container, but when all is said and done, they still work okay.  When it happens to your vitamin C tablet,  the process ends up being a lot more “damaging” and the vitamin C tablet loses its nutrient supply due to chemical changes.

Deliquescence point variable

The sensitivity of a chemical varies, so some chemicals are more prone to the problem than others.

For example, at room temperature

  • Sodium ascorbate “dissolves’ at 86 % humidity
  • Ascorbic acid “dissolves” at 98 % humidity
  • Fructose “dissolves” at 62 % humidity

The damage done also varies from a little, to complete, but when  it does happen the damage is permanent.

It takes more than keeping the lid on to avoid the problem

Obviously, leaving the lid off the container makes the problem worse, but the very act of popping the lid on and off, pretty much means that the atmosphere in the container winds up being the same as the atmosphere in the room.

Manufacturers often (not always), add a desiccant (the little packet which is in the container, which has a big warning not to eat it) to the product, to help protect it from deliquescence.  

Another way, to protect drugs is to bubble wrap them in plastic, this approach is not used very often with lotions and potions, but is widely used by pharmaceutical industry.

Protect your vitamins from “drowning”

Bathrooms and kitchens are both rooms in the house which commonly experience spikes in humidity, with levels reaching higher than 98 % following a steaming hot shower or a bout of cooking – of course, these are the rooms we typically store our lotions and potions in.

So keep your “drugs” away from warm, humid environments to ensure their effectiveness.

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Further reading

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Vitamin B3 (niacin)
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Is your multi-vitamin an insurance policy or a licence Could too much vitamin B3 be causing the obesity epidemic ? Beware your makeup could turn you into a beast not a beauty?

The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.

balance eicosanoids rein in insulin dial down stress sleep vitamin D microflora think
Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep ! Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion

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