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News - Vitamin Degradation - a response

By Karen Wilson BSc(Hons) MSc NutMed

Karen Wilson, Higher Nature’s Product Director, responds to recent press coverage on vitamin degradation, and sets the record straight. 

On March 4th 2010, there was more bad press about vitamins, which made the front page of the Metro and saw the Daily Mail with a headline stating that “vitamin pills are useless within a week of opening”.

These articles were based on research by Dr Lisa Mauer, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, which claimed that humidity ruined vitamins and that opening and closing vitamin packaging in a humid environment, such as a kitchen or bathroom, allows moisture in, destroying the product.

Aside from the fact that many have questioned who may have funded this research, and for what reason, Higher Nature would like to reassure valued customers that products are not degraded if stored as advised on the label.

The Health Food Manufacturers Association (HFMA) very quickly released the following statement:

“There is simply no evidence to suggest that vitamins in the UK are affected by the kind of degradation implied by Dr Mauer’s research.

“Food supplement packaging in the UK clearly states that products should be stored in a cool, dry place. In addition, quality supplements are subject to rigorous manufacturing processes, including stability testing which helps to identify and overcome any degradation issues. Food supplements are then coated, to help protect the compressed ingredients, and are subject to ‘best before’ dates appropriate to their overall stability.

“If stored correctly, there is no doubt that vitamin and mineral supplements will retain their beneficial effect until their ‘best before’ date.”

In addition, Higher Nature, going much further than is required by law or regulation, consistently ensures that its packaging maintains the absolute best quality of products, for the duration of their shelf life.

All Higher Nature packaging protects products from:

  • Air - all containers are induction heat sealed to protect from moisture in the air and to give tamper evidence.
  • Light - opaque bottles / UV-filtered PET pots to prevent light induced oxidation, especially of oils, and to maintain nutrient potency and flavour.
  • Contamination - injection moulding / weldfree design ensures no leaks or external contamination.
  • Hormone disruptors - bisphenol-free, to ensure no xenoestrogens leach into products.

Higher Nature uses solely PET plastic bottles because these not only provide the required security and protection our quality products deserve but, crucially, they do not contain bisphenol A (BPA), which has been linked to possible adverse effects in humans. In addition, PET complies with all international food contact regulations, is an excellent oxygen and CO2 barrier and a better water barrier than most other plastics. It is also one tenth the weight of glass, reducing Higher Nature’s carbon footprint, and is fully recyclable, using less energy than glass and leaving no toxic residues.

So, yet again, a poorly-informed article about vitamins has been printed but rest assured you can rely on Higher Nature products!


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