Do Supplements Expire? Learn More Here
So, you’ve got a bottle of supplements from a brand like Thorne Research in Supplement First. Maybe you’ve left them in storage for so long and forgot to take them consistently, which might beg you to question their potency and if they expire.
Understandably, we don’t want to waste supplements, and if it’s passed the best-by label, it may get worrying. Can you still take it and expect the same effects or is it better to chuck your “expired” vitamins from Supplement First out?
We answer all your questions below, so read on!
Do Supplements Expire?
Did you just realize your vitamins have expired? No need to panic! Supplements do not expire as food would.
That best-by label you see on your supplement bottle? That is based on the potency and not the supplement’s safety. Expired vitamins are generally safe to take, as long as they were stored properly.
But even if supplements don’t technically expire, that doesn’t mean you can just let your bottles pass by, feeling complacent. While supplements beyond the best-by date are considered safe, they won’t be as effective as they were before. After the best-by date, your supplements would lose potency after time. The rate at which supplements lose their potency will depend on the supplement form, how they are stored, and the manufacturing date.
So, as long as you don’t see any mold growing on the vitamins, there’s no need to worry. Sure, you’ll likely reap fewer benefits with your supplements than before, but there is only a very tiny chance you are putting your health at risk.
How Long Do Supplements Last?
Again, these are determined by various factors, there is no exact answer here.
If you have chewable, they are more susceptible to moisture compared to capsules or tablets. Supplements in capsule or tablet form can remain potent for a few years.
Moreover, some supplements might last longer than others. For instance, an older study from 2008 indicated that vitamins C, K, and B1 are likely to break down quicker than others. Other factors can contribute to supplements losing potency, including:
- Light exposure
- Oxygen exposure
- Extreme temperatures
- pH levels
Unopened bottles of supplements are likely to retain potency as light, oxygen, and moisture won’t affect them as much as opened packages.
Are Expired Supplements Safe to Take?
Generally, it is safe to take expired supplements. They are unlikely to cause any harm as they don’t usually become toxic. But if it has a strange odor, change of color, or shows signs of mold, it’s best to throw them away immediately.
But note that since expired supplements lose potency, people taking them might believe they are consuming more valuable nutrients than they really are. Taking expired supplements may mean that you’re not getting enough of the certain vitamins you need!
Wrapping It Up
While supplements do not expire in the traditional sense, it’s best to take them before the best-by date for their contents to take effect the way it’s expected to.