Can I Get The Same Vitamins Cheaper Somewhere Else
Probably, TBH. And youre totally allowed to take assessments from these companies and use the free reports they provide to go out and buy your own supplements based on their recommendations.
The drawback of this approach is that, while it may save money, youll lose the convenience of the subscription model . But you do you!
Is It Safe To Take Vitamins After The Expiration Date
On Assignment For HuffPost
If youre like most Americans, your cupboards contain an array of supplements. A2018 survey showed that 75% of U.S. residents are consuming some sort of dietary supplement, whether it be a probiotic, fish oil or multivitamin.
You may spend a considerable amount of time deciding what type of supplements to take, what brands you want and where to shop for them. Perhaps youve already built up your own collection. But have you ever stopped to think about how long those supplements last? Do vitamins ever expire? And if so, is it safe to consume them beyond the products expiration dates?
We surveyed experts to find out what you should know:
What Is Care/of Vitamins
Care/of is a monthly subscription service of personalized supplements delivered to your door. Although they are not meant to replace a healthy diet for overall health, following the supplement recommendation might just add to your physical performance and overall well-being.
In addition to retailing vitamin supplements, Care/of Vitamins also offers collagen, individual herbs in capsules, boosts, and isolate protein. Care/of Vitamins advertises that it partners with farmers and suppliers to ensure ethical harvesting and sustainability for all products. The ingredients used are deemed high-quality for potency and bioavailability.
The supply chain team is international enabling sourcing to come directly from the part of the world where it is grown best.
The company website presents limited research to support the health benefits of individual ingredients that may be used for their dietary supplements. Furthermore, the studies used are mostly animal-based or rely on a small pool of participants.
- Vitamins, supplements, and collagen are available
- Daily packs delivered to the door
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Is It Safe To Take Vitamins Or Other Supplements That Are Past Their Expiration Date
Taking an expired vitamin or supplement is highly unlikely to cause you harm. Unlike food, vitamins dont go bad, nor do they become toxic or poisonous. At this time, there havent been any documented cases of illness or death resulting from expired vitamins.
Expiration dates on vitamins and dietary supplements are extremely conservative to ensure consumers receive quality products. For best results, avoid using vitamins that are past their expiration date. These vitamins may not be as potent.
Why We Use Manufacture On Date Instead Of Expiration Date
The question has arisen several times as to why Doctor Wilsons Original Formulations uses a Manufactured On Date on its dietary supplement bottles rather than an Expiration Date. This is a good question and deserves an answer.
First lets look at the legal requirement. The dietary supplement industry is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration . As a part of that regulation, all segments of the dietary supplement industry are regulated under the final rules found for the Current Good Manufacturing Practice in the Code of Federal Regulations, 21 CFR Part 111, regulating Dietary Supplements. The Dietary Supplement cGMP final rule found in 21 CFR Part 111 does not require expiration dating for dietary supplements . Homeopathic remedies are also exempt from expiration dating .
Any company that does use an Expiration Date on their products must have data to support that date . In a FDA warning letter to Biogenix USA LLC 12/11/14, the agency stated, Any expiration date or equivalent term a company places on a product label should be supported by data that demonstrates the products shelf life. citing 72 Fed Reg 34752, 34855 .
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Whats The Best Way To Store Vitamins
Vitamins should be stored in their original containers in a cool, dry place.
You may be inclined to store your vitamins in your bathroom or kitchen for ease of access, but these are actually two of the worst storage locations. The bathroom and kitchen typically have more heat and humidity than other rooms.
If you can, opt for a linen closet or bedroom drawer.
You should also avoid exposing them to light. Some vitamins like vitamins A and D will lose their potency after prolonged exposure.
Refrigeration can also help extend the shelf life of products that are less stable at room temperature. This includes:
How Should Vitamins Be Stored
Vitamins need to be kept away from humid areas and those with lots of sun, but that doesnt mean its hard to find a good place to store them. Make sure to read the packaging on your specific vitamin for storage instructions, as some may require refrigeration while others do not. For example, real food vitamins like GEM are completely shelf stable, so you dont need to keep it in your refrigerator. In general, its best to keep your vitamins in a cool, dry place to prevent degradation and limit the potential for biological contamination, like your nightstand or a kitchen cabinet. Remember to always wash your hands before reaching your hand into the vitamin container in order to limit the chance of transferring food residue or bacteria to your vitamins.
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Are The Vitamins Still Safe To Take After Their Expiration Date
The FDA does not require an expiration date but it is worth being aware of the date listed as there is a reason that it will be listed on that vitamin. Depending on the type of vitamin that you have, the shelf life can alter from one, two or even three years.
There are many signs to look out for that could indicate that it is past its expiration date, aside from losing their potency and you may start to notice off-colours as well as strange odours.
Company Policies On Expiration Dates
Because its not required by the FDA, each company will make its own decision regarding if and how to label expiration dates on vitamins. At the time of publishing, these are policies of some of the most common supplement manufacturers:
- Centrum: All Centrum products are assigned an expiration date based on the least stable ingredient in the product. All ingredients should be present in the amount listed on the label until the last day of the month of expiration.
- NOW Foods: All NOW supplements have an expiration date printed on the package. If proper storage procedures are followed, products will retain full potency through this date.
- Swanson Vitamins: Products will either contain a best-by date or a manufacture date. If they contain a manufacture date, the company recommends that most products be consumed within two to three years of such date. Liquids and probiotics should be consumed within one year.
- Nature Made: Vitamins and other dietary supplements include an expiration date and potency is guaranteed through this date. The way the date is set varies based on the type of product.
- Priority One Nutritional Supplements: These do not currently contain expiration dates. The company states that it is working to authenticate expiration dates with stability testing. It currently recommends a two-year shelf life from the time of purchase.
Do Expiration Dates Really Matter
We all know the negative side effects of eating expired foods, but many of us don’t take beauty expiration dates as seriously. But, as it turns out, we should!
“Sometimes using a product that is expired can result in skin irritation along with bacterial infections. Most products have preservatives in them to keep fresher longer but over time, even preservatives lose their effectiveness,” Sellers said.
If a product has many active ingredients and it’s susceptible to bacteria for instance, if air hits a product when you open the jar, or you store it in a damp room or warm bathroom it can be pretty likely to harbor bacteria.
A simple way to keep track is to use a sharpie to mark the date when you opened the product.
Certain product types, like eye products, are more likely to cause infection, so if your eyes are experiencing itching, redness or weeping, you should stop using a product immediately.
“Expired products run the risk of having destabilized active ingredients that can potentially cause contact dermatitis. In addition bacterial growth is a possibility,” said Dr. Ali Hendi, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Georgetown University and co-founder of Luminora UPF 50+ Resort Wear. “This is often not an issue on intact skin, but if theres a cut or nick in the skin this can lead to a localized skin infection.”
When And Why Vitamins Expire
How quickly a vitamin expires depends on several factorssome of which are related to manufacturing and others related to your own habits.
- Form of vitamin: Gummy vitamins and liquids tend to expire more quickly than tablets, capsules, and softgels.
- Type of container: Some vitamins retain their potency longer in opaque containers versus those with a clear container, due to the effect of UV rays from sunlight.
- Type of container cap: Similarly, the type of capscrew-on versus flip-topmay impact shelf life. If a flip-top cap does not create an appropriate seal when closed, vitamins are exposed to more humidity, which makes them break down more quickly.
- Storage conditions: If you store vitamins in a high-humidity area like a bathroom medicine cabinet, they may deteriorate more quickly. Similarly, avoid exposing them to a lot of light. A cool, dark cabinet is best for most products.
- Contamination: If you reach into the vitamin container every morning after getting the kids lunch ready, you could contaminate the bottle with food residue or bacterial particles and impact shelf-life.
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Do Different Vitamins Expire At Different Rates
While most people take a multivitamin, vitamins do have different expiration rates due to storage conditions and more, and some break down more quickly than others. For example, vitamin C is highly susceptible to rapid deterioration when it is exposed to moisture, even including the humidity in your house. Vitamin C absorbs moisture rapidly, which causes it to lose its potency, so opening and closing the bottle in a humid environment or not storing the vitamin properly can cause it to expire more quickly. Thiamin is also highly affected by humidity because it is one of the more unstable B vitamins, so like vitamin C, it should not be stored in humid environments like the bathroom. Vitamin K can degrade more quickly when combined with other minerals in the form of a multivitamin. Therefore, when these vitamins are included in a womens multivitamin or mens multivitamin, the expiration date will be based on the vitamin that is likely to lose its potency the fastest. Other components of the multivitamin may maintain their potency past the expiration date.
Do Vitamin B Shots Go Bad
After an injection with vitamin B12, the body immediately starts to distribute it throughout the body to be used. Excess vitamin B12 is delivered to the liver and stored. If you were to ask how long vitamin B12 injections last, the answer can be indefinite especially if you have a steady supply of it.
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Can You Take Expired Vitamins
Taking expired vitamins is generally considered safebut theres a catch. Expired vitamins will not become poisonous, but rather lose their potency, says Dr. Levine. Exceptions to this rule are if supplements are stored in wet, hot, or humid areas and produce mold. Moldy vitamins should not be consumed.
Just keep in that mind that certain groups of people may be at a higher risk than others if they take expired vitamins.
Pregnant women and women trying to conceive should be taking prenatal vitamins. The most important reason is the folate supplementation, says Dr. Levine. So if youre taking expired vitamins, you may not be getting all of the nutrients your baby needs for proper development, especially if youre already lacking certain nutrients in your diet.
This also includes people who may have a vitamin deficiency. People with malabsorption in their stomach or intestines, such as patients after weight loss surgery or patients with gastrointestinal issues, need robust vitamin supplementation to maintain deficiencies, says Dr. Levine. Additionally, patients with osteoporosis require adequate calcium and vitamin D to maintain bone health.
To be safe, you should always check with your health care provider to see if youre okay to take expired vitamins if you require regular supplementation. He or she will steer you in the right directionand most likely toward a fresh bottle.
What Is The Average Vitamin Shelf Life And Does It Vary By Vitamin
Vitamins do not expire the way food does, but they do lose their strength and efficacy with time – this is true for both water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. The term “potency” refers to the fact that the vitamins are more potent than the doses mentioned in the supplement section on the rear panel of the products.
Chewable vitamins, for example, deteriorate faster than others because they absorb water more readily, reducing their efficacy. Most vitamins are claimed to have a shelf life of up to two years if properly maintained.
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Bbd Ubd What Do These Mean
There will definitely be a date marked on the label of your supplement. But do you know what it really means?
It is normally a best before date , indicating the limit of its period of optimum efficacy . Up to this date, the product will still retain all its physical, organoleptic , and biochemical properties.
So it is not, strictly speaking, a use by date which is the date beyond which a product should not be consumed in order to avoid any risk to health.
Is It Okay To Take Zinc That Has Expired
Zinc supplements arent always necessary for good health. While expired vitamins may lose their strength, they will not damage you if you use them. According to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide, medical authorities state that expired medications are safe to ingest even years after their expiration dates.
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How To Extend The Life Of Supplements
The higher the quality and grade of a particular supplement, the longer it will maintain potency following the expiration date. Do not refrigerate supplements unless the label advises to do so. All drugs and vitamin supplements should be stored in airtight containers. Keep all dietary supplements away from light, moisture, and heat.
Even though nutritional supplements contain expiration dates, unlike perishable foods such as milk or meat, they dont really spoil or go bad in the same way. When discussing the shelf life of a supplement, it is really the potency that is the primary concern, not ingredient spoiling or becoming toxic. It isnt dangerous to take expired vitamins, but they may have lost some potency.
The expiration date represents the last day the item will be at its highest level of potency and quality. In other words, up until that date the product is guaranteed to contain its labeled ingredient potencies and the tablet itself is guaranteed to disintegrate properly. Beyond the expiration date, nutrient potency may gradually decline. As such, we recommend consuming products before the printed expiration date.
What Are The Tell
The actual structure of the vitamin itself does not change in any way when its potency starts to decrease with time, but there are certain properties of vitamins that do indeed expire after a certain period of time, depending on how they have been stored or manufactured. Furthermore, if a vitamin is close to being out of date, it may no longer work as advertised even before it officially expires.
There are various ways you can tell when your vitamins have met their best-by-date, especially when yours don’t have any labels. Consider the following signs:
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Can Pregnant Women Consume Expired Vitamins
Pregnant women need to receive the appropriate amounts of vitamins prenatal and minerals in order to help the developing fetus grow properly, so they should not consume expired vitamins. It is particularly important for pregnant women to consume the right amount of folic acid, which reduces the risk of neural tube defects in the growing baby. Pregnant women should never consume expired vitamins due to the risk of not receiving the necessary nutrients for their baby.
Throw Them The Right Way
If your vitamins are way past their safe dates, the FDA recommends mixing them with other substances like coffee grounds or even cat litter before throwing. This way, children or animals won’t mistake it for something else, thereby keeping not only you but others around you away from danger.
Conditions and factors vary in terms of ensuring your supplements and medications are safe to consume. Keep these things in mind and always seek help from professionals. After all, your health must always be top priority.
Dr. Naheed Ali, MD, PhD
Naheed Ali, MD, PhD, is a physician by education and a writer by choice since 2005. He earned an MD degree in 2008 and later completed Harvard Medical School’s lifestyle medicine training in 2012, before obtaining a PhD in holistic health elsewhere in 2013. He brings more than 15 years of experience working in a remote environment and has more than 15 years of health-related publications to his credit.
For years, he taught at colleges in the US where he lectured on various biomedical topics and delivered over 2000 hours of live presentations. He is also the author of numerous health titles from major New York publishers and his books have sold more than 20,000 hardcover copies worldwide. Now a digital nomad, hes currently a health and wellness writer for hire. His online home is HealthcarePropulsion.com.