When it comes to improving a healthy lifestyle, most of us buy the expensive and highly potent vitamins and start taking them. However, many of us forget to take the daily dose, and the bottle remains full and expires. Therefore, Google searches are loaded with vitamin expiry-related queries, such as Does Vitamin D expire? Do Prenatal Vitamins expire? Does biotin expire? Let us answer you in the shortest sentence.
Simply Nature’s Promise – Fruit and Vegetable Supplements – 90 Veggie and 90 Fruit Capsules – Made with Whole Food Superfoods, Packed Vitamins & Minerals – Soy Free – No Fillers or Extracts
Nature’s Bounty Vitamin B12, Supports Energy Metabolism, Tablets, 1000mcg, 200 Ct
Balance of Nature Fruits and Veggies – 90 Fruit and 90 Veggie Supplement Capsules – 100% Whole Natural Food – Red and Green Superfood, Better Than A Multivitamin, Vegan, No Fillers or Extracts
Vitamin E Plus Mixed Tocopherols | 1000 IU (671mg) | 150 Softgels | Non-GMO and Gluten Free Formula | Naturally Sourced Vitamin E Supplement | by Carlyle
Hair Skin and Nails Vitamins | 300 Softgels | with Biotin and Collagen | Infused with Argan Oil and Coconut Oil | Non-GMO, Gluten Free Supplement | by Horbaach
Nature Made Extra Strength Vitamin D3 5000 IU (125 mcg), Dietary Supplement for Immune Support, 180 Softgels, 180 Day Supply
MaryRuth’s USDA Organic Vitamin A Liquid Drops | 3 Month Supply | Immune Support, Eye Health, Skin Health for Ages 14+ | 750mcg per Serving | Sugar Free | Vegan | Non-GMO | Gluten Free | 1oz
Pure Encapsulations Vitamin A 10,000 IU from Cod Liver Oil | Supports Immune and Cellular Health, Vision, Bones, Skin, and Reproductive Function* | 120 Softgel Capsules
Nature’s Bounty Fish Oil, Supports Heart Health, 1200 Mg, Rapid Release Softgels, 200 Ct
NOW Supplements, Vitamin A (Fish Liver Oil) 25,000 IU, Essential Nutrition, 250 Softgels
Sundown Vitamin E for Immune Support, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Non-GMO, 180mg 400IU Softgels, 100 Count, 3 Month Supply
MaryRuth’s USDA Organic Vitamin E Liquid Drops | 2 Month Supply | Immune Support, Bone & Joint Health, Cognitive Health for Adults & Kids | Sugar Free | Vegan | Non-GMO | Gluten Free | 2oz
Solgar Dry Vitamin A 1500 mcg (5000 IU), 100 Tablets – Supports Healthy Eyes, Skin & Immune System – Non-GMO, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Kosher – 100 Servings
Bausch & Lomb PreserVision Eye Vitamin & Mineral Supplement AREDS 2 Formula — 120 Count (Pack of 1)
Nature’s Bounty Vitamin E Rapid Release Softgels, 450 mg per Serving, 60 Count
Nature’s Bounty Super B Complex Vitamin C & Folic Acid, Immune & Energy Support, 150 Tablets
Garden of Life Vitamin E – Vitamin Code Raw Vitamin E Supplement with Vitamins A, D & K Plus Selenium, Fruit, Veggies & Probiotics, 60 Vegetarian Capsules, 125mg Whole Food Vitamin E for Heart Health
Viva Naturals Sambucus Elderberry with Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin D3 5000 IU & Ginger (120 Capsules) – Antioxidant & Immune Support Supplement, 2 Month Supply – 5 in 1 Black Elderberry for Adults
Nature’s Bounty Calcium Plus 1000 IU Vitamin D3, Immune Support & Bone Health, Softgels, 120 Ct (2-Pack)
Pure Encapsulations Vitamin E (with Mixed Tocopherols) | Antioxidant Supplement to Support Cellular Respiration and Cardiovascular Health* | 90 Softgel Capsules
NO! Vitamin Supplements do not expire but become less potent.
Yes! You read it right because its expiration denotes the ineffectiveness of supplements rather than its health hazard. This answer must have raised many other questions regarding vitamin expiry, its risks, side effects, safety, storage, and more. Don’t worry because we give a comprehensive vitamin supplement guideline here for your easy understanding. Before you lead to Amazon vitamins online shopping in Pakistan, here is what you should know about expired vitamins.
What is the average shelf life for vitamins?
Dissimilar to OTC medicines and prescription drugs, the manufacturers of vitamins and dietary supplements do not bound to provide the expiry date on the package because they don’t expire. However, they usually mention the best before or use by date on the bottle. This date depicts the shelf life of supplements, i.e., probably around 2 years on average. The shelf life can vary as per the supplement type, formula, and storage condition. Chewable gummies have lesser shelf life than tablets because chewable vitamins absorb more moisture. Therefore, they can degrade fast and steadily in unlikely conditions. On the other hand, vitamin tablets can preserve effectively for years if you store them correctly. You need to check the sign of mold and odor supplements before taking expired tablets.
How to detect if vitamins become old and expired?
Whether the expiration date passes or tablets get exposed to light and moisture, they become non-beneficial to your health. You can determine its expiry by simply noticing its appearance and smell. You should avoid using expired vitamins if you find the following conditions.
- If the vitamin tablets in the bottle seem moist and wet,
- If you notice any mold appearing on the gummies or tablets.
- If it smells unusual or foul.
These are conditions when vitamins get spoiled due to environmental contamination, humidity, and light exposure. Even if there is a time left in its expiry, you should check these apparent features to detect any changes. We do not recommend you use it if any of these conditions appear in your vitamins or dietary supplement.
Can you use expired supplements?
Using expired dietary supplements or vitamins is not generally unsafe to ingest, but they are useless to ingest. The ingredients and nutrients in their formula lose their potency to work. Therefore, it is of no use to consume them to improve health. However, it is unsafe to ingest if the tablets become moldy due to wet, humid, and hot storage conditions.
In case of taking expired supplements, some groups of people may get at risk, such as pregnant women and malnourished people. If you are pregnant and taking prenatal vitamins, ensure the expiry supplement. Expired prenatal supplements do not provide all essential nutrients to your baby for his proper development. Moreover, people with gastrointestinal issues, osteoporosis, weight loss surgery, or any specific vitamin deficiency should take unexpired tablets to treat deficiencies.
How long can you use vitamins after the expiration date?
The “Best Before” or “Expiry Date” is mentioned on the vitamins label for a reason. The date tells you that it is no longer being potent and effective. The ingredients list containing vitamins and minerals will not get absorbed and benefit you in any means. Therefore, doctors do not recommend consuming them once it passes their expiration date. Especially, if you have any severe deficiency, health issue, or pregnancy, you should not consume expired vitamins. Doctors prescribed dietary supplements to meet the nutrients need of your body. So, if you consume the expired formula, you will not get any beneficial effects of expired. Therefore, it may worsen the health condition.
How long do liquid vitamins last once opened?
The unopened bottle of liquid vitamins has 2 years long shelf life because no air, humidity, moisture, or contamination can pass through the sealed lid. However, once you opened the bottle, the shelf life reduces to 6 months. Therefore, many manufacturers mention the instruction on the supplement label that it should be consumed within six months after opening. Moreover, they also give storage instructions, i.e., store in the refrigerator for extended use. If you do not follow these instructions, the nutrients in the formula will lose their potency before the expiration date.
What affects a vitamin’s expiration date?
Various factors affect the expiry of the dietary supplement. Here we mention and explain each to let you understand the influence of these factors.
- Formula type: The form of supplements is the major factor that affects the expiration date. The nutrients and bioactive are packed in the form of capsules, tablets, gummies, powder, liquid, softgels, etc. According to experts, tablets, capsules, and softgels can decay slower than gummies, powders, and liquid. The tablets or capsules have enclosed ingredients, so they are unlikely to change due to oxidation or microbial growth. On the other hand, gummies, powders, and liquid formulas are more prone to expire earlier than tablet formulas. Therefore, you will mostly find only one or two years’ expiry on gummies and chewable formulas. However, secure packaging can extend the expiry for several years.
- Ingredients in the formula: The ingredients in the vitamin supplement also determine the shelf life of the supplement. For instance, oil-based supplements can oxidize easily, so they have a lesser shelf life. The manufacturers add potent antioxidant ingredients to the formula to make the formula intact for a longer time. If you buy fish oil, hemp oil, or flaxseed oil accompanying formula, ensure its correct storage for longer expiry. Moreover, probiotics have bacterial makeup, so they are more likely to be moldy due to bacterial growth. Therefore, it is recommended to store them in a refrigerator to avoid favorable conditions for bacterial growth.
- Bottle Packaging: Packaging of vitamins and dietary supplements plays a vital role in supporting the self-life of nutrients. According to studies, glass bottles are the eco-friendly and safest option as supplements packaging. Especially, amber glass bottles ensure the intactness of the formula. They have amazing light-filtering properties that help protect them from UV rays to avoid oxidation. Moreover, the lid of the bottles should have a sealable capability to protect the tablets or gummies from the air, humidity, and other contamination factors. They should have a threaded design that ensures an airtight seal to keep the nutrients intact, safe, and fresh.
How to store vitamin supplements?
To extend the expiry and shelf lift of vitamins and dietary supplements, you need to follow the following storage guidelines.
- Always keep the tablets or gummies in the original container because the manufacturers use packaging that maximizes the shelf life. For example, an amber glass bottle with an air-tight cap.
- Keep the bottle in a cool and dry place to the effects of humidity, high temperature, and other contaminants.
- Do not place the bottle in direct sunlight because UV light can stimulate oxidation that changes the composition of the formula. For example, Vitamin A and Vitamin D can lose their potency after extended exposure to sunlight.
- It is recommended not store the vitamins near the kitchen because there is a higher risk of moisture and heat.
- Always read the leaflet and find the storage instruction for every supplement because storage instruction may differ for a specific supplement. For example, probiotic supplements should store in a refrigerator to maintain their efficiency.
What to do with expired vitamins?
Doctors do not recommend consuming expired vitamins for any reason. Therefore, you should dispose of expired supplements correctly to avoid the risk of kids and animals ingesting them. FDA has provided guidelines for disposing of unused or expired medicines. You can follow the same for expired dietary supplements too.
Take all tablets or gummies out from their container, mix them with cat litter, coffee grounds, or any nasty thing, seal it in a garbage bag, and throw them in a garbage can. This method discourages animals and kids to touch or eat the supplement. Moreover, do not ever flush any medicine, supplement, or vitamins down the toilet because it results in water supply contamination.
Can expired vitamins use as fertilizer?
If you had bought highly potent multivitamins through Amazon online shopping in Pakistan and it got expired, do not throw them in the garbage. The expired multivitamins can become the feed of your plant. The plant needs several nutrients to grow, and expired supplements can become the source of these vitamins. You only need to mix the ground tablets into the plant fertilizer and feed the plants. Supplement having calcium can help remove stunted growth of plants. Moreover, they promote new leaves and tissue formation. You can also add and dissolve the multivitamins in the water and feed the plants directly through watering. As the expired formulas are less potent, they either give benefit or do nothing to plants.
What are the Side effects of taking expired vitamins?
If you have consumed expired vitamins unknowingly, do not rash to the poison control measure. We have clarified above that they are not unsafe to take after the expiration date. As they become ineffective after expiry, they do not have any good or harsh effect on the body. Therefore, no side effects will be possible. However, there is a catch to it. The exception occurs if you are taking vitamin supplements for certain deficiencies or health concerns. Let us clarify it with easy examples.
- A person who follows a vegan diet will need to add vitamin B12 supplements to his diet to maintain health. Consuming the expired formula means that he remains deficient in vitamin B12. It can lead to several complications, e.g., shortness of breath, neurological problems, depression, etc. Therefore, if you rely on a supplement to fill any nutrient gap in your diet, you should keep the track of expiry date of the supplement.
- Similarly, pregnant women take folic acid supplements to ensure healthy baby development without any birth abnormalities. Consuming expired folic acid tablets will not provide sufficient folate to the mother and her baby in the womb. Therefore, there will be more chances of birth abnormalities if women keep using expired supplements, unknowingly.
Let us clarify that an overdose of vitamins supplement can cause many side effects, but side effects after expiry are doubtful. Therefore, if you find any adverse effects after using any specific supplement, you should discontinue its use and consult your doctor.
We need Vitamins supplement to support and fill the nutrients gap in the diet. But, it is of no use if it gets expired or ruined. After the expiration date, it does not become toxic but loses its effectiveness. Therefore, you will not get any benefit from consuming the expired supplement. Even though every vitamin has a different shelf life and breakdown parameter, 2-year is their average shelf life. Moreover, liquid and powdered formulas can get ruined more quickly than tablets. Therefore, it is recommended to use a liquid supplement within 6 months after opening. In addition to expiration, damaging environmental factors also affect the shelf life. It includes humidity, air, moisture, UV rays, bacteria, molds, etc. Thus, manufacturers recommend following proper storage instructions to avoid these environmental factors. If you store them correctly, the vitamins can last for a longer period of time. The only best thing about expired vitamin supplements is their no side effects. As it does not give benefits after expiry, it does not cause any adverse effects. Still, you need to keep track of expiration date if you rely on supplements for treating deficiency or any specific health condition.