Do vitamins expire?

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “Do vitamins expire?”.We will discuss the method of storing them. Moreover, we will also discuss the method of disposing of expired vitamins and the side effects of taking them.

Do vitamins expire?

Yes, vitamins expire. If you keep vitamins for too long, they expire. And their level of effectiveness decreases. As time passes, the dietary supplements and ingredients present in vitamins break down. So, their potential to effect decreases.

Supplements and vitamins are necessary for good health. When the dietary intake of a person is not sufficient then vitamins are prescribed to him by a doctor.  

What is the shelf life of vitamins?

According to research, the average shelf life of vitamins is 2 years. Sometimes, vitamin manufacturer companies don’t mention the expiry date on the jars or bottles of vitamins. Some companies write “best before”, and “use by ” date on vitamin bottles.

If you buy vitamins that are present in tablet form, they absorb less amount of moisture. While the speed of absorbing the moisture of vitamin gummies and chewable vitamins is too much. If you properly store vitamins in tablet form, they can last for many years. 

They have a strong tendency to bear the temperature fluctuations because they are protected due to the presence of a hard layer.  If the expiry date mentioned on jars of vitamins is passed, then don’t worry you can still use them.

The shelf life of vitamins depends upon their chemical properties. These properties include oxidising and reducing agents, level of pH, and metal ions. 

What are the side effects if you take an expired vitamin?

Don’t worry if you have used an expired vitamin. Because it won’t cause any health problems, the potency of vitamins is lost after keeping them for a long time. 

If you notice that the color of the vitamin has changed, or it is giving you a bad odor, then don’t use it. 

If a woman is pregnant and continuously taking expired vitamins when it is not good. As you know, folate is necessary for this condition. 

It is an important vitamin for pregnant women and their babies. Expired folate does not work well. So taking expired vitamins does not fulfil the requirement of folate in your body. 

Expired vitamins lose their potency as time passes, but taking them will not cause any dangerous effects on your health. 

What is the method of disposing of expired vitamins?

If you notice that vitamins are expired, then immediately discard them. There is a proper method to dispose of expired vitamins. 

Don’t throw expired vitamins in bins because animals and children can pick them. You should not flush expired vitamins in the toilet. Water contamination can occur due to this. 

  • If you have cat litter or used coffee then mix them with vitamins.
  • Take a properly closed container or bag and transfer the mixture into it.
  • Now throw it into the trash.

It is necessary to keep some vitamins in the fridge such that the potency of probiotics will be the same when storing them in the fridge.

What is the method of storing vitamins?

To effectively store vitamins, follow the tips mentioned below:

  • You can store vitamins in their bottles. Place vitamins in a cool, and dry place. Usually, people keep the bottles of vitamins in the kitchen and bathroom. As they can easily find them but know that these are not good locations for storing vitamins.
  • The exposure to humidity and heat is too much in the bathroom and kitchen as compared to any other room.
  • Vitamins should be stored in a place where the temperature is 46 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • There is no need to store vitamins in the fridge. As the levels of moisture in the fridge can affect them.
  • Sometimes, good storage locations are mentioned on their jars.
  • Bottles of vitamins can be put in the drawers of the bedroom, on the nightstand, and linen closet. Don’t put them near the light. If vitamins are exposed to light for a long time, then they can easily lose their potency.

If you put vitamins in the fridge, then their shelf life can be increased. The shelf life of some products can be increased by refrigerating them.

  • Vitamin E
  • Fish oil
  • Probiotics
  • Flaxseed 

It is safe if you have taken expired vitamins. If vitamins lose their potency, then know that this depends on some factors such as the method of storing them, and the form of supplements used in vitamins. 

Environmental factors play a main role in affecting the potency of vitamins. 

  • Folic acid: oxygen and sunlight
  • Vitamin C: humidity
  • Riboflavin: oxygen and sunlight
  • Vitamin D: humidity
  • Biotin: oxygen and sunlight

If you are taking vitamins in the morning, then the use of water-soluble vitamins is good for you at this time. As time affects. You can take fat-soluble vitamins with meals, it will give you health benefits. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have addressed the query,” Do vitamins expire?”. We have discussed the method of storing them. Moreover, we have also discussed the method of disposing of expired vitamins and the side effects of taking them.

References

https://www.scielo.br/j/bjps/a/nxYhxSypZmwHccDqgypBRjr/
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/do-vitamins-expire#summary
https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/do-vitamins-expire