Supplement Expiry Dates

This question is very common. Dietary supplements are not like a package of raw meat that goes bad after the expiry date. There is a difference between a “best before” date and an “expiration” date.

Best before dates are a conservative estimate. They are not a magic date that indicates the product has self-destructed inside the bottle that very instant and is now a rotten mess of goop. Best before dates indicate quality, not safety. Best before dates are an indication of how long a supplement’s potency lasts before it falls to below 100% of the listed potency.

Expiry date means that something will literally spoil or go rotten or rancid, like meat products, dairy, oils, fresh fruits and vegetables etc.

A supplement still sealed in a container with no air, moisture and is stored in a cool, dark and dry location will not “expire”. It cannot go rotten if there has been no oxygen or moisture entering the container. It will lose potency after the best before date in some cases. If you have an opened container of capsules sometimes these can oxidize and some moisture can get in and cause discoloration. If it doesn’t smell like it used to, then don’t use it.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association states that while federal regulations do not require dietary supplement manufacturers to include an expiration date on their products, most dietary supplements have some type of expiration or “use by” date on the label.

This means it is not required by law to have a best before date on a dietary supplement.

Vitamins/minerals, amino acids, many supplements, powdered herbs in a capsule or tablet form are usually potent for at least 2 years after their best before date.

Enzymes usually remain potent even a year after expiration.

Ionic minerals don’t “go bad” and are good for many years as long as they are being stored properly in a cool, dry and dark location.

If something looks different than it used to or has a weird smell compared to how it use to smell, then toss it.

FAQs About Dietary Supplements Regulations

Author: Alicia Hull