When Expiration Dates Matter for Supplements

Volume 14    |   Issue 26

I recently told you about the process behind determining expiration dates for drugs. It turns out that the "expiration" date may not mean very much. It just indicates that the manufacturer is willing to guarantee that the drug will still be potent until that date. Many drugs last a lot longer — but the manufacturer either isn't willing to bother testing the drug to see if it will last longer or simply hopes you'll toss the product if you see it's "expired" and go buy a new one.

Some of you asked whether this information applies to supplements. The answer is "it depends."

For instance, probiotics degrade pretty quickly after their expiration date. So you'll want to use them up or replace them by their expiration date, or they may not do you much good. They won't hurt you, but they may not help you either.

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Herbs and herbal extracts are similar. They become less potent over time. And it's probably best to start fresh once an herb-based product reaches its expiration date.

With vitamins and minerals, however, you likely have a little more wiggle room. Many vitamins and minerals don't degrade at all, so they can be potent indefinitely.

One thing to note: If you're purchasing products from Advanced Bionutritionals, you're getting supplements from a lab that is GMP-certified by NSF. This means the products are held to a very high standard for quality assurance and testing. So you'll want to keep an eye on these dates. They really are there to help you get the most benefit possible from the product, not to trick you into throwing your money away.

Yours for better health,




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