How long past the expiration/best before date are supplements safe and potent?
Vitamins and supplements have an expiration date assigned at the time of manufacturing. This is done by reputable manufacturers (all supplements we carry have an expiration date). The evidence demonstrating the exact expiration date needed is lacking. What we mean by that is the date is somewhat arbitrary, and is a conservative estimate. In other words, it’s not an exact date based on the potency of a given ingredient being compromised. Rather it’s just that a date is placed on the item, and manufacturers assign a date that is long before the shelf life is compromised. It benefits manufactures to be conservative with this date for a couple of reasons. First it more or less guarantees 100% potency, and it encourages more sales.
The factors that will determine the shelf life of a supplement are, 1) the ingredients/type of supplement 2) where they are stored 3) the initial quality.
1) Items, such as ready to drinks and bars have a much shorter shelf life than vitamins and other dry powders. When stored properly and the initial quality standard are met, one can expect the following:
2) Ensuring supplements are stored in a cool, dry place away from unnecessary light will extend the shelf life. We maintain a temperature controlled warehouse. We keep supplements away from unnecessary light, heat, and moisture.
3) One of the main factors in determining the long term quality and consequent shelf life of a supplement is the initial quality. Supplements are made by reputable manufacturers in a sterile environment. They are tested at the time of manufacturing with a microbial limit, non-essential materials, heavy metals, and pro oxidant residue test.