Implications of eating expired vitamin C.

Question on NULL

What are the implications of eating expired vitamin C? I ate it without looking having a proper look. It expired almost two years ago. The color changed from bright yellow to a dark yellow. I could not detect any visible fungi or growth.

Answer

Taking expired vitamin C is unlikely to cause any problems. However, old vitamin C is likely to be oxidized and ineffective.

Companies put expiration dates on products to assure you of good potency. After those dates, deterioration of the product occurs and they should be discarded. Most supplements should not be harmful if consumed after the expiration date. An exception are products containing fatty acids which can go rancid over time and produce free radicals that may be harmful in the body. Of course if the product is no longer potent then you will not be getting the benefits you were expecting.

The shelf life of products will be shortened if they are exposed to heat, light and oxygen. So, supplements should be stored in a cool, dark place and kept tightly closed. Essential fatty acids like flaxseed oil or fish oils should be kept refrigerated and used before the expiration date.

Like supplements, medications also have expiration dates. All expired products and products that have obvious changes in appearance, odor or taste should be discarded regardless of the expiration date on the bottle. It is a good idea to go through your medicine/supplement cabinet regularly, discard old products and replace them with new ones as needed.

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* The information presented in this web site is intended to inform and educate. It is not intended to replace a qualified medical practitioner to diagnose or treat medical conditions.