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Are Expired Probiotics Safe To Take

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How To Determine Whether Probiotics Should Be Refrigerated

9 Signs You Need To Take Probiotics

Generally, most supplement manufacturers say on the label whether probiotics are shelf stable or require refrigeration.

If there are no specific storage instructions listed on the label, your probiotic is likely shelf stable and doesnt need refrigerating.

Another way to determine whether you should refrigerate your probiotics is to consider how they were stored upon purchase.

For example, probiotics that require refrigeration are typically found in the refrigerated section of the store or pharmacy. Alternatively, if you buy a supplement online and its shipped in an ice pack or insulated thermal bag, its likely best to refrigerate it once it arrives.


Most probiotic supplements provide storage instructions on the label. Probiotics that are stored in the refrigerated section of the store or shipped with an ice pack may also require refrigeration.

Is It Ok To Use Expired Probiotics

Its not unsafe or dangerous to take them they simply wont be as potent as they were before the expiry date. Some ingredients, though, are fragile and break down quickly after a products expiration date. Probiotic supplements, made from live bacteria and yeasts, will be far less potent once expired.

Things You Should Know Before Taking Probiotics

These days, you’ll find probiotics in more places than yogurt and the supplements aisle. “Good bacteria” are turning up in everything from toothpaste and chocolate, to juices and cereals.

“The oddest place I saw probiotics was in a straw,” said Dr. Patricia Hibberd, a professor of pediatrics and chief of global health at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston, who has studied probiotics in young children and older adults. “It seemed difficult to imagine how a straw could deliver probiotics in a meaningful way,” she said.

Hibberd said she also wasn’t a fan of probiotics in bread, because toasting a slice could potentially kill the live organisms. “What also shocks me is the cost of some of these products,” she said.

Putting probiotics into foods that don’t naturally have the beneficial bacteriamight not make these products healthier, higher quality or worthwhile additions to the diet, she said.

“At some level, there’s more hype about probiotics than there should be,” Hibberd told LiveScience. “The enthusiasm has gotten ahead of the science.”

These facts don’t seem to have dampened consumer interest: The Nutrition Business Journal anticipated that U.S. sales of probiotic supplements in 2013 would top $1 billion.

To separate the reality from the hype, here are eight tips to keep in mind before buying probiotics in foods or taking them as supplements.

1. Probiotics are not regulated like drugs.

2. Mild side effects are possible.

5. Pay attention to expiration dates.

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Storing Probiotics For Maximum Potency

Though there are thousands of probiotic products, there are only three main types of probiotics :

  • Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium blends A blend of lactic-acid producing bacteria species that are mostly Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium probiotic species .
  • Saccharomyces boulardii A single species of a healthy fungus, Saccharomyces boulardii.
  • Soil-Based Probiotics A blend of Bacillus species.
  • Knowing which types of probiotics are in your probiotic supplement is important because each ofthe three types has a different shelf life and storage requirements.

    • Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium probiotics should be refrigerated for best results.Even refrigerated, they will lose 10-15% of their potency per month. This loss of potency is faster if they are kept at room temperature.
    • Saccharomyces boulardii probiotics and Bacillus are shelf-stable and dont require refrigeration, though storage in the refrigerator may extend their shelf life.

    All About Probiotic Shelf Life

    Do Vitamins Expire? Is it Safe to Take Expired Vitamins ...

    Expiration dates on your probiotic supplements may have you afraid to use them for fear of digestive health side effects. Good quality probiotic supplements contain live bacteria, and expired products may have less than or none of the advertised amount.

    The good news is that expired probiotic capsules wont hurt you, though theylikely wont give you the probiotichealth benefits you were hoping for.

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    How To Ensure Your Probiotic Will Work

    The most important way to make sure the probiotic you choose will work is to find a reputable brand and follow the label directions suggested on how to take it. Each brand will have specific information based on the product.

    Manufacturers are constantly trying to improve probiotic effectiveness by using different methods such as microencapsulation to protect probiotics from the environment, increasing chances of survival and potency.

    tips for effective probiotic use

    For a probiotic to work for you, it should be:

    • Good quality . Choose one that shows proof of effectiveness.
    • Stored correctly. Read labels and store as the label states .
    • Taken as directed. Read labels and take as suggested .
    • Able to survive in the body. The probiotic must be able to survive the trip through stomach acid and bile and colonize your gut.
    • Safe for you. Read the label and note added ingredients. Watch out for added fillers and binders which might cause reactions.

    A typical label will have the name of the specific probiotic , the dose in CFU, an expiration date, and instructions for use and storage.

    The expiration date is important because it should have the use by date, which is how long the product will have live cultures.

    Avoid products that list expiration as time of manufacture. The cultures may not be active or be less than listed by the time you buy it.

    In Most Cases The Expiration Date On Medication Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does

    The expiration date on the packaging of OTC and prescription drugs doesn’t necessarily reflect when the product expires.

    “The vast majority of medications maintain most of their potency years after the posted expiration date. That date is the date after which full potency cannot be guaranteed by the manufacturer,” emergency-medicine specialist Dr. Jack Springer told INSIDER.

    Studies conducted by independent researchers and the Food and Drug Administration have found that common drugs retain nearly all their potency many years after the posted expiration date.

    “The expiration date doesn’t really indicate a point at which the medication is no longer effective or has become unsafe to use,” Springer said. “Medical authorities state if expired medicine is safe to take, even those that expired years ago.”

    There are exceptions some medications and drug types undergo changes during extended storage that can compromise their safety or effectiveness. Liquid medications and some antibiotics are among these.

    Keeping in mind that most OTC medications in tablet or capsule form are safe to use for many years after their expiration date, here are some guidelines on how to manage the drugs in your medicine cabinet.

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    Can Expired Probiotics Make You Sick

    So far, there is no scientific evidence suggesting that expired probiotics can make you sick. However, the longer a probiotic supplement stays on the shelf, the lesser is its effectivity.Why is that?Also dubbed as the good bacteria, probiotics are live microorganisms that are beneficial to our body. Aside from supplements, its also found in the foods we eat. Once these microorganisms enter our body, it colonizes our guts and kicks out the bad bacteria.To get the maximum health benefits of probiotics, it must reach our guts alive. Dead microorganisms wont be able to stick to your gut walls and fight off the harmful bacteria.The number of live microorganisms that reaches your gut also matters. Lesser live microorganisms mean lesser good bacteria present in your gut. These bacteria are like your bodys personal soldiers. When there are very few of them, the bad bacteria can easily take over and negate the effects of probiotics.

    Shelf Life And Expiration Dates

    When to Take Probiotics (and Other Gut Supplements)

    Even though nutritional supplements contain expiration dates, unlike perishable foods such as milk or meat, they dont really spoil or go bad in the same way. When discussing the shelf life of a supplement, it is really the potency that is the primary concern, not ingredient spoiling or becoming toxic. It isnt dangerous to take expired vitamins, but they may have lost some potency.

    The expiration date represents the last day the item will be at its highest level of potency and quality. In other words, up until that date the product is guaranteed to contain its labeled ingredient potencies and the tablet itself is guaranteed to disintegrate properly. Beyond the expiration date, nutrient potency may gradually decline. As such, we recommend consuming products before the printed expiration date.

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    When Exactly Do Probiotics Expire

    Probiotics are only effective when they arrive alive in your system. Thus, probiotic supplements worth taking should have between 10 20 Billion live bacteria in them. As the expiration date approaches, the amount of probiotics that are still alive may differ from the CFU count advertised on the back of the box. CFU indicates the number of live probiotics per dosage of a supplement.

    Shelf stable probiotics, in particular, have an average shelf-life of two years. Supplements that lack this quality may only last for one year, according to the experts. All Probulin Digestive Probiotics are shelf stable, and can maintain potency from their date of manufacture to the end of their expiration date.

    Company Policies On Expiration Dates

    Because its not required by the FDA, each company will make its own decision regarding if and how to label expiration dates on vitamins. At the time of publishing, these are policies of some of the most common supplement manufacturers:

    • Centrum: All Centrum products are assigned an expiration date based on the least stable ingredient in the product. All ingredients should be present in the amount listed on the label until the last day of the month of expiration.
    • NOW Foods: All NOW supplements have an expiration date printed on the package. If proper storage procedures are followed, products will retain full potency through this date.
    • Swanson Vitamins: Products will either contain a best-by date or a manufacture date. If they contain a manufacture date, the company recommends that most products be consumed within two to three years of such date. Liquids and probiotics should be consumed within one year.
    • Nature Made: Vitamins and other dietary supplements include an expiration date and potency is guaranteed through this date. The way the date is set varies based on the type of product.
    • Priority One Nutritional Supplements: These do not currently contain expiration dates. The company states that it is working to authenticate expiration dates with stability testing. It currently recommends a two-year shelf life from the time of purchase.

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    The Type Of Vitamin Matters As Well When Youre Looking At Expirations

    Things that that need to be refrigerated, like probiotics and liquids, are definitely best to toss out after the expiration date has passed, said Cynthia Marie LaBonte, a chemist and owner of Newport Herbal Formulas in Newport, Rhode Island.

    Fish oils or any liquid cap has a hard line as to its expiration date and that expiration date should be heeded, as we check expiration dates on nut butters and vegetable oils, she said, noting that fish oil can go rancid if used past the suggested date.

    For powder supplements, heat, humidity, light and air are what will degrade potency over time, Dadd said. He noted that following storage directions on the bottle will help ensure the product stays effective. The same advice goes for supplements like gummy or chewable vitamins, which absorb more moisture naturally than regular pills. This means they tend to go bad faster.

    Traas added that improper vitamin storage can sometimes even negate an expiration date.

    Lets take protein powder for instance. You open it up, use it, and forget about it in your car after the gym. Your car heats up and then you blast the air. Moisture ensues and bam, youve got mold and that can happen within the expiration date, Traas said.

    To avoid the need to use old vitamins altogether, Hawkins recommends purchasing vitamins and supplements in smaller quantities so that they are always consumed fresh to provide maximum benefit.

    The Manufacturing And Shipping Process

    CVS Align Digestive Probiotic 90 One

    In order to maximize the health benefits we get from probiotics, the manufacturing and shipping process has to follow temperature guidelines as well. This includes everything from the growing process to the assembly line to packaging to distribution.

    Realistically, there may be times when the cooling chain is broken. Some manufacturers account for this loss by adding extra bacteria to ensure the product still has the amount of probiotics listed on the label. Although, this is hard to guarantee and not backed by science.

    When looking to purchase probiotics, look at the expiration date. Avoid buying those that have been sitting on the refrigerator or shelf for long periods of time.

    In most cases, youre better off purchasing a product that does not require refrigeration and comes in a moisture- and heat-resistant package. That way you can bypass worries about the manufacturing process, the cooling chain, and remembering to refrigerate after purchasing.

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    Use Valium Within One Year

    Because diazepam, which is sold under names including Valium, is a prescription drug, there are additional guidelines for its expiration date.

    “As a prescription drug, pharmacies limit the use for one year from dispensing,” Langdon said.

    As with most medications, store it in a cool, dry place away from direct light.

    Are Expired Probiotics Harmful

    by Lara Swanson

    An important question that arises in probiotic usage: are they safe? This question gains all the more significance when we consider the fact that most of the probiotics are marketed in the form of foodstuffs or drugs. Traditionally, people have been using probiotics from time immemorial through their food habits and the understanding of the safety of the microbes has come from prolonged period of experience like bacteria used in food processing: Leuconostoc and Lactobacillus. Therefore, till recently the question of harmful effects of these probiotic microbes was not raised. But the extent of their viability was always in question.

    Immune-stimulation by dead probiotic cells:

    Pros and cons of using dead probiotic cells:

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    Do All Probiotic Strains Need To Be Refrigerated

    Not all probiotics require refrigeration, but they do need to be protected from heat. How they are manufactured also plays a role. Freeze-dried probiotics, for example, often have longer shelf-life as they are in a dormant state.

    Only the probiotics that include specific strains with this trait and/or have a delivery mechanism that is not temperature resistant need to be refrigerated. Specific strains of probiotics have different sensitivity levels to heat and environmental factors.

    Soil-based probiotics are an example of probiotics that do not need to be refrigerated. These probiotics have been used to ferment foods and are more resistant to the natural elements, meaning they dont need refrigeration.

    Because Probiotics Are Alive It’s Best To Use Them As Soon As Possible

    When and How To Take Probiotics – Ask the Pharmacist!

    Because probiotics are alive, they can become far less effective over time or if they’re improperly stored.

    “Probiotics are living bacteria and will be subject to inactivity over time. It’s best to them discard based on the manufacturer’s guideline, which is usually one year,” Langdon said.

    To keep your probiotics fresh and effective, store them in a cool place away from sunlight. Some probiotics should be kept in the refrigerator.

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    How Probiotics Are Good For You

    They might lower the number of “bad” bacteria in your gut that can cause illness or inflammation. They can also replace those problem germs with good or helpful bacteria.

    Researchers are studying when and how probiotics might best help. There’s more research for some illnesses than others. They might help people with:

    • Diarrhea, especially when it’s linked to specific antibiotics. Probiotics also might help with infectious diarrhea, especially in children.
    • Inflammatory bowel diseases including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Some probiotics might keep ulcerative colitis in remission and prevent Crohn’s disease from relapsing and getting worse.
    • Irritable bowel syndrome. Probiotics can sometimes help ease symptoms, including stomach pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.

    Probiotics also are being studied for many other conditions. There isnât as much research yet, but some people say that probiotics have helped them with:

    Can I Take Expired Glutamine

    The good news In general, then, expired supplements such as whey, amino acids, pre-workouts and fat burners are still okay to take after their expiry dates. What it mostly means is that the efficacy wears off past the expiry date. However, if they are past their expiry date, they shouldnt pose any health risks.4 mai 2017


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    Is It Bad To Drink Expired Protein Shake

    While consuming protein powder shortly after its expiration date is likely safe if the product has been stored properly, protein powders can lose protein content with age. Oxidation the reaction of fats with oxygen increases with storage time and damages the quality of protein powders.7 jan. 2020

    How Probiotics Might Be Bad For You

    Take It Or Toss It: Is It Safe To Use Expired Medications?

    Because these good bacteria already exist in the body, theyâre considered safe for most people. But there are some things to consider.

    They can trigger an allergic reaction. They might cause mild stomach problems, especially the first few days you start taking them. You might have stomach upset, gas, diarrhea, or bloating. Those symptoms usually go away after your body gets used to them.

    If you have an immune system problem or another serious health condition, you may have a greater chance of issues. Some reports have linked probiotics to serious infections and other side effects. The people most likely to have trouble are those with immune system problems, people who’ve had surgery, and others who are critically ill. Don’t take probiotics if you have any of those issues.

    Always talk to your pediatrician before giving probiotic supplements to your child. If you’re pregnant or nursing, you should also talk to your doctor before you try one.

    Most probiotics in the U.S. are sold as dietary supplements. That means the companies that make them don’t have to test their products and show that they work or that they are safe. More research is needed to confirm that probiotics are safe and effective.

    Ask your doctor which probiotics are the right ones for you. Be sure to stop taking them if you have any problems.

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