Throw Your Supplements Away Immediately If You Notice This

Millions of Americans use supplements every day, including vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, or enzymes (via National Institutes of Health). But many may not be aware of whether or not these supplements come with an expiry date, and what to take note of before taking one.

Multivitamins tend to be the most popular form of supplement, per National Library of Medicine, and it may come as a surprise that these supplements don't actually carry an expiration date (via Healthline). While some companies may voluntary provide "best before" and "use by" dates on their products, it's not required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is because vitamins don't expire like other over-the-counter medications. As most of the ingredients in vitamins and other supplements "break down gradually," they become less potent over time rather than expire. However, if you do happen to consume expired multivitamins or other dietary supplements, you run the risk of consuming less nutrients than you thought the supplement contained.

Mold or strange odors mean it's time to throw your supplements away

While supplements like multivitamins don't pose a risk if they do expire, Healthline recommends that you dispose of them as they may "be a waste of time — and money — if it has lost its potency." Some things to be on the lookout for though are signs of mold (via Verywell Fit), a change in color or a strange smell. As Medical News Today advises, you should "immediately dispose of vitamins" that show any of these signs. 

When disposing of vitamins or other supplements, it's not as simple as just throwing them in the trash. If you happen to have children or pets in your household, you run the risk of getting them sick if they manage to get into the garbage. Instead, the FDA recommends that you mix the vitamins with coffee grounds or cat litter, put the mixture into a sealed bag or container, and throw the entire container into the trash.

You can also drop-off expired vitamins at hazardous waste center in your local area. SF Gate notes that household hazardous waste collection events are also an option, as well as taking them back to the store you bought them from.