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Do Fish Oil Pills Expire?

These popular supplements do have a shelf life

Valeri Potapova/Shutterstock

Following the expiration dates on food is a good way to ensure food safety and prevent illnesses. Certain foods, however, have much longer shelf lives than others — so where do fish oil supplements fall?

Diet Mistakes You’re Making Before Noon

According to NutraSea, a company that sells omega-3 products, most fish oil products are good for 2 years after the date they are made. It’s also important to properly store your fish oil liquid or soft-gel capsules to reduce oxidation and keep them fresh for longer.

First, make sure your supplements comes in a dark bottle. This could reduce their risk of oxidation from coming in contact with light. After opening, keep your bottle in the fridge to slow down oxidation. Finally, read the label to make sure the supplement has antioxidants, compounds that can reduce oxidation.

A 2015 study from the Journal of Nutritional Science found that 50% of the 171 omega-3 nutritional supplements tested failed at least one of the recommended voluntary safety standards for primary and secondary oxidation and total oxidation. The study found that the safest products are encapsulated, unflavored fish oils.


Knowing how long this supplement lasts is just one of the things you should know about fish oil.