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Hi, I have recently found some outdated vitamin C pills in my drug cabinet. I am thinking about taking some, but am not sure if this would cause some unpredictable effects. What happens to vitamin C when its shelf life expires? Is it ok to take out of date vitamin C pills?

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Hi, vitamin C is very important nutrient. The humans have lost the ability to produce this molecule and therefore have to take it through food and supplements. But, the vitamin C found in fruits and vegetables is much more effective than the one man made. However, this doesnt stop millions of people to take vitamin C supplements instead of the natural sources on daily basis. The active ingredient of vitamin C is ascorbic acid. This is a highly unstable molecule. It changes its structure under the influence of light and oxygen. That is why it has to be kept away from light and in cold places. You should through away the out of date pills you have found. The expired expiration date means that the vitamin C in those tablets has deteriorated and has lost its function. Taking those pills will not have any positive effect.
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