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All products, excluding probiotics and liquids, will maintain full potency for 2 years from the manufacturing (mfg) date. Probiotics and liquids have a best used period of one year from the mfg date.
Products won’t become toxic, but they’ll gradually lose potency beyond the best used by date. Probiotics, fatty acids and liquids should be used as soon as possible after the best used date since they’re more vulnerable to loss of potency. Most supplements in pill or powder form can be used for another year past the best by date. Minerals, which are very stable, could even be used for two years past the best by date. We don’t have research documentation on the rate of potency loss beyond the best by date.
Bottled juice should be used within approximately one month after opening.
Softgels should not be refrigerated since the glycerin may absorb moisture condensation due to temperature changes, resulting in the softgels sticking together. When softgels are frozen, expansion of contents may cause breakage or leaking, so freezing is also not recommended.
Containers are filled by weight, not by volume. Settling can occur with shipping. Also, some “head room” must be allowed for high speed filling of containers since contents will “poof” with filling and need extra room to allow for this.
Some oxidation may occur because the halves of the capsule are not tightly sealed and may permit a little moisture and oxygen to penetrate. This doesn’t harm the nutritional value of the product.
A standardized herb contains a guaranteed percentage of the active component(s) of the herb, which guarantees that every pill in every batch has the same amount of the active ingredient. The percentage of the active ingredient is listed on the label information.
A non-standardized herb may also be referred to as “full-spectrum” or “whole-herb,” meaning it’s the whole, unadulterated herb, dried and put in pill form. A non-standardized herb is guaranteed to meet the label claim and have the listed amount of the herb; however, it’s not guaranteed to have any particular percentage of the active component(s).
A natural separation of ingredients may occur over time in a softgel formula. Opaquing agents are added to assist in providing a more consistent appearance and don’t compromise potency or efficacy of a product.
In occasional supplements, an opaquing agent may also protect nutritional content from degradation with exposure to light.
We suggest following the directions on the label, but there may be exceptions. The amounts of supplements used might vary with level of need from general maintenance to a higher level of support. If you’re considering higher levels of support, check to see if there’s a powdered form with a higher dosages than capsules, softgels or tablets; if there is, you can take up to an equivalent amount in pill form. Otherwise, consult a health care provider for range of use and toxicity.
We don’t recommend giving supplements to children unless they are specifically formulated for children or have a specified dosage for children on the label. Otherwise, our products and recommended usages are intended for adults. Check with your health care provider to determine if a supplement is appropriate for children and what amount should be used since dosages are often based on weight.
“Take on an empty stomach” means you should take the product one hour before or two hours after eating; you can take other supplements at the same time.
“With water” means the supplement must be taken with water to ensure that you don’t choke on the pill and that it’s properly dissolved in the stomach; the product can be taken with or without food.
“With food” means that the product should be taken at mealtime or with a snack for best utilization and/or to avoid stomach upset.
We only list the country of origin if the finished product is made outside of the United States. If there isn’t a country of origin listed, it means the finished product was made within the US. We don’t release the names of our manufacturers on non-trademark supplements since we have contractual arrangements with them not to release their names or contact information. Bulk materials for trademarked ingredients come from the manufacturer that holds the trademark.
Regardless of country of origin, all of our manufacturers must be compliant with GMP regulations, and products are quality-control tested at multiple stages during processing and after we receive them to ensure they meet label claims for correct substance, purity and potency. We require our manufacturers to test for pathogenic bacteria (E.coli, Staph, Salmonella), fungal counts and heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic). We also require manufacturers to verify compliance with FDA regulations for BSE (mad cow) if any bovine components are used. Manufacturers must also verify products are compliant with Proposition 65 for sale in California.
Our Certificate of Analysis contains confidential information, including names of manufacturers. Since we have contractual arrangements not to release the manufacturer information, we’re unable to send out C of As. In addition, we don’t send copies of our Quality Control testing for the same reason.
We don’t send out research information because of legal and liability issues.
If a product is an enteric or time release formulation, you may lose these special features by removing the contents from the capsule or softgel. This might also leave some nutritional supplements vulnerable to stomach acidity. Others can cause stomach upset or other discomforts without the protective coating. You could potentially lose about 20% of the contents when removing from the capsule or softgel.
Some supplements may also irritate the oral mucosa. For example, we don't recommend taking cayenne out of the capsule and putting it in a smoothie.
Since we aren’t licensed as pharmacists or medical practitioners, you’ll need to consult with either your pharmacist or health care provider about interactions.
Directions may be intended to maintain a particular blood level based upon how quickly the supplement might be cleared from the blood or maximum amounts that might be absorbed or tolerated at one given time. If the manufacturer recommends divided dosage, stick with that. If the product simply says “Take two capsules per day,” you may take them individually or both at once.
Inactive ingredients (excipients) serve necessary purposes in the manufacturing process and are used only to the extent necessary for the particular manufacturing process and equipment. It would be next to impossible to manufacture supplements without the use of excipients. Most inactive ingredients are included to provide flavoring, preserve the product or bind the ingredients together.
Nutritional requirements state that if the serving of the product has less than 2% of an ingredient, there is no need to label it because it’s such an insignificant amount.
Dietary supplements have different requirements than food products. Only food products require nutritional facts such as calories, carbohydrates and sugars to be listed. Any product that’s a dietary supplement will state “Supplement Facts” on the label instead of “Nutrition Facts."
Visit the Product Request page to let us know about a product you'd like us to carry on our website.
The source of gelatin in Swanson brand products is animal based unless otherwise stated on the label.
Carrageenan is a common food additive that is extracted from a red seaweed, Chondrus crispus, popularly known as Irish moss. In vitamins and supplements it is used as a thickener and emulsifier to improve texture.
While you may have heard some negative press around carrageenan, the preponderance of scientific evidence points to the safety of this ingredient.
Regulatory authorities around the world—including the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, and additional authorities in Europe, China, Japan and Brazil—all recognize that carrageenan is nontoxic, approving carrageenan as safe for food. Additionally, the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) ran an in-depth review of the scientific evidence and found carrageenan to be safe for use in infant formula, including formula for special medical purposes.