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Last modified: May 27, 2024

Heat-sensitive product storage and shipping recommendations


A heat-sensitive item is any product that may be modified by high temperatures or long-term heat exposure. Many different products can be considered heat-sensitive, and the concern with exposure can be quite variable.

Probiotics, oil-based supplements, and softgel products are a few examples of products that could be sensitive to elevated temperatures. However, exceptions within each category may also exist.

We recommend our priority delivery option for all heat-sensitive products to reduce time in transit. Heat-sensitive products are labeled in checkout to help with delivery method selection.

The heat-sensitive product alert and recommended shipping option in patient checkout.
The heat-sensitive product alert in patient checkout.


Probiotics lose colony-forming units (CFUs) over time when exposed to elevated temperatures. However, probiotics range in temperature sensitivities in that some are shelf-stable and do not require refrigeration, while others require ice packs for shipping and refrigeration for storage.


Fish oils, flaxseed oils, and other oil-based products may be labeled heat-sensitive as a precaution to prevent spoilage. Proper storage becomes imperative after opening.


When softgels are exposed to high temperatures, they can become very soft and stick together. This means softgels are considered heat-sensitive, but they aren’t heat-intolerant. Many softgel products aren’t shipped with ice packs under the advisement of our supplier partners.


If softgels arrive stuck together, try putting them in the fridge for 15-30 minutes and giving the bottle a good shake. This is highly effective in separating the gels without damaging the capsules.

Storing heat-sensitive products

While the packaging for shipping is important for your heat-sensitive item, long-term storage is by far the most significant factor. At our warehouse facilities, we adhere to rigorous supplement quality control standards that affect how we receive, store, and ship products.

You may keep a product at home or in your office for months. How you store that product will significantly impact its shelf life, especially in the case of heat-sensitive products.

The following are general guidelines that we suggest you follow:

  1. Follow the storage instructions on the bottle – not all heat-sensitive products will need refrigeration.
  2. Moisture leads to mold – leave cotton balls or silicon packets inside the bottle.
  3. Close the lids on all containers tightly.
  4. Avoid storage in the bathroom or near the stove in the kitchen.
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