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Gelatin Capsule or Vegan Capsule?

Do you really know your nutritional supplements?

People usually say “We are in charge of our own health.” But there is not universal way of maintaining your overall health level, how would you know which is the best for you? We see people take very different approaches to prevent health deterioration, from food control to nutraceutical supplements. Maintenance of health is diversified.

Well, if say you were one of many health seekers preferred the nutraceutical supplements approach, how do you choose the form of your daily consumption of nutraceuticals? There are many forms available at today’s market, capsule, liquid, tablet, gummies. Would you be curious the different between those forms or even the source of their raw materials?

If you are one of the many, have you ever questioned about how your choice of product is made? Do you have preferences over the dosage form: capsule or tablet? Do you care whether the product is of animal or plant sources?

Let’s take a good look at the capsule first.

Gelatin Capsule

The majority of the capsule available today are made with gelatin. Which is a raw material getting from animal sources. Whether it’s hard capsule or soft gels, very likely it is made with skin or bone of bovine, porcine, marine origin. The hydrolysis of collagen derived from such animals is the raw material of gelatin. If you are a concerned member of groups like vegetarian or vegans, or certain religious or ethnic who are banned from using the product made with those mentioned animals, would you be fine with the capsule you use on a daily basis? Fortunately, with the advancement on capsule formulating technology, a new type of capsule made with pure vegan origin is available to the market as an alternative to gelatin capsules. It’s carrageenan capsules.

Vegan Capsule

Carrageenan is an edible gelling agent extracted from pure natural source, red seaweed which is commonly seen around the world. In recent years, carrageenan has become a promising star in medical & nutraceutical applications like tissue engineering, wound coverage and drug delivery. Carrageenan can be categorized mainly into three different classes based on their sulfate content. Kappa-carrageenan has one sulfate group per disaccharide while iota-carrageenan has two, and lambda-carrageenan has three. Even though in today’s market, gelatin capsule is the dominant type in comparison to vegetarian capsules due to its relatively lower cost of production, but vegan capsule offers extra benefits besides being a good substitute to gelatin capsule.

The Characteristic Comparison

Which is better? Vegan capsule outstands gelatin capsule in terms of stability due to its lower moisture, hygroscopicity and it’s more stable in room temperature with high humidity all year long. As to solubility, it dissolves well at human body temperature as well. However, vegan capsule is readily dissolved in water at room temperature but the solubility of gelatin capsule starts decreasing when temperature drops below 37 °C and even lose its solubility below 30°C. Moreover, vegan capsule is suitable for holding more varieties of content while gelatin capsule would be degraded by aldehydic end-products easily.

The choice is ours. Despite the differences said above, vegan capsule and gelatin capsules are comparable in many other ways. Both types of capsules can be kept for many years without worries of bacteria or deterioration if stored under right condition. Also, both vegan capsule and gelatin capsule are versatile in shapes, sizes and color which may help on identifying when it’s filled with different kinds of contents.

How To Choose?

Only consumer can be the final judge of whether one type is superior or not than the other. Say one is free of religion or dietary restriction, he or she may go for traditional gelatin capsules with no issues and the cost is lower than vegan capsule. Otherwise, if you have concern on such issues or looking for even better stability and solubility, vegan capsules will remove all your worries.

Some suggestions and messages. Be ware of what you are feeding yourself and your loved ones especially when it comes to nutraceutical supplement. Always read the label carefully, it is super important. The label on a product, as long as it’s well manufactured by responsible producers, shall provide accurate and proper information for customers. Be smart and curious and asks whenever there’s uncertainty and always seeking for dietary and nutritional advices from qualified professionals before taking any kinds of capsules!

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