A capsule is one of the most efficient and common ways of drug delivery for medications and supplements of synthetic as well as herbal origin. They get delivered very fast and are easily dissolved in the intestine. Apart from these benefits it is easy to manufacture these at a commercial level in comparison to tablets. Capsules are primarily used for the delivery of substances which cannot be consumed orally directly due to factors such as taste, smell or compromised efficacy.
There are two distinct categories of capsules available in the market:
1. Traditional Gelatin capsules which is an animal source
2. Cellulose capsules, a plant-based source
While both can potentially serve your needs, it is very important for consumers to know the differences between gelatin and cellulose capsules.
Gelatin is the most common base of capsules which are sourced from animals. These capsules are quite inexpensive and are easily available in many forms. However, it is very important to know that gelatin is an animal by-product that is formed from a protein called collagen, obtained from connective tissues of skin and bones of animals. For persons with dietary or religious restrictions that prohibit them from consuming animal products, gelatin capsules are the right choice. It is also not suitable for vegans and vegetarians. There are animal free substitutes for gelatin capsules, which are made up of seaweed extract, which are also available in the market but are very expensive. Gelatin capsules may also have solubility problems with certain formulations, as unmodified gelatin is prone to cross-linking. Special packaging and storage conditions are required as gelatin based soft capsules are heat and moisture sensitive. The shell dissolution of gelatin capsules is not easy and certain pH range of 5.8 or below which is an acidic environment is required. It is also dependent on temperature as gelatin capsule shells, generally, do not dissolve at temperatures below 30°C. In practical terms, gelatin-based capsules should not be consumed with cold drinks, especially carbonated drinks and these capsules should preferably be consumed with warm liquids. Chances of bacterial contamination, one of the major drawback of using these capsules, is more as gelatin is a protein which is suitable for bacterial growth.
Cellulose-based capsules are made up of plant-based material and not made using animal by-products. Cellulose is the main constituent of plant cell walls and of vegetable fibers. This characteristic alone makes them suitable for the vegan and vegetarian population. In addition to being the obvious choice for vegetarian and vegan consumers, these capsules are acceptable for people practicing certain religions as well. These capsules are available in different colors and sizes and their application is much more flexible in comparison to gelatin capsules in terms of pH and temperature. These capsules easily dissolve within a wide pH range from acid to alkaline at temperature ranging from 10oC to 55oC and can be consumed with hot as well as cold drinks. No additional precautions are required for storage and packaging as these capsules are highly stable. Chances of bacterial contaminations are also less in comparison to gelatin capsules. Additionally, cellulose based capsules have no known potential health risks, even when consumed for a long term as they are 100% natural and non-toxic. For example, Preserva Wellness Immunoblast Capsules are soothing for the lining of your stomach and provide a more smooth and efficient result than their gelatin counterparts filled with the same formulation.
Despite vast differences between both types of capsules, they also share some common properties as they both can be stored for long durations when compared to traditional tablets. Both types of capsules can be made in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colours to match different medications.
Vegetarian Cellulose Capsules Available with Preserva Wellness