Thursday, February 17, 2011

Herb & Nutritional Supplements: What is That Capsule Made From?

Herbal and nutritional supplements are often consumed as capsules. Do you ever wonder what that capsule is made from? Here is the skinny on those used most often. At the end I tell you how I take powdered herbs and give you a link to a pdf the gives other choices of forms you can take herbs in.

Gelatin capsule: This is the capsule you see most often on the market. Derived from hydrolysis of collagen extracted from animal  connective tissue. It is mostly from bones and skin of cattle, and pigs. Usually capsules are made from beef gelatin. There are three main stages to making gelatin. They are pretreatment with an acid (usually acetic acid) or an alkali, extraction of the gelatin and purification and drying. They are of course not appropriate for vegetarians or for people concerned about eating byproducts of animals that have eaten genetically modified food or people concerned about Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease (human form of Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis (BSE) Mad Cow disease).

OceanCaps, Caplique: These capsules are being made from what they are calling fish gelatin (skin, bones and fins) . The capsugel website lists OceanCaps as being made from farmed fish. I called Douglas Labs and they said their Caplique is also made from farmed fish. Tilapia is the fish usually used. I am sure you realize that farmed fish flesh is not healthy for you. It usually contains a higher level of toxins than wild fish and they do not contain the healthy essential fatty acids found in the wild, cold water fish. I can't find research on the level of toxins in the fish gelatin but I am a bit concerned about it and I don't like supporting the farmed fish industry. That being said, there is  that concern about the BSE possibility in the standard gelatin. This concern might make a person choose a fish gelatin capsule over the standard bovine/porcine gelatin capsule. The processing to produce fish gelatin is similar to mammalian gelatin although there are often some differences to get similar gel properties. Sometimes additional enzymes are used or different salts to get a better gelatin.

This type of capsule is being used to encapsulate many of the fish oils now. I suggest you take your fish oil in liquid form, not capsule form. It should also be refrigerated. For more details on farmed fish and healthy types of fish oils go to this recent blog:
 http://dreamingabeautifulworld.blogspot.com/2011/01/fish-oil-capsules-are-being-encased-in.html

Vcaps, and other vegetarian caps are made from hypromellose.  (AKA hydroxy propyl methyl cellulose or HPMC) Hypromellose is made from wood pulp. Pulp can be manufactured using mechanical, semi-chemical or fully chemical methods.  I asked Capsugel which method was used to make their Vcaps.  After repetatively being told for three weeks they would get back to me soon, I gave up on them ever really telling me. From what I can see most wood pulp is usually manufactured in China. Knowing that makes me more concerned. Although hypromellose is considered non-toxic, in reality it has not been studied for ingestion.   These are starch-free, gluten-free and preservative-free, and meet the strict dietary needs of vegetarians. They are also Kosher and Halal certified.


Softgel type caps: These usually consist of  a gelatin or starch or carageenan. Carrageenan is the hydrocolloid obtained by extraction with water or aqueous alkali, from some members of the class Rhodophyceae(red seaweeds), and a plasticiser.  The plasticiser may be glycerin and or sorbitol.

Here is the problem I have always had with these sofgel types. The product inside is heated to some degree by the process of the outside shell being sealed around the ingredients and depending on the amount of heat and the product, this may damage the ingredients in the softgel.

Liquid capsules:  The capsule may be gelatin or hydroxypropyl methylcellulose. Methylcellulose is plant fiber and often from wood pulp like the Vcaps listed above. They require no binders, fillers, plasticisers used in  softgels tablets and some other capsules. They dissolve better than softgels.

How I take powdered herbs: I  simply put the dose of powder on a spoon and swallow followed by drinking water. Be careful not to inhale powders while swallowing. This bypasses the need for packaging of the herb. Powdered herb is less expensive than encapsulated herbs which is nice if you are trying to save money. You can do this with many nutritional products too if you can find the powders for sale. I realize not everyone can take powders. People with trouble swallowing would be bothered. Children will not like the taste and may not be able to do it. Elders may also have trouble. If you can take powders easily, the spoon and water methods works great. However, if you have some reason that capsules work better for you, choose products from companies that use capsules you feel OK ingesting. Many companies have new capsules in the wings waiting to be birthed. Perhaps something better will appear soon.


How I take oils: I only use liquid nutritional oils packaged in bottles. Not only do I bypass the packaging problem of capsules, but I can smell the oil to see if it is rancid this way. Many of the oils are rancid unless they used refrigeration, or chemicals to keep them from oxidizing in the bottle. The encapsulation process itself can heat up the oil and cause it to go rancid quicker. See this blog for details on fish oils.

http://dreamingabeautifulworld.blogspot.com/2011/01/fish-oil-capsules-are-being-encased-in.html

Here is information that explains the advantages and disadvantages of various forms of herbal products.
Some additional capsule info:





35 comments:

  1. Unlike today’s modern gelatin capsules , in previous decades, pharmaceutical companies that produced medications for oral ingestion were only able to offer their products in tablet form. Essentially, the medication to be used in the tablet would be mixed with binding agents and hardened, producing a solid pill. These medications, although effective, often took long periods of time to digest, meaning the time needed for the medication to be absorbed was longer, and they were often hard to swallow. In 1834, however, the pharmaceutical company Mothes and Dublanc began producing a different type of capsule made using gelatin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This also contains maltodextrin, cellulose, modified cellulose, stearic acid, glycerin and silica. These help to boost the benefits of turmeric. where to buy ground turmeric

      Delete
  2. How long this will it take for your bruises to disappear? The red blood cells break down, and their pigment, hemoglobin, undergoes chemical changes which account for the sequence of colors in the bruise.

    Probiotics

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think we should buy supplements containing all the important natural ingredients. This blog has cleared my all doubts about how these capsules made from. Thanks for sharing the information.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The information about the capsule made of natural supplement is very useful to me and sure to many. Organic product made of natural herbs are very beneficial to our health and body. Herbal supplements diet make body and lifestyle healthy.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Carageenan is highly inflammatory -- thanks for the heads up that they can be part of a softgel.

    ReplyDelete
  6. herbal product is better than chemical drugs as an example of obat keputihan crystal x which is safe with no side effects.

    ReplyDelete
  7. nice blog !! i was looking for blogs related of animal supplements . then i found this blog, this is really nice and interested to read. thanks to author for sharing this type of valuable information.

    ReplyDelete
  8. one of the best ways older people can get their daily dose of nutritional supplements that they are unable to get through meals alone.There are so many supplement manufacturer businesses available today But you can buy affordable Supplement at inexpensive cost.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dear friend's, You are most welcome and you are invited to A Natural Approach To Health. We are provide here Living Healthy, a natural approach to health tips.I think, Living Healthy, a natural approach to health Tips will need all people, We are said to all friend, will get more Healthy tips just follow bellow
    living with
    autism
    healthy-living
    supplements
    vitamins minerals
    wellness
    swollen ankles
    swollen feet
    neuropathy
    tingling
    fatigueliving with

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for sharing this great post. It’s very enlightening. I absolutely love to read informative stuff. Looking forward to find out more and acquire further knowledge from here! Cheers!
    national nutrition

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great Post !! your blog is very informative information share....
    Health Care Products Neem

    ReplyDelete
  12. Excellent post and wonderful blog, I really like this type of interesting articles keep it you.


    gelatin capsules

    ReplyDelete
  13. Natural Herbs is wonderfully and effective supplements for boost your fitness, mentioned all herbs are really great!

    ReplyDelete
  14. To whomever wrote this article all I want to know is how to tell the difference between the gelatin capsules from pig gelatin capsules to beef gelatin capsules considering some people might want to know that answer and I thought gelatin capsules were made out of jello or gelatin desert and no I'm not kidding I actually thought that

    ReplyDelete
  15. The information you have posted is very useful. The sites you have referred was good. Thanks for sharing.. Fitness

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think the things you covered through the post are quiet impressive, good job and great efforts. I found it very interesting and enjoyed reading all of it...keep it up, lovely job.. new roots herbal

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is the first time i am reading your post and admire that you posted article which gives users lot of information regarding particular topic thanks for this share. gelatin capsules canada

    ReplyDelete
  18. If you are facing hair loss problem, take herbal supplements for hair growth containing more vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, Biotin, Niacin, Iron and Zinc.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Tengenix order is just a call away from your door steps. They are very effective and result oriented pills to consume. Don’t delay to purchase them.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Beautiful world with beautiful people. This post motivates me to take good care on my health. I will sure read your next post for more added knowledge.

    ariix products

    ReplyDelete
  21. it is best for those who look to slim down and is perfect to consume half and hour before your Cardio workouts or during your powerwalks to increase the fat-burning capacity. The best testosterone booster 2016

    ReplyDelete
  22. I really loved reading your thoughts, obviously you know what are you talking about! Your site is so easy to use too, I’ve bookmark it in my folder.
    vitamins and supplements

    ReplyDelete
  23. If you are looking for good training programmes I can recommend you bnbsupplements.com Their STUFF help me with choosing the best training program for me.?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Even though I wasn't eating much, my weight was going up and I was sporting bluish-black bags under both my eyes most of the time from lack of sleep. There were literally weeks on end when I could not sleep through an entire night, which, among other things,major depressive disorder left me exhausted, unhappy, and achy most of the time. In short, I felt like the world was crashing in on me.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hey, that’s really a good post on pets for sale in Delhi, i really like your blog as the information is very useful if you are a pet lover. Well, there is one more site for the same service www.helpadya.com you should check it for more detail.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Its very useful information .Thank you sharing with us.Fish Oil Tablets Side Effects

    ReplyDelete
  27. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks for sharing this informative blog keep with us posting and sir please share a Gelatin Capsules blog with Us .

    ReplyDelete
  29. I really liked your posts. Each and every single one of them is simply outstanding. Using social media in work is as helpful as for pleasure. Thanks a lot for sharing. Executive Protection

    ReplyDelete
  30. This is the first time i read the blog like yours..In your blog i found all my queries..I really appreciate your effort..This information is useful for me as well as for users also...
    kaizen supplements

    ReplyDelete