Ethical Living

Little known facts about capsules

Capsules are known to be the preferred delivery method of medications and supplements. They are quick dissolving, fairly inexpensive, and easy to fill for both home as well as commercial consumption. As opposed to various other delivery methods, substances are not being directly added to the medication or supplement, not compromising their efficacy. There are two different types of capsules available in the market: the traditional gelatin caps and the vegetarian varieties.

Most of us go through our lifetime taking a health supplement or medication, especially capsules without really worrying about its origin.  But how many of us are aware of a little known fact about the capsules we consume?

Gelatin is the original and most common material used to produce capsules. It is the less expensive and is available in many options. These capsules can be purchased in various colors, flavors, as well as sizes to suit your needs. However, gelatin is an animal by product formed from collagen. Gelatin is made of kraft and other connective tissue, primarily composed of amino acids taken from animal bone, cowhide and pigskin.

Gelatin capsules are a major downfall for some consumers who have either religious or dietary restrictions. While Hindus would refrain from beef or animal based products, Muslims would find it appalling to touch anything that is contaminated with porcine derivatives.

As the name states, vegetable capsules are not made with any animal byproducts, making them an obvious choice for vegetarians, vegans and are also more acceptable for religious reasons as well as they also fall under the Kosher and Halal category. Unless the bottle is clearly marked as 100% vegetarian based, chances are that the capsules within are made of animal byproducts.

Many people today are turning towards vegetarian capsules and demanding that pharmaceutical companies label their products in a more clear manner. As not all products are available in a vegetable base, people who are aware of this fact have no choice but to open the capsules and consume the powder within.

Vegetarian capsules are not only ethically the right choice but they are a healthier choice as well. The only down side of this alternative is that they are slightly expensive than the ones with regular casings.

If you are unsure of whether a product is derived from animals or not, you can seek the advice of your pharmacist or contact the manufacturing company to find out the ingredients. Another great method is to do a bit of research on the ingredients labelled on the containers.