When you buy supplements, you are often are faced with a
decision to make – which form should you take? Supplements might come in
softgels, capsules or tablets. What exactly are the differences among them, and
which is right for you?
What Are Capsules?
Capsules are formed plant or animal material that hold dry
or oil supplement ingredients inside of them. The capsules fit together and are
usually bonded in so they don’t break apart in the bottle. Most capsules are in
the shape of a cylinder, but the size of the cylinder can vary, depending on
how much dry or oil ingredient is inside each capsule. In the past, capsules
were made out of bovine or porcine skin and/or bones. Now, it’s more common for
capsules to be made out of fish, chicken or vegetable matter. A benefit of
capsules from a packaging standpoint is that the ingredients are safely
contained inside the capsule so that an exact dosage can be created.
What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Capsules?
From a consumer standpoint, there are pros and cons to
capsules. A benefit is that capsules are easy to swallow. The capsule material
doesn’t break down in the mouth, so if the supplement has a bitter taste, for
example, the consumer won’t taste it on the tongue before it’s swallowed. A con
to capsules can be their size. If a large dosage is required, capsules can be
overwhelmingly big, akin to a “horse pill.”
What Are Softgels?
Softgels are similar to capsules, but the material is made of gelatin, and the ingredients are always liquid – never dry. Softgel material is antioxidant, which means that the contents has a long shelf life and is well protected against UV rays and oxidation. Many softgels are opaque to enhance UV-resistance.
What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Softgels?
Softgels are also very easy to swallow; even easier than capsules. This is because they are flexible instead of hard like a capsule. As with capsules, the consumer will not taste the ingredient, but there may be some mild taste associated with the softgels casing.
What Are Tablets?
Tablets are powdered ingredients that have been mixed with
a substance so that a particular shape is held. Tablets can come coated and
uncoated. One of the benefits of tablets is that the ingredients can be
concentrated. Among Softgels, capsules and tablets, tablets allow the most
What Are The Drawbacks and Benefits of Tablets?
From a consumer’s standpoint, tablets are excellent
because they can easily be split in two, or crushed and dissolved in water or
mixed with solid foods. For consumers who struggle with swallowing pills,
tablets can be a benefit. However, tablets offer little protection against
bitter tastes of the supplement, so there may be some unpleasant aftertaste
with tablet usage.
When you compare softgels, capsules and tablets, pay
special attention to the dosages. There will usually be differences among them
as far as how many you have to take with a single dose. If you’d like more
information about nutritional supplements, please feel free to contact us!