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  • Writer's pictureVitxCycle

Capsules V Tablets!!

Random question........Have you ever stood in the checkout queue at Boots and seen packs of paracetamol capsules and tablets and wondered, What’s the difference?

Good, I’m glad I’m not the only one!!!

A like for like comparison on the Boots website lists own-brand 500mg paracetamol tablets at 3p each and the equivalent capsule at 8p each. That’s 2.6 times more, but why? What’s the difference, they both do the same job….don’t they?

The answer is yes and no!

Yes, they both provide a level of pain relief and they roughly contain the same ingredients, so why would/should you buy capsules?

Part of the answer is well known to anyone who’s ever experienced a paracetamol tablet stuck in the back of your throat! The awful taste and the discomfort that follows….yuck….

You don’t get that with a capsule as all the active ingredients (the stuff that tastes horrid) are encased in a tasteless capsule, which is designed to deliver them to where they are best absorbed by your body. The back of your throat is not that place!

Over and above tasting better, are there any other reasons to choose capsules over tablets? To answer this we need to get a bit geeky so to explain the difference between the two and also what you should look out for when choosing between them. To understand the difference, we must look at the way tablets and capsules are made.

The manufacturing process of tablets requires a number of additives to the active ingredients, these include;

Binding agents which act like glue to stick the tablet together.

Flow agents (e.g. excipients such as magnesium stearate) which helps the raw ingredients (normally in powder form) flow though the manufacturing machinery and stops it clumping (known as caking) together and sticking to machinery. When clumping occurs it means that the production line has to be stopped whilst the issue is resolved, this causes downtime on the production line and therefore increases costs.

The addition of these additives enables tablets to be produced more quickly and cheaper than capsules. However, there is evidence that these additives can coat the particles of the active ingredients and have a possible adverse effect on how they are absorbed by your body. Doesn't sound great does it?

Secondly, there’s the issues of a tablet having to taste good and the rate at which it dissolves so it can deliver the active ingredients to the stomach (paracetamol) or intestine (vitamins), where they can be absorbed by your body. The use of additional additives are required to overcome these issues and often these can cause undesirable effects, especially when it comes to gastrointestinal health. These additives include:

Sweeteners are used to mask the taste of other ingredients and additives which might otherwise make the finished tablet unpalatable.

Excipients are used to help stabilise active ingredients, aid absorption

Bulking agents are used if the active ingredient/s required is a small amount so that the actual tablet appears to the consumer to be of an expected size.

Capsules require none of these additives to deliver the active ingredients as the actual capsule removes the need for sweeteners, binding and bulking agents so ensuring more of the good stuff gets to where it’s needed.

But what about the flow agents? Our capsules are manufactured on machinery which has been designed to overcome the issue of caking on the production line, thus removing the need for these too.

At VitxCycle we care about what we and you put in our bodies and believe that health supplements should be of the highest quality and offer the purest ingredients without the use of any additives.

That is why you’ll find our supplement complex of “PROTECTION, FLEXIBILITY and RECOVERY” only in capsule form, ensuring they work with your body to help keep you healthy and on your bike.


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