Capsules vs tablets: What’s the difference?

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Written by Kirsty Gillmore, registered Nutritional Therapist (BA Hons, DipCNM, mBANT, CNHC).

When taking supplements, it’s helpful to look for products that provide the greatest bioavailability to the body. Capsules offer numerous benefits over tablets. Here are some reasons why!

1. Easy to digest.⁠

Vegetable cellulose capsules are able to break down much more easily in our digestive tract, than tablets. That’s because cellulose is a natural plant fibre, made of simple molecules that are gut friendly. The easy breakdown means the active ingredients inside the capsule is easy to access for smooth nutrient uptake into the body.

2. Avoid unnecessary excipients.⁠

Unlike tablets, capsules don’t require the addition of binders to hold them together. Binders can be tough on the digestive tract, so it’s best to avoid when sourcing supplements.⁠

3. Can help improve bowel movements.⁠

Plant cellulose has a similar structure to that of starch. Since humans do not produce the enzyme necessary for cellulose digestion, it passes through the digestive tract and lands in the large intestine. Here, it is consumed by gut bacteria, helping them to flourish and keep us healthy.

4. Less processing.

Tablets have to go through a heating process in order to bind them together. The increase in temperature can destroy vitamins in the supplement, reducing the overall nutrient concentration. Capsules, on the other hand, are not exposed to heat sources during manufacture.

5. Vegan friendly.⁠

Some capsules and tablets on the market utilise animal products. Cellulose, however, is a plant fibre, making if suitable for the vegan folks amongst us.

Kirsty Gillmore is a registered Nutritional Therapist (BA Hons, DipCNM, mBANT, CNHC) and New Business Representative at G&G Vitamins. Kirsty is also the Founder of LLB Nutrition, a nutritional therapy clinic and wellness blog based in South East London.

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