Tablets vs Capsules

Tablets vs Capsules: Which is Better & Why? 

Ever wonder what’s in your supplements or how they’re made? 

We have, and during our research we discovered some shady manufacturing processes usually driven by profit. It turns out that supplement manufacturers can make a lot more money selling you tablets instead of capsules. But that comes at a high price for you.

A Few Facts About Tablets 

● Tablets are made by compressing ingredients into small, hard pills. 

● Heat, pressure and adhesive compounds are used to make tablets adhere. 

● Tables are a lot less bioavailable. 

● Tablets are the cheapest way to package and ship supplements. 

● They have a longer shelf life than capsules. 

● Tables have much less nutrient density. 

● Tablets are hard for your body to absorb. 

● The tablet manufacturing process degrades the supplement quality. 

How Are Tablets Made? 

Forming tablets is a complex process that requires additives. Additives, such as glue, are used to keep the product together while a synthetic blend stabilizes it. The ingredients are then squeezed by tons of pressure before the edges are fried, which degrades the end product. 

The result? A supplement with little nutritive value that’s a mish-mosh of whole food bits and synthetics. The label might say you’re getting 100% daily value, but the end product can have 40% or less of the values stated on the label. 

The Truth About Capsules 

● Capsules are dehydrated ingredients in a digestible case. 

● The ingredients in capsules keep their nutritive value — if done right. 

● Capsules are a lot more bioavailable. 

● Capsules are usually vegetable-based and quickly break down in your body. 

● Gelatin capsules are not vegan/vegetarian-friendly. 

How Are Capsules Made? 

Capsules are made by dehydrating ingredients into a powder and putting them in a case i.e. encapsulation. Powders that are sticky in nature (like turmeric) or stick together when being encapsulated may need flowing agents to help them move into the capsule. Take a look at your supplement labels — a manufacturer’s ethics really show when you notice what types of flowing agents they choose. 

Some companies choose cheap flowing agents (like the following) to save money and time in the manufacturing process: 

Magnesium stearate – the magnesium salt of the fatty acid, stearic acid, is a hydrogenated oil and “Generally Regarded as Safe” by the FDA. The effects of repeated exposure “may be of concern and warrant further evaluation. 

Titanium dioxide – a naturally-occurring substance that is “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” 

Talcum powder – some talcum powder may contain asbestos, which can cause cancer; it’s designated as unsafe in Europe. 

The good news? Not all manufacturers are taking these shortcuts. Éstora products do not contain any unnecessary fillers or magnesium stearate. You’ll also never find artificial flavorings, colors or preservatives in our products. 

Why Additives Matter 

Although the FDA recognizes additives, like flowing agents, as safe in small doses, they do add up. It’s important to consider this if you’ve made supplements a regular part of your diet, because these unhealthy additives can really start to accumulate and put unnecessary pressure on your liver. 

Are There Healthy Additives? 

There are healthy additives, but they cost more and slow down the manufacturing process. For example, when packaging a probiotic, profit-driven manufacturers might use magnesium stearate while quality-driven manufacturers use a prebiotic, like rice bran. The choice to use rice bran results in less profit, but the end product is much better & cleaner for you. 

Sometimes the healthiest additives are no additives. Let’s take a look at turmeric. Our turmeric is 100% organic turmeric inside a vegetable cellulose capsule. Other companies make turmeric tablets with dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, cellulose, silicon dioxide (aka sand), and magnesium stearate. These unnecessary additives turn your healthy supplement into junk. 

Capsules are the Healthier Choice 

After years of research, we made a choice that may cost us more, but is a healthier alternative. That’s why all éstora products are made with vegetarian capsules and are free from unnecessary flowing agents and excipients. Éstora was founded to create supplements with the most nutritious ingredients possible, and encapsulating our products and using clean manufacturing processes are just a couple ways we achieve that goal. 

References: 

“Studies on the absorption and excretion of minocycline and a comparison with doxycycline” published in Infection

“An Overview of Pharmaceutical Excipients: Safe or Not Safe?” published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences

FDA website

“Magnesium stearate, a widely-used food additive, exhibits a lack of in vitro and in vivo genotoxic potential” published in Toxicology Reports

“Titanium dioxide in our everyday life; is it safe?” published in Radiology and Oncology

“The Association Between Talc Use and Ovarian Cancer” published in Epidemiology