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Everything To Know About Vegetable Capsules Explained

Vegetable capsules provide a convenient alternative for those who cannot eat meat or meat products. They offer all the benefits of a typical capsule without the issues associated with dietary restrictions.

Capsules are two-piece enclosures that are typically made from gelatin. The capsule contains active ingredients for medications or supplements.

Compared to tablets, capsules have several advantages. First, people can easily swallow them. Capsules also break down more quickly in the digestive system.

If you can’t swallow a tablet, consider trying a capsule. You can easily open them and empty their contents into food or beverages.

Vegetable capsules are similar to gelatin capsules with a few main differences related to their composition.

Overview of Vegetable Capsules

Today, there are many people that choose to eliminate meat from their diets.

The reasons for doing so range from environmental concerns to religious considerations and health issues.

According to a recent Gallup poll, there are millions of Americans that are vegans or vegetarians. Younger people are more likely to vegetarian than people over 50.

In fact, sales of plant-based food products increased by 8.1% in 2017. Total sales were more than $3.1 billion.

These facts demonstrate the need for plant-based alternatives to the typical capsule.

What They’re Made of

Vegetarian capsules are typically made of vegetable cellulose.

There are several different types of vegetable cellulose that make up vegetable capsules.

One of these materials is hypromellose. This type of cellulose comes from softwood trees, such as pine, spruce and fir trees.

In particular, such trees are grown in the Northern Hemisphere in temperate climates. However, they can grow in both cold and warm environments with sufficient water and quality soil.

Manufacturers use hypromellose in many commercial products. It functions as a popular alternative to animal gelatin. In addition to its use in vegetable capsules, it functions as a binder or coating in tablets.

Because of its composition, hypromellose is a suitable substance for capsules. It can delay the release of active ingredient into the digestive tract.

Advantages of Vegetable Capsules

Vegetable capsules are the perfect vegetarian alternative to regular capsules.

They provide all of the quality that comes from the gelatin tablet without the animal products.

Vegetable capsules are also tasteless. It’s hard to tell the difference between a vegetarian and a gelatin capsule.

Anyone who cannot eat gelatin made from animal products because of environmental, health or dietary restrictions should consider vegetable capsules.

Like gelatin capsules, vegetable capsules are perfect for digestion and can slowly release the active ingredients in a capsule as need. In addition, many people use vegetable capsules in both powdered and gel forms. There are no clear limitations in terms of usage.

The capsules are generally Kosher and Halal certified. Therefore, those with religious dietary restrictions prefer them.

The capsules come in many different sizes and colors.

Gelatin Capsules Compared

When it comes to capsules, gelatin is the most common type.

This is how manufacturers originally made capsules and how they have generally made them over time.

Gelatin comes from cows and pigs. To make it, you boil the hooves, skin and bones of the animal to create a gel-like material.

This process releases a collagen from the animal tissue. After boiling, the substance cools. Gelatin goes through a significant amount of processing. Therefore, it is not officially an animal product, according to some people.

However, many strict vegetarians will avoid gelatin because it originates from animals.

Advantages of Gelatin Capsules

There are several clear advantages related to gelatin capsules.

First, they are very inexpensive. You can easily purchase large quantities of these capsules at a relatively low price.

vegetable capsules

Vegetable capsules tend to be more expensive because the materials are more costly.

The capsules also come in a variety of colors and sizes. Gelatin is easy to make and shape into different forms. It is also odorless.

Gelatin itself has several health benefits, including improving skin health and digestive functions and easing joint pain.

Hard-Shelled vs. Soft-Shelled Capsules

There are two types of capsules to note. The first is known as a “hard-shelled” capsule. This type of capsule contains a dry or powdered active ingredient.

The hard-shelled capsule is composed of two halves. The “body” contains the active ingredient, and the “cap” seals the top. An automated manufacturing process allows to take place seamlessly.

With hard-shelled capsules, you can remove the cap and empty the contents of the capsule into food or beverages.

The other type of capsule is the “soft-shelled” capsule.

This is a single-piece capsule that can include liquid active ingredients. Some people might also refer to soft-shelled capsules as liquid gels.

Soft-shelled capsules are good for increasing the permeability of the drug. The drug more evenly distributes through the body.

Both hard-shelled and soft-shelled capsules are made of gelatin.

Similarities between Vegetable and Gelatin Capsules

There are clear differences between gelatin and vegetable capsules in terms of how they are made.

However, there are still some similarities between these two types of capsules.

You may also consider both types of capsules in comparison to tablets. Many people prefer capsules over tablets because they are easy to swallow.

Capsules keep for a significant amount of time without going bad. Both gelatin and vegetarian capsules store easily for long periods of time.

In addition, both of these capsules are odorless and even tasteless. There is no need to worry about medication or supplements with an unpleasant taste or smell.

Finally, both vegetable and gelatin capsules dissolve easily in the digestive system. They are much easier to swallow than tablets.

Given these similarities and differences, it’s important for each person to consider which type of capsule is better for them.

Choosing Between Capsules

Vegetable capsules are great for vegetarians, but they might not be suitable for everyone.

Gelatin capsules offer the same benefits and are available at a lower price.

Generally, if you don’t have a problem eating animal products, there is no reason to avoid gelatin capsules.

They offer great quality and can be easily absorbed by your digestive system.

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Dietary Supplement Definition

Dietary supplement definition: A dietary supplement is a product that individuals consume to supplement one’s dietary intake.

Supplements may contain one or more active ingredients. These ingredients provide a particular health benefit depending on the dietary supplement’s intended use.

Individuals may consume dietary supplements orally. They are found in the form of capsules or tablets. People may also consume them as liquids.

Dosage form may depend on the dietary supplement’s ingredients and the user’s preferences.

Unlike prescription medications, consumers can purchase supplements over the counter. Buyers can purchase them in a variety of stores and pharmacies.

Dietary supplements are not food. They are not a replacement for a well-balanced diet.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that patients consult with their doctor before starting a dietary supplement regimen.

Dietary Supplement Ingredients

According to the dietary supplement definition, these products may contain a variety of active ingredients. These ingredients may include the following:

  • Vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin C and D
  • Herbs and botanicals, such as garlic and St. John’s wort
  • Amino acids, such as Leucine and Arginine
  • Enzymes, such as Amylase and Lipase

The ingredients found in a dietary supplement are typically listed on the label. This section is often titled “Supplement Facts.” The panel provides a list of the ingredients and amount per serving.

The manufacturer may also provide a suggested dosage amount on the label of the package.

Uses of Dietary Supplements

Dietary supplements have many uses today. They can treat medical conditions, compensate for dietary restrictions, and even improve sleep.

Vitamins are a popular type of dietary supplement used to boost one’s intake of essential vitamins and minerals.

For example, people take Vitamin C to improve immune health. Calcium is important for reducing bone loss and improving bone health.

dietary supplement definition

Similarly, doctors recommend that people that do not get enough exposure should take Vitamin D regularly to stay healthy. Medical professionals may also recommend women who are breastfeeding to take a daily dosage of Vitamin B-12.

Others may use dietary supplements to increase their intake of nutrients that are not commonly found in their diet.

Vegetarians might take a protein supplement to compensate for the protein found in meat.

Regulation of Dietary Supplements

Dietary supplements are important health products. The FDA regulates them closely to ensure that their manufacturing and labeling is consistent with government regulations.

The Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994 governs the regulation of supplements in the United States. This law created a regulatory framework for ensuring the safety of dietary supplements.

The FDA is responsible for regulations and oversight of dietary supplement manufacturing and marketing. It also conducts research into the effects and benefits of dietary supplements.

Dietary Supplements Today

Consumers can easily find dietary supplements in today’s market. They are in pharmacies, grocery stores, gyms and online. Supplement forms may range from capsules and soft gels to  liquids and powders.

The popularity of dietary supplements has increased significantly in recent years. According to a 2017 consumer survey, 75% of U.S. adults say that they have taken at least one dietary supplement in the past year.

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Types of Nutraceutical Companies in the Nutraceutical Industry

The nutraceutical market is a growing industry. One of the main reasons for this growth is consumers’ greater awareness of their own health, especially as they age. On top of that, many people with chronic health issues and diseases turn to more natural methods instead of pharmaceutical solutions.

Also, due to poor nutrition in some places, there is an increasing emphasis on food fortification by governments. Overall, there is a great demand for these products. As a result, increasing demand for nutraceutical ingredients causes the price of raw materials to also rise (1).

What are Nutraceuticals?

Nutraceuticals (a combination of the words ‘nutrition’ and ‘pharmaceutical’), are standardized nutrients which the FDA regulates as dietary supplements and food additives (2). There are several types of nutraceuticals:

  • Dietary supplements — Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, and enzymes marketed in various forms: tablets, capsules, gelcaps, softgels, powders, and liquids. Some popular dietary supplements include vitamin D, calcium, ginseng, and fish oil (3).
  • Functional foods — Fortified or enriched foods that are marketed beneficial to consumers’ health (2).
  • Medical foods — Prescribed by physicians and taken under medical supervision. Often given to surgical patients and premature babies (4).
  • Farmaceuticals (‘farm’ and ‘pharmaceutical’) — Made from genetically-engineered crops or animals to provide more nutrients (4).

The Supply Chain

Raw Material Farmers & Producers

The best nutraceuticals begin with the best raw materials. However, not all raw materials have the same quality. When considering raw materials, farming practices, pesticide use, purity, uniformity, and traceability of ingredients are all concerns (5). As a result, the first step in quality control is starting with superior raw materials.

Raw Material Wholesalers

In order to get the raw materials they need, every manufacturer works with supply partners. These wholesale partners source the raw materials from the farmers and producers, then sell them to manufacturers. The nutraceutical ingredients market can be divided into ingredients based on (6):

  • Type — vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, probiotics, proteins & amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, specialty carbohydrates, plant extracts, etc.
  • Application — dietary supplements, functional food, functional beverages, and personal care
    Form — dry and liquid
  • Health benefits – heart health, gut health, bone health, weight management, etc.

As stated above, superior nutraceuticals begin with great raw materials. So finding a wholesale partner (or partners) to supply raw materials is vital to manufacturing the best products.

Contract Nutraceutical Manufacturing Companies

ABH Pharma is a supplement manufacturer that produces supplements from custom formulas. At the same time, clients can opt for our stock products. What’s more, we offer additional options like bottling and boxing custom products. Our entire process, from procuring raw materials to production to labeling and packing is based on FDA guidelines and follows the strictest standards of quality control (7).

Nutraceutical Manufacturing Brokers

Unlike manufacturers, nutraceutical brokers are simply middlemen. Even though they advertise themselves as manufacturers, they outsource production to third-party manufacturers. In reality, they only have storage/distribution and/or packaging certifications.

Since they don’t have manufacturing certifications, these brokers don’t oversee the manufacturing process. Thus they can’t verify their products’ quality and consistency. In general, get your contract and then raise the price on the manufacturer’s quote. Avoid these brokers at all cost

Sample label and bottle.

Labeling, Packaging, and Marketing

One of the most crucial elements for successful nutraceuticals is branding. When you develop a recognizable brand along with a high-quality product, customers associate quality with the brand. As a turnkey manufacturer, ABH Pharma helps you develop and establish your brand through custom labeling, packaging, and marketing.

Packaging Design and Printing

Your products’ packaging design directly influences consumers. For example, custom design and packaging can boost sales by improving marketability and differentiating your products.
ABH Pharma is a full-service nutraceutical manufacturer, but we also create attractive packaging. In fact, we are also an industry leader in label design, FDA label compliance, supplement packing design, and printing. What’s more, we also design and print inserts.

Packaging Options

Once you settle on a product and a label design, package design is next. Ideally, a nutraceutical company should offer a wide variety of packaging options. ABH Pharma offers top quality packaging materials like bottles, jars, and packaging for various doses. On top of that, we also offer display boxes, folding cartons, shrink-wrapped containers, blister packs, and other packaging options.

Marketing

In addition to being a nutraceuticals manufacturer, ABH Pharma is also a contract supplement marketing firm. We work with brands to help them expand their reach and be more competitive, both in physical stores and online.

Fulfillment Warehouses and Shipping Nutraceutical Products

Regardless of where you plan to sell your products (online, in a brick and mortar store, as an Amazon fulfiller, or all three), ABH Pharma offers comprehensive fulfillment services for nutraceutical companies:

  • We warehouse your products and track your inventory using our state of the art 3PL software.
  • Moreover, we send you alerts and reports of your inventory and shipments which you may check anytime via our online web portal.
  • Additionally, we help with shipping logistics. Since we have good relationships with shipping companies, we’re able to negotiate shipping rates to benefit our clients.

Vitamin Brands Selling Vitamins to Regular Consumers Through Smart Marketing

These days, it possible to build a thriving supplement and vitamin-selling business by selling directly to consumers. Social media and online stores have opened an entirely new world for sales. By marketing themselves and their products, a supplement seller can build a base of regular customers and carve out a niche market for themselves.

Choose ABH Pharma

If you want to develop your own private nutraceutical label or add new products to your existing nutraceutical line, ABH Pharma is the smart choice. Contact Us today to learn more about ABH Pharma’s services and products for nutraceutical companies.

References:

  1. https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/top-companies-of-nutraceutical-ingredients-market-industry-are-basf-se-archer-daniels-midland-company-associated-british-foods-plc-dsm-ingredion-arla-foods-amba-2019-04-12
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutraceutical
  3. https://www.fda.gov/Food/DietarySupplements/UsingDietarySupplements/ucm109760.htm
  4. https://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-different-types-of-nutraceutical-products.htm
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B008045044X000146
  6. https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/top-companies-of-nutraceutical-ingredients-market-industry-are-basf-se-archer-daniels-midland-company-associated-british-foods-plc-dsm-ingredion-arla-foods-amba-2019-04-12
  7. https://blog.abhpharma.com/supplement-packaging-design-how-product-boxes-could-boost-sales
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What Are Vitamins and Minerals?

Vitamins and minerals are types of nutrients. Specifically, they are micronutrients. In comparison, the macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Below, we look at vitamins and minerals, talk about their differences, and explain why you need them.

Vitamins

Vitamins are organic compounds which are necessary for proper human health. In general, your human body can’t control many processes and functions without them. Since the human body can’t produce vitamins (except for D and K), we must get them from outside sources. The two main sources of vitamins are the foods we eat and dietary supplements (1).

13 Essential Vitamins

There are 13 essential vitamins — vitamins A, C, D, E, K along with all the B vitamins: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyroxidine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate), and B12 (cobalamin) (2). The average person who eats a balanced diet gets all of these vitamins from foods. Additionally, the human body can create vitamin D (from sunshine) and vitamin K (created by bacteria in the large intestine) (3).

Two Types of Vitamins

There are two main categories of vitamins: fat-soluble and water-soluble. The body stores and transports the four fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) through fatty tissues. Since the body stores these vitamins in fat, be cautious when taking fat-soluble vitamins. Specifically, taking too much of these vitamins could be harmful.

The other category of vitamins is water-soluble. This group includes the other nine essential vitamins (C along with all the B vitamins). Since these vitamins dissolve in water and the body continually removes them in your urine, your body constantly needs fresh doses of these vitamins (4).

Minerals

Like vitamins, minerals also help your body to function normally. However, without the proper amounts of minerals, your health suffers. Minerals help you maintain strong bones, a healthy heart, and proper nervous system functioning. But they are also important building blocks for certain hormones and enzymes (5). Also, like vitamins, the human body cannot produce minerals. Consequently, they must be introduced into the body either through the diet or dietary supplements.

Two Types of Minerals

There are two types of minerals: macrominerals and trace minerals. Yet both types are necessary for good health. However, your body simply needs them in different amounts. As the name suggests, the body needs greater doses of macrominerals. Some of these include calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. On the other hand, the body only needs small doses of trace minerals like iron, copper, iodine, zinc, and selenium (5). However, even though the body needs smaller amounts of trace elements, they are still necessary for good health.

Common Mineral Supplements

Below are a few some common mineral supplements along with the ways they help the body (6):

  • Calcium — Necessary for strong bones, muscle growth, heart health, digestive system health, and the creation and maintenance of blood cells
  • Iron — An important building block for for many proteins and enzymes, most notably hemoglobin
  • Magnesium — Necessary for bone health and processing ATP
  • Chromium — Assists with glucose and lipid metabolism
  • Potassium — A necessary electrolyte

What’s The Difference Between Vitamins And Minerals?

Raw copper

Although your body needs both vitamins and minerals to function properly, there are differences between them. Overall, the big difference is what they’re made of. Vitamins are organic, complex molecules or compounds composed of different elements. For example, vitamin D is composed of the elements carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (7). Vitamin A is also made of the same three elements, but is a different configuration (8).

In comparison, minerals are elements found on the periodic table (9). For example, calcium (atomic number 20) is an alkaline earth metal and an element the body needs for strong bones (10). Moreover, iron, which helps prevent anemia, is also a metal and is atomic number 26 (11). And copper, a soft metal with atomic number 29, is useful for building many enzymes (12).

Why Are They Important For Health?

The amount of minerals that each person needs depends on a number of factors. For example, age, body composition, health issues, and gender all play a role in the amounts each person needs. At the same time, not getting enough of the vitamins and minerals your body needs is called deficiency. As a result, a deficiency may lead to health problems. Below are the effects of not getting enough of a few vitamins and minerals (13):

  • Vitamin D — Can weaken the immune system and lead to bone loss, muscle weakness, fatigue, and depression
  • Magnesium — Can produce fatigue, irregular heartbeat, muscle cramps, andrestless leg syndrome; long-term effects include osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke
  • Omega-3 fatty acids — Dry skin, a weakened immune system, fatigue, and mood disorders; long-term effects could include heart disease, inflammation, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer
  • Vitamin E — Reduced mortality and an increased risk of stroke, prostate cancer, lung cancer, and respiratory disease

What Are The Most Important Ones To Keep Nourished?

By staying well-nourished and eating a balanced diet, the average person gets all the vitamins and minerals they need. However, which are the most important ones to help a person stay nourished?

As the name says, the 13 essential vitamins are necessary for good health. What’s more, your body needs all the major minerals (calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur) as well as the trace minerals (chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc) (14). In summary, each person should get adequate amounts of all of these vitamins and minerals.

Let ABH Make Your Vitamins and Minerals

ABH is a full-service, turnkey producer of vitamins and minerals. From softgels to gummies, we manufacture all of our products in-house at our FDA-approved, next-gen facility. Whether you’re new to the industry, are adding a new product line, or want a new source, ABH Pharma is ready to help. Contact us today to learn more about our manufacturing process.
References:

  1. https://www.uen.org/lessonplan/view/1261
  2. https://www.disabled-world.com/medical/supplements/vitamins/
  3. http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/topics/vitamink.html
  4. https://www.uen.org/lessonplan/view/1261
  5. https://medlineplus.gov/minerals.html
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mineral_(nutrient)#Elements_considered_possibly_essential_but_not_confirmed
  7. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/ascorbic_acid
  8. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/445354
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mineral_(nutrient)
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron
  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper
  13. https://www.betternutrition.com/features-dept/vitamin-deficiencies
  14. https://www.helpguide.org/harvard/vitamins-and-minerals.htm
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The Importance, Benefits, and Popularity of Vitamins

Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? Along with this folk wisdom, you might have also heard the following advice throughout your life:

  • Drinking milk keeps your bones and teeth strong.
  • Eat your carrots and you won’t need glasses.
  • If you don’t eat enough citrus fruits, you’ll get scurvy.

However, there are solid facts behind these folksy sayings. Milk is often fortified with vitamin D. Citrus fruit like oranges have vitamin C. Carrots are rich in vitamin A which helps with vision issues. And even apples are a great source of vitamin C. Without a doubt, the importance of vitamins to human health should never be overlooked.

What Are Vitamins?

Vitamins are organic molecules or compounds which the human body needs to control a wide variety of processes and functions. Without them, we experience deficiencies that prevent us from being as healthy as we can be.

Vitamins aren’t found naturally in the body. In general, our bodies can’t produce them (except for D and K). Consequently, we get them into our bodies either through the foods we eat or through dietary supplements (1).

Essential Vitamins

According to different sources (2) (3), there are 13 vitamins that the human body needs. These are vitamins A, C, D, E, K along with all the B vitamins: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyroxidine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate), and B12 (cobalamin).

Most people can get these 13 essential vitamins from their diet. On top of that, your body can synthesize vitamin D and vitamin K. Later in this article, we’ll look at each of these vitamins in more detail.

Fat-Soluble Vs Water-Soluble Vitamins

Generally, we group vitamins into two main categories: fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins:

  • Fat-soluble vitamins – There are four fat-soluble
  • vitamins (A, D, E, and K). The human body stores and transports these vitamins through via fatty tissues. Since the body stores these vitamins in fat, taking too much of any of these vitamins can be harmful.
  • Water-soluble vitamins – The other nine vitamins (C along with all B vitamins) are all water-soluble. Because they dissolve in water, the body removes them in your urine. As a result, the body constantly needs a new supply of these vitamins (4).

A Brief History Vitamins

Throughout human history, certain foods have been prized for their health benefits. Ancient Egyptians ate liver as a cure for night blindness. In the 1700s, British sailors began eating specific foods, notably citrus fruits, to prevent scurvy. During the 1800s, a number of nutritional studies showed that eating a variety of foods was better for overall health (5).

However, it has only been in the past century that scientists have discovered and isolated specific vitamins. Before the early 20th century, scientists only knew of the three macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein, and fat (6). Not only that, but as food processing technologies developed, people began unknowingly removing vitamins from foods like milk and grains.

In 1910, a Japanese scientist isolated vitamin thiamine (B1). A couple of years later, a Polish biochemist named Casimir Funk coined the word vitamine (later change to vitamin). In the following decade, scientists also isolated vitamin A, C, D, B2, and E. In 1948, B12 was the last of the 13 essential to be isolated (5).

Soon after the discovery of vitamins, news article and magazine article touted their benefits. Since then, the importance of vitamins has been understood by almost everyone.

Benefits of Vitamins for Different Types of People

Although it is possible for the average person to get all the vitamins they need from a balanced diet, in certain circumstances, this isn’t possible. As a result, some people with specific issues or conditions need to take vitamins. Below are a few specific groups of people who may benefit from vitamin supplements:

Children

Due to their developmental needs, pediatricians sometimes recommend vitamin supplements for some children.

Older Adults

The human body changes as we age. Older people should take vitamins to promote overall health, but also to help prevent age-related health issues.

Pregnant and Nursing Women

Due to the toll pregnancy takes on a woman’s body, pregnant women often take pre-natal vitamins. On top of that, nursing mothers are also encouraged to take multivitamins.

Vegetarians and Vegans

People who eat a vegetarian or vegan diet may not get enough vitamin B12 creating the need for a supplement (7).

What are the Most Popular Vitamins Today?

The importance of vitamins should not be overlooked. These days, some the most common vitamins supplements are vitamin D, and multivitamins, vitamin C (8). Below are additional details about these and other popular vitamins (9):

  • Vitamin A – These retinoids are essential for vision, skin health, growth and development, as well as a healthy immune system. This vitamin also has antioxidant properties.
  • Vitamin B – The body needs this group of vitamins for a number of reasons. B vitamins are necessary for a healthy nervous system, proper brain function, along with stress management. These vitamins perform help the body a number of other vital functions as well. They also help provide energy and can also lower the risk of certain heart-related conditions and strokes (10).
  • Vitamin C – Known by many for its immune system boosting power, this vitamin also supports healthy brain function. What’s more, it is beneficial in forming connective tissue and it helps protect the skin from free radicals.
  • Vitamin D – Important for bone development and immune system health. Some evidence suggests that vitamin D may also help prevent heart attacks, and benefit people with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson disease (10).
  • Vitamin E – An antioxidant that helps manufacture red bloods cells, supports healthy cholesterol levels, protect against cell damage, and protect against cardiovascular disease. In addition, vitamin E helps the body use vitamin A and vitamin K.
  • Multivitamins – In order to get the most benefit from vitamins while only taking one tablet or capsule, multivitamins are a popular choice. These supplements contain a combination of the above vitamins and may also contain certain minerals like iron or calcium.

Learn More About Vitamins

At ABH Pharma, our goal is providing you with the highest quality nutraceuticals. What’s more, we can manufacture any custom formula with unlimited scalability. As a turnkey supplement producer, we adhere to only the highest industry standards. Contact us today to learn more about the vitamins we manufacture.

References:

  1. https://www.uen.org/lessonplan/view/1261
  2. https://www.readersdigest.ca/health/healthy-living/13-essential-vitamins-your-body-needs-stay-healthy/
  3. https://www.disabled-world.com/medical/supplements/vitamins/
  4. https://www.uen.org/lessonplan/view/1261
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin#History
  6. https://amazingwellnessmag.com/supplements/history-of-vitamins
  7. https://www.disabled-world.com/medical/supplements/vitamins/
  8. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180528171511.htm
  9. https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/top-12-most-popular-supplements
  10. http://classifieds.usatoday.com/uncategorized/what-are-the-best-vitamins-for-women-over-50/
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What Are Vitamins? The History, Benefits & Future Predictions

What are vitamins? Vitamins are organic molecules that humans need in small amounts to maintain immune and metabolic processes.

Most vitamins and minerals are obtained from the foods we eat. However, when individuals lack certain vitamins in their bodies, they may need to take vitamin supplements to stay healthy.

History

The history of vitamin supplements traces back to the 1800s. At this time, scientists may not have been able to produce a vitamin, but they began to discover the benefits of vitamins.

Over time, researchers and scientists were able to turn their findings about the benefits of vitamins into actual supplements that could be mass produced.

Early Discoveries

Dutch physician Christiaan Eijkman was one of the first to recognize the benefits of vitamins. In the 1890s, Dr. Eijkman set out to determine why soldiers died from a popular medical condition.

He discovered that the condition was caused by a poor diet. In addition, he found that feeding brown, or unpolished, rice to animals helped to prevent the condition.

In 1912, Polish biochemist Dr. Casimir Funk was able to isolate the substance responsible for increased immunity to the condition.

Funk is credited with being the first to identify the concept of a vitamin. Since the substance he identified contained an amine group, Funk called it a “vitamine.”

Advances in Vitamin Research

Over the decades that followed, scientists made significant advancements in vitamin research. In the 1920s, for example, researchers discovered the benefits of vitamin C in food.

Vitamin E was identified in vegetable oils, and German chemist Adolf Windaus received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He discovered how vitamin D formed under the influence of ultraviolet light, or sunlight.

In the 1930s, researchers in Switzerland figured out how to artificially create vitamin C. The vitamin C pill was manufactured by the Swiss company Hoffman-La Roche.

This was the first mass-manufactured vitamin ever made.

Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing of vitamin supplements is a complex, multi-step process. It is particularly thorough in order to ensure that vitamins have the correct mixture of ingredients.

The steps in the manufacturing process including the following:

Preliminary check

Technicians inspect the ingredients and substances to make sure that their chemical composition is accurate. They test the vitamins for their potency and checked for possible contamination.

Preblending

During this stage, a machine turns the mixture into fine powder. Some substances may arrive at the manufacturer in powder form. At this time, fillers enter the mixture to ensure a more even and consistent granule.

Wet Granulation

Here, a liquid helps to bind the dry powder together. A binding agent keeps the mixture together. The mixture dries and then passes through a screen or mill to create smaller granules.

Weighing and mixing

After that, a scale weighs the vitamin ingredients. While the ingredients are mixing, scientists analyze samples to ensure that ingredients and substances spread evenly throughout the mixture.

Encapsulation

Next, the mixture moves to another machine. The machine splits the capsule in half and distributes a particular amount of the vitamin mixture into one half of the capsule. The top half of the capsule pushes down onto the bottom half.

Polishing

Soft brushes polish the capsule in a machine. After polishing, technicians again inspect the capsules. Any capsule with an irregular shape, size or weight will be removed from the batch.

Tableting

Vitamins that are tablets go through the tableting machine. This compresses the vitamin mixture into a tablet.

Coating

Finally coating helps to make the tablet easier to swallow. Manufacturers may also coat the tablet in a particular color to make it easier to identify. Some coatings affect how the tablet dissolves during digestion.

Benefits of Vitamins

Evidence shows that vitamins have clear benefits for human health. Many of these health benefits are widely known to the public. Calcium supports bone health.  Vitamin C helps to support a healthy immune system.

Vitamin D is critical to regulating how the body absorbs calcium and phosphorous. It also facilitates normal immune functions.vitamins

Although vitamins provide important health benefits, many people are able to obtain the vitamins they need from a rich and balanced diet. Researchers have found that a good diet is sufficient to support healthy bodily functions.

However, this doesn’t mean that vitamins are not needed. There are some people that need vitamins to make up for certain vitamin deficiencies.

Who can Benefit from Vitamins

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that women of childbearing age take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. This helps to prevent major birth defect of the brain or spine in babies. In addition, those with weak bones can benefit by taking a regular vitamin D supplement.

Of course, vitamins are important for those people who do not eat a rich or balanced diet. Poor people and those that abuse drugs and alcohol can benefit from regular vitamins.

In addition, people who have dietary restrictions (e.g., vegetarians) may need to improve their diet with vitamins to stay healthy. Individuals who do not get much exposure to sunlight would benefit from taking vitamin D supplements.

Popularity & Use Today

A 2013 survey of people who take supplements found that the most popular supplement taken is fish oil. Omega-3 fish oil may be helpful in preventing and managing heart disease.

Findings show that fish oil can also help to lower blood pressure. Other popular vitamin supplements included multivitamins (65.4%), vitamin D (55.5%), calcium (48.4%), B vitamins (44.2%), and vitamin C (41.2%).

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), multivitamins account for about one-sixth of supplement purchases. They represent about 40% of all vitamin sales, making it an estimated $36.7 billion market in 2014.

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Capsule vs. Tablet: Which Is Better?

Supplements come in a variety of forms. They are most commonly found as tablets or capsules but also as softgels, chewables, liquids and powders. That’s why it’s understandable that many people wonder: Capsule vs. tablet? Which is best?

Both supplement takers and manufacturers appreciate the wide variety of forms available on the market today. A variety of vitamin and supplement choices allows consumers to identify the right dosage form for their needs.

Still, the choice for consumers usually comes down to capsule or tablet form. 

Invariably, the same question is also considered by supplement manufacturers, as they want to provide the best and most popular options to their customers. However, there are several other factors to consider in this debate. One of these factors is how the body absorbs different forms.

Capsule vs. Tablet Absorption

Rate of absorption is a major concern when taking a vitamin or supplement.

A common complaint about taking these pills is that they do not absorb quickly or completely enough. In many cases, the bulk of the vitamin or supplement passes through the body and exits through the passage of urine.

The absorption rate of supplements increases by adding other ingredients, which helps to slow down the rate of absorption.

The technology that goes into the development and manufacturing of tablets or capsules has evolved considerably.

Is Faster Better?

Both pill options have improved in terms of their rates of absorption. Researchers regularly test supplements to maximize their absorption in the stomach and digestive tract.

When it comes to absorption of supplements in tablet or capsule form, faster isn’t always better. There isn’t always an advantage to it. In some cases, especially with stronger vitamins, a slower rate of absorption might actually be preferable. Nutrients go to waste, if the pathway can not absorb the supplement.

For many essential nutrients, slower absorption is actually better. Some supplements and vitamins release their active ingredients at a particular time. However, other supplement types such as pre-workout formulas, energy drinks or supplements are better served with faster absorption rates.

An Overview of Tablets

Tablets are less expensive to manufacture than other vitamin and supplement formats, and they tend to be the most cost-effective for consumers.

They allow tablet manufacturers to pack more product into a smaller space than with capsules or other delivery systems. Tablets are also the most shelf-stable choice, as they can retain their potency for long periods of time.

Tablet Properties

Tablets can be made in the widest variety of shapes and sizes. They offer even more flexibility and options for the manufacturer and the consumer.

Tablets must be hard enough to stay together in their packaging but soft enough to dissolve during digestion. Manufacturers use a variety of tests to control quality and ensure that each batch has the correct hardness.

Generally speaking, tablets may be better in terms of consistent absorption. However, one of the main downsides to tablets is that their hardness and some of the larger sizes can be difficult to swallow for some people.

Compared to liquids, tablets have much less flexible dosing options. However, unlike capsules, tablets can be easily divided in half by the consumer. These are important feature to consider when thinking about capsule vs. tablet. 

Tablet Manufacturing

Since tablets require a solid form, the manufacturing process can be slightly more difficult. 

There are three main methods for manufacturing tablets: direct compression, dry granulation, and wet granulation.

Direct compression involves the mixing of active ingredients and other substances. They turn into a powder that is compressed into a tablet.

The wet and dry granulation methods include additional steps including the sieving the granules. In wet granulation, a liquid helps to agglomerate the dry powder.

All About Capsules

Capsules are two-piece enclosures made of gelatin that contain active ingredients, such as vitamin and supplement materials.There are a few capsule enclosure options that are not made of gelatin.

Capsule Properties

They are generally easier to swallow than tablets. For many people, this is an important point in the capsule vs. tablet debate.

They break down more quickly in the stomach than tablets, which can be positive, negative or neutral depending upon the supplement.

For those that don’t like to swallow tablets, capsules offer a useful solution. The capsules can be easily opened. Their contents can even be poured into a beverage or consumed with food.

When consumers want to add tablets to their food, they need to crush the tablet first. Doing so can be difficult without the right tools to crush ingredients.  

One drawback of capsules is that they are often more expensive than tablets. Capsule containers are also a bit larger, since machines cannot compress their contents as in tablet form. Capsules can expire much quicker than tablets. This is because their enclosure is usually not air tight. 

Single-Piece vs. Two-Piece Capsules

There are two main types of capsules available: single-piece and two-piece gel capsules.

The first type is a single-piece, or “soft capsule.” This is a one-piece, sealed shell that contains a liquid or a fill. The shell in this type of capsule is typically made of gelatin.

Soft capsules are optimal for poorly soluble drugs because the liquid inside the capsule can be more easily absorbed by the body.

Manufacturers create “hard capsules” by filling one half of the capsule with powder and pressing the other half on top.

The powder inside of the capsule contains the active ingredients, binders, and other agents, which bulk up and stabilize the substance’s formulation.

The following is a more concise overview of the pros and cons of both tablets and capsules for manufacturers and consumers.

capsule vs. tablet

Benefits of Tablets

  • Widely known and accepted
  • Lower cost
  • Made in custom shapes and sizes
  • Scoring makes dose splitting possible  
  • Take up less space
  • Chewable tablets are an option
  • Controlled release agents provide better, more consistent absorption
  • Coated for a reasonable cost
  • Controlled to offer fast, time-delayed, or extended release  

Benefits of Capsules

  • Often easier to swallow
  • Protects sensitive ingredients
  • Easily opened  
  • Reduced stomach irritation
  • Unique ingredient combinations are possible
  • Gelatin and vegetarian enclosure options
  • Oil or fat-soluble nutrient delivery options

Both consumers and supplement manufacturers should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages when deciding “capsule vs. tablet?” Of course, there are both benefits and drawbacks to each format. Capsule vs. tablet absorption should be a primary consideration when considering which form to use. Some supplement types lend themselves to one format over the other.

However, as you can see, there is still a place for both tablets and capsules in the supplement marketplace. The capsule vs. tablet decision is best made on a case by case basis with each vitamin or supplement product.