Gelatin vs. Vegetarian Capsules – What’s the Difference?

Gelatin vs. Vegetarian Capsules – What’s the Difference?

Pills are a common part of many people’s lives. There are pills that are prescribed, pills that can be bought over the counter for ailments such as headaches or stomachaches, and there are supplements which are taken by people who want to live a little healthier. Pills for the most part come in two different forms... tablets and capsules. Tablets were the most popular way to take medicine for quite some time, but then people started to discover the downfalls.

Tablets were more often than not the medicine they thought they were taking, plus some added ingredients. The added ingredients are used to bind everything together and make the tablet in a solid form. Most folks did not like the idea of putting more chemicals in their body than they had too, hence most people tried to switch to capsules whenever it was possible.

The Two Types of Capsules

At this point there are two different kinds of capsules, gelatin based capsules and vegetarian based capsules. Essentially a capsule is better than a tablet because there is no binding agent involved in keeping the pill together. Capsules can either be soft gels or hard, either way the benefits of taking capsules over tablets are evident. Here are some of the great benefits that capsules carry:

  • Quick dissolving, meaning your medicine gets into your system faster
  • Often tasteless
  • Easy to swallow when compared to tablets
  • No extra added ingredients to hold the pill together
  • Choice of Gelatin Capsules or Vegetarian Capsules

Gelatin Capsules

Despite the fact that both types of capsules look the same there are some drastic differences between them. The most notable difference is what they are each made of when created. Gelatin capsules are made through a process that involves boiling down certain parts of animals such as bovine and pigs. The hoofs, bones, and connective tissue is boiled down until it is a gel like substance, and then allowed to cool and expand in cool water. When the process is finished all that is left is a tasteless, odorless, and colorless substance that can be formed into the gel capsules that are taken every day by consumers. The main advantage of gel caps are that they are generally less expensive than their vegetarian counterparts.

Many folks do not like taking this kind of capsule for various reasons. It could have something to do with their religious affiliation that does not permit them to consume these kinds or parts of animals. It could also simply be because the person is a vegetarian and does not want to consume animals in any form - particularly when it comes to taking their medication. Another disadvantage to gelatin capsules is that they do not remain stable when exposed to heat or humidity. If you live somewhere that is particularly hot you might have trouble storing gelatin based capsules.

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Vegetarian Capsules

The alternate to these kinds of capsules are vegetarian capsules. These types of capsules are used by forming cellulose, as opposed to animal parts. It is a great alternative for people who simply do not want to take pills that they would deem religiously wrong, or morally wrong. They provide a safe way for people who want to still enjoy the benefits of speedy release and tasteless medication without the guilt of consuming boiled animal parts as the shell of the pill.

As time goes on more companies are switching to vegetarian capsules to package their pills. It is easy to see why when you look at the figures. While it would appear that a majority of people who take medication in capsule form don’t care what the source of the capsule is, there are still a number of people who do care. The best way to mediate the situation is to make a full switch over so that the pills are safe and natural for everyone.

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Similarities Between Capsules

Despite their overwhelming differences they do have some things that are the same. First of all they can be stored for many years without the risk of bacterial growth when compared to traditional tablets. The ability to store medication without the fear of sickness is a great advantage for both gelatin, and vegetarian capsule users, regardless of preference.

The second important similarity is both can be made in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colored to match different medications. This kind of flexibility means that consumers are never going to have to be worried about what they are taking, because the pills are noticeably different. At the end of the day your choice on capsules is just that, your choice. You should keep in mind that vegetarian capsules are a great way for everyone to have the ability to take capsules, regardless of religious, moral, or health related preferences.

Ready to start filling your own capsules, and taking control of what goes in your body?

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  • Tyler-Blake Kimbrell

    October 15, 2018

    Thanks! I was needing to know which of the two dissolve the fastest. Are they both the same or does one dissolve noticeably faster?

  • Stella

    October 15, 2018

    I use gelatin all the time and right now our. Heat is 98-108°. No issue but I keep minein the in a glass jar in a dark cupboard.

  • yakov cuts

    October 15, 2018

    i am taking a capsule gastro resistent lansoprazole and it helps me , but i just read the capsule is gelatine , could you advise me if i took it out of the capsule and took it in a spoon of honey could it be unhealthy.
    thank you

  • Suanne Redden

    October 15, 2018

    Are both types of capsules safe for dogs to consume When taking their medicine? Thanks

  • Adrienne Mathews

    October 15, 2018

    I’m trying to make my own essential oil diy pill to ingest internally but was wondering which capsule would not break down from the strong essential oils? I was told that essential oils breaking down veggie based capsule walls so you have to put the pill together with its ingredients immediately everyday just before consumption and take true pill within minutes. I want to premake a 30 day supply without my pills breaking down the capsule wall whocjnwould make a mess, leaking everywhere. Any advice on the best capsule to buy?

  • Octavo

    October 15, 2018

    Good day please can you let me know if you sell empty capsules.

  • Kalana

    December 07, 2017

    @venu they should have it labelled on the bottle!

  • Venu

    October 13, 2017

    Thanks for clear information. How do one knows whether a particular pill available in the market is gelatin based capsule or veg based capsule?

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