3

votes

Supplement capsules

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 01, 2011 at 1:51 PM

I take probiotics and some other vitamins, but I was wondering : do I actually need to eat the whole capsule or just sprinkle the contents of the capsule on food. For example, my probiotic (GR8-dophilus) is "enteric coated". Does that mean I have to eat the capsule as a whole (with no chewing etc.)? Or can I sprinkle the contents of the capsule on food or just pour the contents in my mouth?

I'm quite sure this is a very, very stupid question. But I just can't find details anywhere.

E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on September 02, 2011
at 02:10 PM

Are you calling the capsule "weird stuff"? If so, just be sure to buy your pills in capsules made from beef gelatin and then you're good to go.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on September 01, 2011
at 04:45 PM

Okay, so no tea drinking right after :)

99a6e964584f20f3f69ad3a70a335353

(1334)

on September 01, 2011
at 03:44 PM

Well in that case, I'll say IANAD but I would highly recommend taking anything enteric-coated whole.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on September 01, 2011
at 03:07 PM

You sure we absolutely need to swallow it? I would love it if I don't have to...

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:48 PM

I actually always take probiotics on an empty stomach by pouring it into my mouth and swallowing it like that, but I was just wondering if it's really necessary to swallow the cellulose too. They never clearly say how to swallow it.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:46 PM

It's not that it bothers me to take the whole capsule, I just don't know if it's necessary. The less weird stuff I put in my body, the better.

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5 Answers

5
99a6e964584f20f3f69ad3a70a335353

(1334)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:04 PM

Enteric coating means it's going to dissolve in your intestines rather than in your stomach. For a probiotic, that means it's delivered to the right place. Even acidophilic bacteria aren't going to do too well in the stomach. So if you don't swallow that whole, you're wasting your money.

Other supps may be fine to powder and sprinkle on food. It really depends. But if I were you I'd just learn to take the pill.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:46 PM

It's not that it bothers me to take the whole capsule, I just don't know if it's necessary. The less weird stuff I put in my body, the better.

99a6e964584f20f3f69ad3a70a335353

(1334)

on September 01, 2011
at 03:44 PM

Well in that case, I'll say IANAD but I would highly recommend taking anything enteric-coated whole.

E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on September 02, 2011
at 02:10 PM

Are you calling the capsule "weird stuff"? If so, just be sure to buy your pills in capsules made from beef gelatin and then you're good to go.

3
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 02, 2011
at 02:01 PM

There are two separate issues here.

  1. Vitamins and minerals

In the case of vitamins and minerals the capusle or tablet is simply a convinent way of swallowing the ingredients, some of which can have an unpleasant taste if taken in a powdered form. Whether you swallow the capsule or empty the capsule onto your dinner is unlikey to make any difference to how well the vitamins are absorbed.

  1. Probiotics

Probiotic capsules are a different matter. To reach your intestines alive, where you want them to be, probiotic bacteria must survive long enough to pass through the acidic environment of your stomach. Probiotic bacteria in powdered form are exposed and are likely to be killed by the low pH in your stomach. The capsule reduces exposure to this acidity and slows down the rate at which the bacteria die. You are probably better off swallowing the capsule.

1
306905a32e76b5c0764a663ea7e88426

(1072)

on September 01, 2011
at 04:09 PM

Swallow whole with a cool drink - heat will dissolve the coating faster. If we're spending money on these things we may as well make sure they end up where they're going to flourish.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on September 01, 2011
at 04:45 PM

Okay, so no tea drinking right after :)

1
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:06 PM

I don't think this is a stupid question because I have taken proteolytic enzymes that claimed one MUST take it in capsule form so that it is digested further down the GI tract. When it comes to probiotics, I have heard people recommend sprinkling it in foods (I do this to get some in my kids from time to time). I think removing the capsule would be fine. If you are putting the contents in food, make sure the food is not very hot and don't let it sit out.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:48 PM

I actually always take probiotics on an empty stomach by pouring it into my mouth and swallowing it like that, but I was just wondering if it's really necessary to swallow the cellulose too. They never clearly say how to swallow it.

0
6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:58 PM

I've always just swallowed them whole. That should do.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on September 01, 2011
at 03:07 PM

You sure we absolutely need to swallow it? I would love it if I don't have to...

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