08 July, 2011
What is the Difference Between Chewable Vitamins & Capsules?
There was a time when vitamin supplements were only available as capsules or tablets, but with the health and wellness industry expanding, it is common to find liquid supplements, soft gels, lozenges and even chewable vitamins. Most of these are designed to speed up vitamin absorption in your blood and have varying levels of potency. Consult your doctor for help choosing what kind of supplement you should take.
Supplements come in tablet, caplet, capsule, soft gel, chewable, powder and liquid forms, according to the All Star Health website. Since most of these contain vitamins in varying proportions, it cannot be said that one form is better than another. Tablets are typically the most economical among all these, while liquid vitamins are expensive and also have a shorter shelf life.
Capsules Versus Chewables
Both capsules and chewables are designed for faster absorption, but there are a few characteristics that make them different from each other. Capsules are easy to swallow and are broken down easily in the stomach, but, All Star Health suggests, this might not be the best way to get your nutrient supply, because there is a greater chance you body will excrete them unused when absorption occurs quickly. Chewables are best for people who cannot take capsules or tablets. They usually have some amount of sugar added to make it easier to chew, and usually come in bright colors, because they are mostly targeted to children. They usually contain vitamins in a lower potency.
Which Is Better?
For adults, capsules are usually a better way of receiving their daily dose of vitamins. Chewables are better reserved for children, who might not like taking capsules because of their medicinal smell and may have trouble swallowing a capsule. Since chewables also contain vitamins in a lower dosage, they might not be the most effective for adults seeking adequate nutrition. According to Dr. Alex Galo, posting in the "Journal of the Canadian Dental Association," reports that a drawback of chewable vitamins is the high content of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, both of which promote tooth decay.
A common misconception is that an expensive supplement absorbs better in the blood stream, but most vitamins have the same absorption rate. It is also best to take your supplement immediately after a meal so the absorption rate slows down due to digestion.
Capsules are typically quite economical; some can also be broken down to be mixed with protein shakes and smoothies. Chewables are usually priced on a per-milligram basis. Consider your options and consult your doctor to determine which vitamin is best for you.
- Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images