Science

Slow and Steady: Why Delayed-Release Capsules Are Important

2 min read

Essential Takeaways

  • Delayed-release capsules are no-nausea designed, and bypass the stomach to deliver nutrients to the small intestine, where they are more easily absorbed.
  • Capsugel’s DRcap™ smoothly dissolves over a three hour period—creating a slow, gentle release of nutrients that mimic the way your body digests food.

When it comes to vitamins, it’s not just what’s on the inside that counts—the package that delivers your nutrients is just as important as its contents.

While many multivitamins dissolve in the stomach, stomach acid can actually change the forms of certain vitamins and minerals—and not for the better. You may end up losing out on some of your vitamin’s benefits—which kind of defeats the purpose of taking one in the first place, right?

To get the most out of your multi, be sure to look for delayed-release (or “DR”) capsules that bypass the stomach and break down in your small intestine, one of the best places in your body for nutrient absorption. Since they are designed to pass through your stomach without dissolving, delayed-release capsules help keep nutrients in their intended, most food-identical forms. And, added benefit: they’re no-nausea designed. Because they don’t break down in your stomach, you don’t have to take them with food.

Standard-Release vs. Delayed-Release

The DRcap™ (yellow) pass the stomach before releasing nutrients into the body.

In our Essential for Women and Essential Prenatal, we use a vegan DRcap™ from Capsugel. The ingredient forms inside the capsule were specifically chosen because they don’t need stomach acid in order to be absorbed.

Capsugel has done a series of studies to test their DRcap™—from exposing them to simulated gastric fluid to having people swallow a DRcap™ filled with (safe!) radio-opaque compounds, then x-raying them to make sure that the capsule didn’t dissolve until after making its way through the stomach. The tests showed that compared to traditional capsules which release almost all of their contents into the stomach after only one hour, Capsugel’s DRcap™ smoothly dissolves over a three hour period—creating a slow, gentle release of nutrients that mimic the way your body digests food.

Quicker isn’t always better. When choosing a vitamin, slow and steady (capsules) win the race.

Delayed-Release Dissolve Rate

Nutrients dissolve later, and more steadily to maximize benefits.

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