It is estimated that everyone has taken capsules and pills. Some friends wonder why the powder is packed in a shell. Can't you swallow the powder directly?
There are even rumors that the capsule shell is made of "plastic", and eating it is not good for the body. So what is this shell made of? Why should the drug powder be packed in the shell?
The Dark History of Capsule Shells
The statement that "capsule shells" are poisonous is not a fabrication, but a historical memory.
In 2012, CCTV's "Weekly Quality Report" exposed that some enterprises in Hebei used quicklime to decolorize, bleach, and wash leather waste, and then boiled it into industrial gelatin, which was sold to pharmaceutical capsule manufacturers in Xinchang County, Zhejiang Province, and eventually flowed to pharmaceutical companies.
The heavy metals in these capsules made of industrial gelatin exceed the standard by 90 times, and heavy metals are extremely harmful to human health. It is not an exaggeration to call these capsules toxic capsules.
In addition, in 2015, Zhejiang discovered that a health product called "Tang Shule" had an excellent hypoglycemic effect, and no added western medicine ingredients could be found in the medicine powder in the capsule.
In the end, it was accidentally discovered that the criminals had added the hypoglycemic drug Gliclazide to the raw materials of the capsule shell. No wonder there was no abnormality found in the powder.
The Real Raw Material for Capsule Shells
Now drug management is very strict, and the qualified capsule shells produced by regular companies will not be poisonous, we will know by looking at the raw materials.
Generally, our common hard capsule shells are divided into two types of raw materials, one is animal raw materials, and the other is plant raw materials.
Animal raw material capsules are made of animal skins, bones, and other parts containing collagen, processed into gelatin, and then made into empty gelatin capsules with gelatin. Vegetable raw material capsules are capsules made of seaweed, starch, or cellulose.
As long as the raw materials are qualified, whether it is animal capsules or vegetable capsules, the quality is safe and reliable, and will not cause any harm to the body. It's just that vegetable capsules have less odor and are less demanding on the environment, so they seem to be more popular.
The role of the capsule shell
The capsule shell itself has no therapeutic effect, so why increase the cost and pack the drug into the capsule shell? Can't you just swallow the medicine directly?
First, it is inconvenient to swallow the medicine powder directly, and it is not easy to take the medicine accurately. After putting the medicine powder into the capsule shell, take one or several capsules each time, the medicine is more accurate.
Second, some medicines have a strong odor or bitter taste. It is painful to swallow the medicine directly, and sometimes it will cause vomiting, which leads to patients' resistance to the medicine. After being loaded into the capsule shell, the patient's tongue is not in contact with the medicine powder, the pain of taking the medicine is reduced, and compliance is improved.
Third, some medicinal powders are more irritating to the stomach, or the medicine itself is not resistant to gastric acid and becomes invalid after contacting gastric acid. Put the medicine powder into "enteric-coated capsules" to release and absorb the medicine in the intestinal tract, relieve discomfort and improve the effect.
Fourth, the maintenance time of some drugs is too short, which is not conducive to controlling symptoms and recovering from the disease. The use of sustained-release capsules can greatly prolong the action time of the drug, reduce the number of times of taking the drug, and improve the therapeutic effect.
It can be seen that although empty pharmaceutical capsules cannot directly treat diseases, they can reduce the pain of patients taking medicine and improve the therapeutic effect. Therefore, when taking capsule medicines, they should be swallowed whole, and do not just eat the filling without the skin.
Tips for Swallowing Capsules
I don't like swallowing capsules. The reason is probably that the capsules are bulky and difficult to swallow, and the capsules tend to melt and stick to the throat, which is very uncomfortable. Mastering some skills can solve these problems smoothly.
First, take capsules with cold boiled water.
The melting speed of the capsule is related to the water temperature. The higher the temperature, the faster the capsule softens and the easier it is to stick to the throat. When taking the capsules, the water temperature should be low, so that the capsules can be swallowed more smoothly.
Second, animal-based capsules have a strong odor, so they can be mixed with fruit juice in water.
Generally, boiled water should be used to take the medicine, so as not to affect the efficacy of medicine. However, to cover up the peculiar smell of the medicine, fruit juice can also be mixed in the water. Of course, the specifics depend on the instructions. For example, many medicines cannot be taken with grapefruit and must be avoided.
Third, do not look up when swallowing the capsule.
Most people like to tilt their heads up when swallowing pills, but most capsules have a lighter specific gravity. When tilting their heads up, the capsules float on the water surface and are more likely to stick to the back wall of the pharynx. When swallowing the capsules, hold the head upright or lower your head slightly, and the water will send the capsules down smoothly.