If you’ve ever taken a health supplement, then you’ve had to decide whether to opt for capsules or a liquid alternative. In the past, most people have opted for capsules – liquid alternatives have typically tasted terrible, and if they don’t, then they’re likely packed with sugar and artificial ingredients. On top of that, liquid supplements tend to have a much shorter shelf life to their capsule alternatives. For some, this made capsules an easy decision. Recently, however, things have moved on. Using newly formulated and patented technology, the Zooki range offers liquid vitamins that no longer conform to the stereotypical flaws of past liquid supplements. By encapsulating ingredients at the nano level rather than in big gelatin capsules, YourZooki can offer liquid vitamins that taste good, utilise 100% natural ingredients, are sugar free and have a shelf life of up to 12 months.
Technology has meant we can be less concerned with the limitations of liquid vitamins, but are there actually any benefits to choosing liquid vitamins over capsules?
You may have heard that liquid vitamins are more ‘bioavailable’ than capsules. That is, vitamins are better absorbed when taken in a liquid form. This is generally correct, especially when taking an oil like fish oil, cod liver oil or flaxseed oil. Why? Oils don’t dissolve in water, which is necessary if your body wants to absorb it. When we take oils, like fish oil, our body must make it water-soluble before it can be absorbed, which is done in the gastro-intestinal tract. To make liquid vitamins, we can make oils water-soluble outside of the body in a number of ways. One way is to use cosolvents and other additives, another is to create microemulsions using long chain alcohols. Zooki, however, does it using ‘micelles’ - mimicking our natural body process of wrapping the oil in a layer of phospholipids. This makes the oil water-soluble in a way that is natural to the human body, increasing bioavailability by removing a crucial step in the absorption process. One study done using turmeric showed micelles increased absorption by 184x!
Another major downfall of taking capsules is that it’s very hard to tell how fresh the ingredients are. When taking a liquid supplement you’ll no straight away, because it will taste horrible. This is good and bad. On one hand you’ll get a bad taste in your mouth, on the other hand however, at least you’ll know not to take the supplement again. Supplements that aren’t fresh (have gone rancid) will actually harm your body. The problem with taking supplements in capsules is that you may never know if what you’re taking is fresh, and so may actually be doing more harm to the body than good. In an ideal world this wouldn’t be a problem because companies would never sell us rancid supplements. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. A study done in New Zealand found that 83% of products exceeded recommended industry peroxide levels (a by-product when fish oil becomes rancid), with similar findings replicated by other studies done in South Africa & Norway.
Besides the dreaded fishy burps that those who supplement with fish oil capsules will be all too familiar with, big capsules can also mean that the benefits of supplements aren’t accessible to everybody. Some people can’t swallow big horse-sized tablets. Children definitely can’t. The alternatives to these big capsules (other than liquid vitamins) are gummies and chewables, and although they are more pleasant to take, they often aren’t very potent – you have to take 2-3 to get the same levels of vitamins. Liquid vitamins can offer some relief in this respect, but only if they taste nice. After all, if you’re going to be taking something everyday, you have to enjoy taking it.