I am preparing for our July shows, which happen to coincide with HSN’s Birthday, so my apologies for being absent from my Blog the past few weeks, since I have been very busy putting together some HSN Birthday Specials. Once my July visit is over, this summer will hopefully be a little quieter and I will catch up on numerous blog topics.
In the meantime, I noticed a number of inquiries and posts relating to our gelatin capsules and I just thought I would provide a little information. First of all, if there was a truly natural, vegetable-based capsule available, then I would have been the first person using it long ago; but sadly, nothing exists. I have been exploring the use of a vegetable-based capsule for almost 30 years, but there is no true, vegetable-based product that I would put in my body on a daily basis. The “vegetarian” capsules you see on the market are NOT made from vegetables and the more you know, the more you would be concerned about them and avoid them as well. They are not vegetable-based at all, but are merely not made from animals. They actually have a closer relationship to the paper in your daily newspaper or a building under construction than to anything you would ever contemplate eating or putting in your body. Although approved for and commonly used in foods, I believe the even more common use for Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose is as part of numerous construction materials.
My desire for a vegetarian capsule goes back almost 30 years, since for several years, I was a very strict vegan eating no animal or dairy products at all. Like many of you, I was forced to remove my vitamins from my capsules to take them and when you are taking almost 100 capsules per day that was quite an effort. As many of you know, I am no longer a vegan, but I would still estimate that almost two-thirds of my meals are vegetarian (vegan). As a result, I do not cavalierly or carelessly consume animal products, including my capsules, but the same goes for my consumption of vegetable products, including “vegetarian” capsules. I choose to consume vegetarian-based foods in a healthy fashion and a “vegetarian” capsule has nothing to do with vegetables and even less to do with health. As I have said before, these capsules are made of a compound that I and other health-oriented individuals would choose never to consume – Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose. Unfortunately, the image we all have of vegetable capsules being made from wonderfully healthy vegetables is patently false and the more accurate image would be of the wood-pulping factory or of the paper manufacturing industry, since that is the closest image you will have to the source of Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose.
I wish there were more options, but sadly, the only healthy option, although not vegetarian, is the highest quality gelatin, which we use. As far as I am concerned, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose is not healthy at all and although it is not derived from animals that still does not change the fact that it is not a healthy chemical substance. Again, the healthy vegetarian option, which is what I did when I was a vegan, is to open the capsules. I have also contemplated making certain products available as powders only, thus eliminating the need to use or open capsules. The formulas would be identical to those in capsules, since our products alone are 100% pure and no encapsulation additives are used. If this is interesting to some of you, please let me know, since virtually all of our most popular products have little or no taste when mixed with food, such as smoothies, puréed fruit, yogurt, etc.
I hope this helped to clarify the situation and my apologies to the vegans out there, since I formerly was a vegan and even today, if it were possible, I would love a vegetarian capsule, but a healthy option does not exist. Gelatin is the safest material that is guaranteed to predictably and reliably deliver your supplement’s benefits. Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose-based “vegetarian” capsules are just a synthetic compound not derived from animals, but not considered healthy by any stretch of the imagination. Moreover, we control the source, quality and purity of all the gelatin in our capsules and I am not sure the same can be said for the source of the Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose found in the typical “vegetarian” capsule.