In the world enzyme therapy, enteric coating has become a major debate on whether or not it is necessary or even if they’re safe to use. However, after reviewing the numerous sources from competing companies and considering both sides, it becomes evident that information can become misconstrued when misleading information is provided. What I have learned from reviewing and studying numerous aspects of this issue is that some companies choose to omit information or imply the significance of their features to highlight their products and diminish others as a marketing tactic—which is understandable, they’re a business after all, but we have the power of choice. So let’s clear up the confusion, shall we?
What is Enteric Coating? Enteric coating is a layer of lipids, waxes, fatty acids, or even plastic (Phthalates). The Enteric coating covers capsules or pills that are intended to be taken orally. The purpose of the coating is to protect the capsule or pill from being denatured in highly acidic environments that are found in the digestive tract such as the stomach. The Enteric coating is designed to be resistant to high levels of acidity and dissolve in low acidic (basic) environments such as the intestine. This is interesting technology!
– This is the goal of Enteric coating because whether the capsules or pills are loaded with enzymes, fish oils, vitamins, or aspirin, they all have the same final destination: the intestine, where they are ultimately absorbed into the blood stream
Is enteric coating safe? It depends. Enteric coating is often found in over-the-counter aspirin. The idea of enteric coating is quite clever; however, most concern comes from the potential active ingredient in an enteric coating: plastics (Phthalates). As mentioned earlier, ingredients of enteric coating ranges from fatty acids, lipids, and plastics (Phthalates). Companies who produce products without an enteric coating allude to the dangers of them without providing the unbiased perspectives of its benefits. The prominent argument of these companies is that consuming plastics is unhealthy…they might have a point. However, not all companies include Phthalates in their enteric coating. AST Enzymes and Specialty Enzymes are examples of companies that do not use plastics in their enteric coating and therefore debunking the argument that all enteric coating is unsafe. As a matter of fact, AST Enzymes and Specialty Enzymes do not enterically coat their capsules but the actual contents within the capsule.
Is enteric coating necessary? It depends. Enteric coating ensures the release of a capsule in the intestine. Aspirin is sometimes preferred to be released and partially dissolved before it reaches the intestine. Probiotics are examples of supplements that do not necessarily need an enteric coating because they’re bacteria that are designed to survive harsh environments, bromelain and papain, as vegetarian-sourced enzymes, also fit in that category; however, microbial-sourced enzymes such Nattokinase and Serrapeptase are much more fragile and may require assistance to ensure delivery to the intestine.
So…Should I consider using an enteric coated product? The intention of this blog is neither persuade nor dissuade you from any particular product but to inform you and to help you decipher marketing strategies used to purely sell products and to educate consumers on what they are investing their hard-earned dollars into. The decision is entirely up to you, however, what I advise to ask questions before believing what a company attempts to sell you. Look at the different angles, perspectives, and read between the lines.
How does that old saying go?…oh yes, “Knowledge is Power”.