The Capsule-in-capsule format represents a significant advancement in product design. In this new development, the formulated smaller capsule (either dry-filled or liquid-filled) is contained within a larger sized capsule. The larger sized capsule is also liquid-filled for the purpose of combination or dual controlled release. Either or both capsules may be of gelatin or HPMC composition. They may also be coated for additional functionality.
Capsule-in-capsule is designed to improve the bioavailability of the formulation in the inner capsule. Supplements like probiotics and prebiotics utilize the capsule-in-capsule method. They are made using specialty liquid-filling technologies and custom-designed filling equipment.
Advantages of using capsule-in-capsule
- The capsule-inside-capsule form allows for a better release profile that is more precisely tailored to a customer's desired release.
- Unlike other forms that offer only immediate or extended-release, capsule in capsule technology offers pulsed, delayed, or extended-release capability. This allows delivery of the contents to two different parts of the GI tract and even the colon with the addition of an enteric coating.
- It has a higher colonic residence time making it fit for formulations with low bioavailability like probiotics.
- Aside from achieving various release profiles, capsule-in-capsule may be utilized to address stability issues including moisture uptake.
- It has a high degree of dispersion in the digestive tract and superior nutrient absorption.
Capsule-in-capsule probiotics are far superior than other forms. The outer capsule contains solubilized prebiotics for immediate or combined release. The inner capsule of this unique delivery system contains probiotics. Prebiotics are released in the stomach or the intestine, while the inner capsules contain probiotics that will be released in the colon or the large intestine.
The capsule-within-a capsule delivery of probiotics can lead to a 2-fold increase in viable bacterial cells in the GI tract when ingested with a meal. The survival rate of probiotics strains after passing the GI tract is 2-fold higher than conventional probiotics in a capsule.
How capsule-in-capsule probiotics works
Stage 1: Prebiotics are released in the stomach where it balances the pH in the gut. The prebiotics also discourages the growth of harmful bacteria and provides foods for probiotics.
Stage 2: The coating of the inner capsule can withstand the acidity level of the stomach as it travels past into the intestine.
Stage 3: Probiotics release in the intestines where the prebiotic has established a food pathway for the probiotics to grow. This creates an environment in which the number of colonies forming units multiplies, yielding an optimum level of