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24th June, 2017
Cellulose-based capsules to replace gelatin capsules

Capsules are a very widely used dosage form. They are easy to administer, mask the odor and taste of drugs, which may be unpleasant to some patients. Due to rapid disintegration, the drug is rapidly released in the stomach. Hence, they are a necessary form of drug. However, one aspect that is of concern is their storage. Capsules should be stored in airtight containers and in a cool and dry place to avoid degradation. They need to be protected from light and moisture.
 
Gelatin has been commonly used to manufacture capsules, which is derived from animal sources, including bones. 
 
But now, the Govt has recommended a proposal to replace gelatin capsules with vegetable capsules. The sources of these vegetable capsules are plant in origin.
 
In March this year, an Expert Committee was constituted to address all technical issues pertaining to the replacement of gelatin (non-vegetable) capsules with cellulose-based capsules. According to notice from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) office dated June 2, 2017, the proposal is open to suggestions/comments within 21 days. 
 
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has formulated Draft Indian Standards for cellulose based vegetable capsule shells. Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose (HPMC), most commonly known as hypromellose, is used in the manufacturing of the cellulose-based capsule shell. 
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Lack of awareness about gluten intolerance in India
About 10% of the Indian population suffers from this disease, impacting both children and adults

New Delhi, 23 June 2017:Consumption of wheat-based products is a common phenomenon in a majority of Indian households. However, if you happen to feel lighter and less bloated by skipping wheat for few days, chances are you may be suffering from gluten intolerance. According to studies, about 10% of the Indian population suffers from gluten intolerance. Research shows that if left untreated, this condition can further lead to a heart disease or even intestinal cancer. 
 
Gluten intolerance occurs when gluten, a protein found in wheat, provokes an adverse reaction from the cells lining the stomach. Based on the severity, type, and genomic predisposition of this disease, a person may have a wheat allergy or celiac disease (a condition in which a person is completely gluten intolerant).This condition can impact both children and adults. It can also be passed on genetically if either parent suffers from this condition.
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