New Improved Enteric Coating System

January 2012, Warren Matthews

Summary

Here at Xtend-Life we are always looking for ways to improve our products and the health benefits that they provide to many thousands of customers.

As part of this process we have just completed the transition to using the new, state of the art Nutrateric II enteric coating system across the full range of our enteric coated tablets.

Here at Xtend-Life we are always looking for ways to improve our products and the health benefits that they provide to many thousands of customers.

As part of this process we have just completed the transition to using the new, state of the art Nutrateric II enteric coating system across the full range of our enteric coated tablets.

This applies to all of the following products…
  • Total Balance range (7 products)
  • Neuro-Natural range (4 products)
  • Arthrit-Eze, Cardio-Klenz & Diabet-Eze

We have been working with Colorcon, a world-leader in immediate and delayed release coating solutions for some time on this transition and we were also proud to be the first supplement manufacturer in the world to move to this new system.

Why did we make this change?

Over the last eight years we have been using well proven pharmaceutical enteric coating from Colorcon Inc and it has been an excellent system. However, we made the transition to the Nutrateric II system because we believe it is the best and most natural enteric coating material on the market. Most of the ingredients are extracted from plants.

Unlike the previous coating the Nutrateric II system is clear, because it has no iron oxide or other materials which are used to provide colour. This means that you can now see the color of the ingredients in the tablets rather than the white or yellow coating which was used previously.

You will also notice that the tablets with the new coating also smell different. More of a herbal type smell due to the plant components of the coating itself. Even though they now look similar to the non-coated tablets you can rest assured that the efficacy is still the same. They still undergo the same rigorous testing with each batch.

If you would like to read more about this coating we have included more info which you can access by clicking here.

52 Comments

  • “Hi Charles, Thank you for sharing these comments.  That is interesting about the gastric influx as that shouldn’t happen.  Each batch goes through the disintegration testing to ensure that they remain stable in stomach acid.  Each batch is not released unless they conform.  We have not had any other complaints on this issue.  However, I will have someone contact you to get more information. Yes, they are not as smooth as the previous coating.  I will ask our production manager if we could increase the amount of coating and perhaps put the tablet through a polishing process.  We will certainly look into it. With regard to the aroma, unfortunately we cannot do much about that…unless we can add something like a vanilla essence to mask the herbal aroma.  I will have that checked out as well. This feedback is valuable,  We know it is a better product but if we can make it more user friendly we will do our best to acheive that.”

    Warren Matthews - February 02 2012

  • “I received the new coating with no information of explanation.  I didn’t take them for a couple of days until I was able to speak with someone to find out if they were okay to take.  What with the color and smell…I thought they went bad.  I hate the smell, makes me nauseous, but have tried to get used to them. I now have to take them with juice, as it helps to mask the offensive odor and taste when I put them in my mouth.  They go down much harder than the others with the lighter coating.  I have had horrible tasting burps from them which makes me NOT like them.  I never had that problem with the others.  I can’t recommend these new ones to anyone, I find them very difficult to take, and HOPE you will do something different. so I can continue to purchase and use them.”

    Penny - February 03 2012

  • “Hi Warren Can we still order the previous enteric coated TB tablets? When can we order the "new" tablets without smell and gastirc issues. Thanks”

    Stan - February 05 2012

  • “If the reason for the change was solely to enhance the delivery system, then it is acceptable to me. People naturally are uncomfortable to the change because aesthetically, the previous version was better. Additionally we are conditioned to the fact that most medicinal tablets are smooth and white. But I am willing to carry on taking them because I believe in their health promoting properties.”

    Chandran Vengadasamy - February 06 2012

  • “I think the "smell" is a small price to pay for a great supplement. I like everything about these vitamins! Any unpleasant smell or taste is gone is seconds, nothing to complain about in my opinion.”

    Lisa - February 07 2012

  • “My complaint is the colour. They look just like the Male Rejuvenator that I also take. I used to put a day’s dosage of each together in one of the old containers to make sure that I took my quota of each per day. Of course, some days I failed to complete one or the other. But I knew on which one I had fallen down. Now I have to use two separate containers. Furthermore, if I happen to put them on a plate before "bottling" them and I happen to get distracted by the phone or someone, you know what happens after! (God help me if both containers happen to get tipped over on to the plate! That has not happened yet, so I have to be extra careful.) But I am not complaining – too much! I just hope that the colours change again before I get really old and become a nervous wreck trying to remember if I did not put the ‘TB’ into the ‘MJ’ bottle or vice versa. But I will not give up taking them. They are too important to my health. BUT VARIETY REALLY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE!!!”

    Colvin - March 03 2012

  • “Just wanted to update.  I recently started taking my latest batch  and these seems way less offensive.  The smell isnt as bad as the first batch, and the color a bit lighter.  I am still taking them with alkaline water in the afternoon only, (in the am I use juice) and have either gotten used to it, or its better, Not sure which, seems to be much better than the first.  Soooo, a big Thank You for taking the time to listen and work in this.  Love the vitamins & WILL refer them to everyone as you make the best products!!  ”

    Penny - March 30 2012

  • “I just got the new TB Men’s Premo and I enjoy the smell of them. My kids and wife love them and the smell is not a factor, but this may be due to the fact that we eat lots of raw fruits and veggies anyhow and they come in all sorts of shapes, smells and sizes. No need to reformulate the coating for us, we’re happy with it – no reflux, no vomiting due to smell (can’t imagine doing that unless it smells of poo) no other crazy issues either. I am considering taking all 7 of the TB Men’s Premo at once… anybody know if this is a bad idea? I noticed WM is doing it, but he’s super healthy! ”

    Trail - February 29 2012

  • “Hello Warren, Thank you for nice info on new coating – I was as well a bit confused when I saw first new ampules. In fact, I think smell is nice – at least it gives impression you swallow something "biological" :-) Dmitri ”

    Dmitri - February 02 2012

  • “It may be state-of-the-art enteric coating but my wife and I both prefer the old enteric coating. Yes, the new coating does smell different it smells unappetizing and makes the supplements far less pleasing to consume. The surface is no longer smooth and for individuals such as my wife who have an aversion to taking and swallowing pills the new rough coating and the unpleasant aroma maybe adequate reason to search for a different supplier for this type of supplement. Additionally, both of us have noticed the new enteric coated supplements do not sit well and tend to induce more gastric reflux, a very unpleasant side effect of the new state-of-the-art enteric coating. Is there any possibility to offer those of us who do not tolerate this new and improved advanced delivery technology in your supplements the original enteric coating produced none of these unwanted side effects?”

    Charles N. Statham - February 02 2012

  • “One thing I liked about the original coating was the fact that it was neutral white with no odour, so there was no sensation to taking them. They were also very easy to swallow.”

    Rick - February 04 2012

  • “Hello Warren, I am a long time customer who had to stop using TB because of the shellfish ingredients.  I was told a year ago that you were changing this to remove shellfish.  I see it is still on the ingredient list.  Do you have plans to remove the shellfish anytime soon. Thanks,”

    Wayne Stephens - February 02 2012

  • “Many thanks to all of you who have submitted your comments…both good and bad.  I have to admit that I am quite shocked.  I have been taking the tablets with the new coating since we changed over and have not experienced any of the gastric issues that have been raised here.  Yes, they do have an odor which some people find OK but other find offensive. Bottom line…in light of these comments we will immediately get our team on to working on a solution.  It is not practical to switch back to the other coating as the new system is now embedded in our GMP protocols…but, I am sure we can find a solution and will keep you informed. I can assure you that there has been no change to the tablets themselves.  The formulation is the same as are all the ingredients.  There was no financial benefit to us in changing to this system, in fact it is slightly more expensive but we did it because it was natural.  Thanks again”

    Warren Matthews - February 03 2012

  • “Dear Warren, Just to let you know that the new improved enteric enteric coating is the best compared to the old one because there’s no any side effects to me. I love the aroma of the tablets. In the old one, I was experiencing a very very little gas reflux.I hope that you don’t change any formulation for this new tablet because of some comments of the customers. Hoping that you maintain its effectiveness and its integrity if you have some formulation’s changes. We all know that the results, side effects, contraindications of any drugs or supplements may vary to every individual user. Thank you.”

    Elmer - February 06 2012

  • “I agree with Charles comment on the smoothness of the coating. Not as easy to swallow. Those commenting above that the new smell is wonderful must me getting different pills than were getting. Polishing for smoother finish and possibly adding a vanilla flavor, as you suggested above, would probably work best. My entire family liked the previous coating also.”

    Ron - February 03 2012

  • “Now that I have read two comments on recent acid reflux a light bulb, in my head, just lit up. I have also had feelings of reflux that I haven’t had for a very long time. Warren, this may indeed be something to look into if many more respond about acid reflux.”

    Ron - February 03 2012

  • “I am pleased with the present coating of Diabet-Eze and Arthrit-Eze, although, when I first saw the tablets were different in color than what I was used to, I was alarmed, thinking something was wrong. The smell of the Diabet-Eze tablets was much worse when they were coated white. I have no problem with the smell, really. I am thankful that your team does research and tries to offer the best supplements. If the changes you make are to our benefit, I will be happy to be your customer. Just make sure you inform your customers, before they start thinking something is wrong. I wrote to your customer service and asked for an explanation for the color change, since there was no insert in my order explaining it.”

    Ariana Teglas - February 02 2012

  • “I have taken total balance for years and in the last couple of months have had a increasing problem with acid reflux.  Had been at a loss to explain the change but had not even considered the enteric coating as a possibility and not convinced that it is related, but I will stop taking it for a while and comment later.  Don’t like being off the supplements during the flu and cold season,  they keep illnesses if they occur, milder and shorter lived, so will probably wait till warmer weather.”

    Mike - February 03 2012

  • “I have been using TB for 5 years or so with no problems.  The new pills look bad, smell bad, and taste bad.  I hope the overall effect of the change is not also bad.  Also, after reading some of the above comments, I realize that recent experience with acid indigestion and slight queeziness in the gut does seem to correspond with the changeover to the new enteric coating and may in fact be caused by it. Kane”

    Kane Hoversten - February 03 2012

  • “Hi Wayne, We are planning to use an alternative for the shellfish component in the next generation which we are working on.  Unfortunately it is not a simple process to change an ingredient these days as we have a large number of compliance issues that we have to deal with even for the smallest change.  This is why we want to make all the updates at one time.  We still have a way to go until the next generation will be complete as it is a big project.  Sorry that it is taking so long. ”

    Warren Matthews - February 02 2012

  • “Wow Cindy, that’s horrible to hear. I would suggest to stop taking the vitamins right away if it is causing you to throw up. Dmitri brought up the point of health with this new coating. Well I can easily say that this had a negative affect on me overall. While my reflux did not cause such a negative reaction as Cindy’s I was barely able to sleep at night, causing me to wake up every 15 to 30 minutes. While we might be only a small percentage affected by the new coating the side affects are severe considering this is a product that is suppose to help us. Warren. You said that you made adjustments to the coating already. You stated that there were a number of compliance issues you had to deal with before making any minor changes? If these changes are made, are they currently in affect currently? Meaning that if I made a purchase or a replacement I would get the newly adjusted version that would prevent the reflux I and others are dealing with. I would like to say that I believe that you made a wonderful product. In fact I contribute the TB Mens as the reason I didn’t have bronchitis last year, the first time I didn’t have it in 4-5 years. I believed in your product so much I recently got my both my parents to try TB Mens and Womens in the past month and now they are dealing with a product I do not have full confidence in. It’s sad to say, but one of my parents friends ask me to make a purchase for him of TB Mens, but I had to tell him that I wouldn’t because of the negative affects it is now causing me. This friend just went into surgery to have 2 hernias removed from his stomach and I did not want to suggest anything that could possibly make him sick after the ordeal that he has been through the past year. I do hope that the adjustments made fixes the problem. ”

    David L. - February 13 2012

  • “My children are complaining that its smell bad too. They want the old kind back. I vomited the first time due to the smell. My sister doesn’t want to take it any more because of the smell. I too notice the gastric side affect. Anyway, I end up just plugging up my nose everyday so I can take these vitamins. Its a sacrifice to keep this body healthy.”

    Say-Phieu Tan - February 04 2012

  • “OK…an update! I had our QA department look into several issues which have been raised here. Firstly the gastric problem that some people have experienced.  To help explain that I need to tell you what we do to test the efficacy of the enteric coating. After each batch is completed samples are taken into our lab and put through disintegration equipment.  This instrument simulates both the stomach and the upper intestine.  This is done by using liquids which mimic the environment of the stomach and also the upper intestine.  The most important ‘mimic’ is the pH levels.  The pH levels for the stomach and upper intestine are quite different with the stomach being very acid and the upper intestine being slightly alkaline. The tablets have to be able to remain in the instrument simulating the stomach for a specified period of time without breaking down and then from there into the section simulating the upper intestine…except in this section they have to disintegrate within 30 minutes. We use a protocol as set out by the British Pharmacopia which is a little tougher than the US one.  If a batch of tablets do not pass they are not bottled or released to customers. I asked our QA manager to check the records for the batches that had already been released and let me know the results.  This is because we can measure by how much they pass.  Bottom line is that the initial batches although they all passed comfortably may be marginal if someones stomach had a higher pH than normal.  For example, if they have taken an antacid before taking the tablet, or another calcium supplement, of had taken it with water which was somewhat alkaline. The previous coating had a greater tolerance to lower acid levels in the stomach (higher pH) which would account why no one had an issue with that coating.  So, we have since done some further testing to increase the point that the tablets break down.  In other words to cater for those people whose stomach acid levels may be lower than normal.  We successfully achieved this by a number of adjustments to the process. So, in future batches we don’t expect gastric issues will be a problem for anyone, and it does only seem to affect a very small percentage of customers, but we don’t want it affecting anyone.  In the meantime if you do experience a gastric issue the best way to avoid it is to ensure that you don’t take it with an antacid, or a calcium supplement, or drink it with alkaline water.  Another thing to consider would be to put a little cider vinegar in a glass of water and take the tablets with that.  The cider vinegar is also good for you, and being acidic will help keep the tablets intact as they pass through the stomach.   With regard to smoothness we experimented with putting additional enteric coating on the tablets and tumbling them in our enteric coater for longer to help make them smoother. Concerning the herbal smell, that is more problematic as the vanilla and peppermint oils are not compatable with the enteric coating which is water based.  But, we will continue to monitor this and look for solutions should it continue to be a real problem.  Personally I don’t have an issue with it because it smells like the raw herbals, but I understand someone who has been used to the old coating would notice it if they were not used to raw herbals.”

    Warren Matthews - February 11 2012

  • “I’ve been taking your supplements since 2004. I’m from the generation of kids from the ’50’s who were forced to take a teaspoon of cod liver oil every day so I’m sure as heck not going to complain about ‘smelly’ or terrible tasting tablets. I can put two Total Balance, two Omega 3’s, three Neuro-Naturals as well as one Sytrinol supplement in my mouth, take some water, swish them around and swallow them all in one shot. Other than one or two repeats from the fish oil, (which never happened with the old formulae), no problems. I’m here at this moment feeling an ‘old style coating’ tablet of Total Balance to a ‘new stinky coating’ of Neuro-Natural and for the life of me I just can’t tell the difference smoothness wise. Smell wise, oh yes there is a difference. Can I live with it? Sure can. Can kids live with it? Doesn’t sound like it.”

    Charlie - February 06 2012

  • “Thanks for the explanation Warren. I was another customer that emailed customer service concerning the new coating. One thing that I read in the comments was acid reflux. I actually had acid reflux for a week when I started taking the new coated tablets, but it never occurred to me that it could have been the cause. I don’t normally have acid reflux, only other time was when I was taking a Z-Pack (antibiotic regime) and the reflux was a side effect, though not listed on the box… I’m only taking about 2 TB men a day and the problem seems to have gone away. Also, I ordered TB women for my mom and when she started taking 4 a day she experienced bloating. She is very weight and appearance conscious so she noticed the several inches added to her waist line immediately. She has also lowered her intake of TB women to 2 a day and says the bloating went away. As with most others I do agree on the point of smell and texture. I liked the older coating better. I would advice taking a survey of your customers to see which one they like better and look into switching it back when the new generation comes out, like you said, it’s easier to make all the updates at once.”

    David L. - February 08 2012

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