Going Natural: Using Polymers from Nature for Gastroresistant Applications

Joao Cunha Barbosa, Barbara Conway, Hamid Merchant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nutraceuticals provide an additional health or medicinal benefit besides their nutritional value and are therefore marketed for the prevention and treatment of certain conditions. Nutraceuticals contain natural ingredients, usually presented in the form of functional foods or as dietary supplements. Many of the ingredients are susceptible to degradation by gastric acid or can provoke nauseatic feelings or induce vomiting on oral administration. Gastroresistant coatings, widely researched and used in pharmaceuticals, employ enteric polymers which are not regarded as natural ingredients or do not possess GRAS (generally regarded as safe) status by the regulatory bodies, thus cannot be used for nutraceutical products. Consequently, most nutraceuticals are not formulated as gastroresistant and can therefore lack efficacy or are well tolerated. This manuscript provides a critical review of natural substances employed in producing gastroresistant products, their shortcomings, and potential industrial applications. It also identifies current gaps in our knowledge to encourage further research in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2017


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