Most people use supplements to close the gap in their nutrition. Gummy vitamins are highly palatable chewable supplements. They're more tempting than regular vitamins because they are colorful and sweet. Gummy supplements have their advantages and disadvantages. How about efficiency? Are they as effective as regular vitamin supplements? Let's look at the details.
Gummy vitamins are pleasant-tasting versions of supplements. They generally contain high amounts of sugar — making them highly palatable.
Gummy supplements can be helpful for kids and adults that have problems swallowing pills.
Gummy vitamins generally contain preservatives, additives, artificial flavorings, and colorings.
Gummy vitamins have a shorter shelf-life. Their texture and taste get worse over time.
You should ask your doctor before taking any supplements in any form, including gummies or tablets.
The body needs vitamins and minerals to function. A healthy and balanced diet should meet all vitamin and mineral requirements. However, some people have nutrient deficiencies due to poor diet, medications, and diseases. In those cases, supplementing inadequate nutrients is necessary to stay healthy.
What are gummy vitamins made of?
There is no established nutrient composition or dosage that supplement manufacturers must follow. That's why ingredients in gummy supplements can broadly change from product to product. Ingredients commonly found in gummy supplements are:
- Sugar (sucrose), fructose, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, sweeteners
- Jellifying agents such as gelatin, pectin's, and modified starch
- Citric acid
- Artificial flavoring
Therefore, gummy supplements contain a variety of unhealthy ingredients. Using supplements with no or fewer unhealthy ingredients can be a better choice.
Gummy supplements contain sugar
High sugar intake is not healthy for children or adults. Kids are one of the target consumers for gummy vitamins because gummies are more palatable than tablets.
A drawback is that gummy vitamins contain sugar. Sucrose, syrup, or other sweeteners are commonly found in chewable vitamins. Commonly, gummies contain 8–12 grams of sugar per serving.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans already consume high amounts of added sugars, including sucrose, fructose, table sugar, syrups, and honey.
With that reference, If you consume 2000 calories daily, you're advised not to eat more than 50 grams of sugar. Besides gummy vitamins, many packaged and processed food and drinks contain added sugar. That's why you should be careful what you add to your diet, whether supplements or other foods.
Things to consider when buying gummy vitamins
The table below shows the recommended daily value of the most consumed vitamins and minerals as a supplement.
|Vitamins and Minerals||Daily Value (DV)|
|Magnesium||350 mg (from supplements)|
|Vitamin A||900 mcg RAE (micrograms of retinol activity equivalents)|
|Vitamin B6||1.7 mg|
|Vitamin B12||2.4 mcg|
|Vitamin C||90 mg|
|Vitamin D||15–20 mcg|
|Vitamin E||15 mg alpha-tocopherol|
|Vitamin K||90–120 mcg|
There are a variety of gummy supplements on the market. How can you choose the one you need? Here are things you should consider when buying gummy supplements:
- Certified products. Look for products certified by independent laboratories such as Consumer Lab, U.S. Pharmacopeia, and NFS International. They give assurance that the ingredients and doses in the products are labeled correctly and do not contain toxins or contaminants. However, these labs do not guarantee the safety and efficacy of the products.
- Get advice. Talk to your doctor. If you're using medications, consult your doctor before taking supplements. For example, vitamin K can interact with blood thinner medications such as warfarin.
- Don't replace your meds. Do not use supplements as a replacement for medications. Supplements, including gummy vitamins, are not medications. They cannot be used to prevent or treat diseases. Such claims are illegal to use in dietary supplements.
- Buzzwords. Be aware that “natural” does not necessarily mean safe.
- Choose wisely. Choose the ones lower in saturated fats, sodium, and added sugars.
- Always read the label. Check the label to ensure that vitamins in the gummy do not exceed 100% of the daily value (DV).
New generations of gummy supplements are being developed. Sugar-free, preservative-free, natural-ingredient-based, and vegan gummy supplements are currently on the market. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't regulate dietary supplements as it does medications. Supplement companies are responsible for the product's labeling and safety.
Gummy supplements can be an alternative to tablets for some children and adults. If you take gummy vitamins, choose the ones certified by independent laboratories that contain less or no added sugar. Always consult your doctor before taking supplements, whether in gummy or tablet forms.
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Vitamins and minerals.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Get the facts: added sugars.
- Advances in Nutrition. Vitamin C bioequivalence from gummy and caplet sources in healthy adults: a randomized-controlled trial.
- Food Production, Processing and Nutrition. Development of galactooligosaccharide (GOS) added gummies: sensory, characterization and shelf quality.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Daily value on the new nutrition and supplement facts labels.