When gummy vitamins hit the market, many people were thankful for the genius idea that just meant no more funny-tasting pills! Not many people look forward to chowing down veggies or gulping down green juice every day to get their daily supply of vitamins. So it's no surprise that people took to these candy-like alternatives; they are easy to chew and easy to incorporate into one's diet. Gummy products now account for $1 billion of the $41 billion supplement market in the United States, a more than 25 percent increase from 2015, according to IBISWorld, a research company. However, do gummy vitamins work?
Do gummy vitamins really work?
Well, yes. There is no evidence that gummy vitamins are less effective than conventional pills. However, the real question should be ‘are gummy vitamins good for you?.’
Are gummy vitamins good for you?
It all depends on why you're using them, and whether or not you need them in the first place. This decision is entirely up to you, but seeing as you're here, you need enough info before you decide whether gummy vitamins are just the stuff you need.
Generally, if you're eating a well-balanced diet, you do not need multivitamins. We're talking a plate that is half filled with veggies, quarter whole grains, and quarter proteins, per serving.
Most people jump on the chewy vitamins bandwagon because it tastes great and they feel like they're still doing their bodies much good.
To be sure that you need vitamins, consult a doctor or a pediatrician (if the vitamins are for your child) who can help identify vitamin deficiencies and determine whether a supplement is necessary.
To help you make your decision, here are a few pros and cons of the best gummy vitamins.
Pro: They may provide essential nutrients
Gummy vitamins do contain several essential nutrients needed by the body. If you use them according to the dosage printed on the label or suggested by your physician, these supplements can provide your daily dose of vitamins.
Pro: They are useful for people with special conditions
Gummy vitamins are great for picky eaters, those who struggle with nutrient absorption or those who have increased nutrient needs. They are also great alternatives to pills for specific populations like vegans, older adults, and pregnant women.
Pro: Easy to Chew
Gummy vitamins come in several tasty flavors that make it easy to top one's nutrient levels without dreading the experience of swallowing a pill. This makes it simpler for both kids and adults to use them more consistently than conventional multivitamins.
However, gummy vitamins also contain many ingredients that might pose risks to your health, especially considering lifestyle choices and general health conditions.
Con: They may not contain the nutrients they claim to
Gummy vitamins may not be as nutritionally rich as the packs claim. In between working to keep the vitamin colorful and the taste appealing, manufacturers end up reducing the number of nutrients that go into each unit.
The FDA does not currently regulate the composition of these gummy vitamin ingredients; they do not go through testing before they hit the market.
This is because dietary supplements — including multivitamins — do not need to be approved by the FDA before they can be sold to the public.
As stated in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, the FDA is responsible for taking action against any adulterated or misbranded dietary supplement after it reaches the market. So all you have is the manufacturer’s word for how much nutrients they contain. Now, that's not much to go by.
So, if you rely solely on gummy vitamins to supply you with your daily dose of nutrients, you risk becoming nutritionally deficient.
Con : They may contain unhealthy amounts of sugar
A generous coating of sugar masks the funny, unpleasant taste of nutrients in the chewies. A single chewy vitamin can contain as much as 2 grams of sugar, which is already half of the 10 percent added sugar intake recommended by the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines.
This is terrible news for people with specific health conditions like diabetes. Consuming too much added sugar is linked to obesity, heart disease, and dental cavities.
To decrease the amount of added sugars in gummy vitamins, some manufacturers add sugar alcohols instead. So, it is likely that sugar-free gummy vitamins packs contain sugar alcohols, which are listed under total carbohydrates on the label.
Overconsumption of sugar alcohols can lead to diarrhea, nausea, bloating, and other unwanted digestive symptoms in some people.
Con: They may contain harmful food colorings
Also, gummy vitamins may also contain dangerous food colorings like Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40.
Many of these artificial food dyes approved in the U.S increase your chances of getting allergic reactions, a cancerous growth, and behavioral problems, according to a study in Environmental Health Perspectives.
Con: They're bad for your teeth
ummy vitamins are also harmful to your teeth. The glucose syrup, gelatin, and sucrose that go into making them gummy and sugary can stick around your pearly whites and cause tooth decay or cavities. However, this is not a problem that brushing or flossing after chewing gummies can't fix.
Can you overdose on gummy vitamins?
What happens if you overeat gummy vitamins?
Because of the high sugar content in most gummy vitamins, it is easy to get addicted to them. It might not seem like a big problem because one cannot see any immediate harmful effects, but hyperactivity or stomach problems might begin when the gummy vitamins kick in.
Overconsumption of gummy vitamins may put you at risk of getting too much of certain nutrients. This could result in vitamin or mineral toxicity, which can harm your body.
This is especially true for young children who may view gummy vitamins as candy and eat more than the recommended dosage.
Since kids need lower amounts of nutrients than adults, they are more susceptible to vitamin and mineral toxicity. Keep all drugs out of the reach of the children, and teach them that pills do not taste like candy.
In particular, consuming more than the recommended amounts of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K may be dangerous since they are processed and stored in body fat and tissues.
Vitamin A, for example, can cause liver failure when it is too much in the body.
Are gummy vitamins effective?
Gummy vitamins help to make up for the nutrients that our diet doesn't supply to our bodies. When they are used according to prescription or dosage, they can help bring the body to normal nutritional balance.
Studies have been dedicated to determining whether specific vitamin supplements yield any results; people ask, are vitamin D supplements effective?
From a study published in a BMJ journal, the surest way to get vitamin D is through food, and moderate exposure to the sun.
Even then, only a few foods—salmon, tuna, sardines, milk, fortified cereals, and some types of mushroom- can give more than 100 IU of Vitamin D per serving. Moreover, the recommended amount of vitamin D is 600IU per day for everyone between 1-70 years: 71 year-olds and older need 8001U.
There's no evidence that shows that vitamin D supplements help boost these numbers, but moderate sun exposure will work. Just make sure that you don't stay in the sun for long periods at once, or you could be at risk of developing cancerous skin cells.
Gummy Vitamins Shopping Tips
If you decide to use gummy vitamins, these tips will help you choose top-rated gummy vitamins that are safe and effective for you.
Watch the sugar!
Choose a product that does not contain too much sugar. High-sugar diets can lead to higher blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver disease, all of which have been linked to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
Consult a health care provider to avoid exceeding the Recommended Dietary Allowance, based on your individual needs and diet.
Tailor your needs as much as possible
There are different gummy vitamins made explicitly for different demographics - because vitamin needs differ depending on sex, age, and pre-existing health conditions.
There are men's gummy vitamins, women's gummy vitamins and gummy vitamins for kids.
For instance, adult gummy vitamins would contain more nutrients per unit than a kid's own. If you purchase a kid's gummy vitamins with iron for an adult that needs vitamin C, it definitely won't work.
Also, choose specific products for the vitamins that you're lacking. Go for gummy vitamin c if you're deficient in that nutrient, multivitamin with iron gummy for an iron deficiency, and so on.
If you're a vegan, watch out for vegan-friendly gummy vitamins. Most gummy vitamin products use gelatin - and it can be produced from animal skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones.
However, there is hope still - in a product called agar-agar, which is derived from a type of seaweed and may be used as a gelatin substitute for vegans.
Don't forget that they are not strictly regulated
If you have to, read reviews and reports to see which products are best for your use.
To pick a quality brand, look for low-sugar varieties with third-party certification from such groups as NSF International, United States Pharmacopeia (USP), Informed-Choice, ConsumerLab.com, or the Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG).
So, are gummy vitamins bad for you? Well, it's up to you to decide. However, if gummy vitamins vs pills was a game, and we had to kick out the one with the more cons, you have enough info to know who won.