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Are Gummy Vitamins Bad For You?
  /   Dr. John Snow

Are Gummy Vitamins Bad For You?

Ah, to be a child again, when our biggest problem involved fighting naptime and coloring inside the lines. But one thing that hasn’t changed is our need for essential vitamins and nutrients.

We don’t always eat our fruits and vegetables; even if we do, we may not likely meet all our nutritional needs. Because of this, we’ve had to up our nutrition game with vitamin supplementation to meet our daily minimums.

For those of us who hate taking medications or pills, we may try anything from liquids to powders and even patches to avoid another chalk-like tablet. That’s where one form of multivitamin comes in: the gummy vitamin.

Gummy vitamins are wildly popular, and the range is only expanding. Some people prefer gummies because they taste more like candy and less like medicine. Not to mention, it’s easy to remember to take your supplements when they taste so good and feel like a treat.

Unfortunately, that’s a part of the problem.

Gummy vitamins may be easy to take, but their novelty value comes at a price. Before you pick up a new bottle of gummies for your family, here’s what you need to know about gummy vitamins.

What Are Gummy Vitamins?

Like many people, you might be trading in your traditional vitamins — in the forms of capsules, soft gels, or tablets — for gummy vitamins.

Gummy vitamins are essentially chewy vitamins with a taste and texture similar to gummy candies. They’re sweet, come in delicious flavors, and are easy to chew. They’re also one of the most popular types of vitamins as they appeal to children and adults who may not like swallowing pills.

Do Gummy Vitamins Work?

The entire purpose of using a supplement or multivitamin is to improve your overall health. However, commercial gummy vitamins often contain fewer vitamins and minerals than traditional options.

The body breaks down the gummy to access the nutrients. Ultimately, some of the vitamin content is lost in the process. While some nutrient loss is standard with all supplements, gummy vitamins come with an additional caveat.

Gummies have a shorter shelf-life than other forms of vitamins. They’re often packaged in clear bottles that allow light to enter and are prepared like a traditional food product. But by the time you’ve finished a bottle of gummy vitamins, it’s improbable that they contain as much of each vitamin as the label may claim.

The longer gummy vitamins sit on a shelf, the more time they have to degrade.

Are Gummy Vitamins Bad For You?

Seeing the word “vitamin” probably causes your brain to conclude that they are healthy. Therefore, all gummy vitamins must also be nutritional. However, the word you should be lingering on is “gummy.” 

Gummies aren’t healthy food. They’re processed candy made with sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors. It’s easy to simplify gummy vitamins as candy with some added benefits. Even though gummy vitamins contain essential nutrients, it isn’t easy to justify them as a healthy form of supplementation.

While a gummy vitamin may be better than taking none at all, they’re not the most sensible way to meet your body’s daily needs. 

Gummy Vitamins vs. Other Types of Vitamins

People like gummy vitamins because they’re easier to consume. They taste good, they’re chewable, and kids often don’t fuss about having to take their daily vitamins. If you’re exploring health-conscious alternatives to gummy vitamins, here’s what to consider when making the swap.

Traditional Vitamins

Most traditional vitamins come in pill or capsule form and are meant to be swallowed with water. Some people feel that conventional vitamins upset their stomachs or leave a lingering feeling in their throat.

Many people find that taking traditional vitamins with a meal helps prevent nausea. When you take a multivitamin that contains acidic vitamins (like vitamin C) on an empty stomach, the acidity can cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, or digestive upset. 

Taking your vitamins with food can also help promote the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Liquid Vitamins

Liquid multivitamins are commonly used for infants with vitamin or mineral deficiencies. However, they are also available in children and adult multivitamins. 

Liquid multivitamins are easier for your body to consume because they don’t need to be processed as extensively as tablets, gummies, or chewable tablets. Pregnant people with frequent nausea often find that liquid vitamins are less likely to intensify their nausea. 

Chewable Vitamins

Chewable multivitamins are an excellent compromise as they break down the moment you start chewing, giving them a jump start on the digestive process. Chewable multivitamins are safer for children, seniors, and anyone who may have difficulty swallowing large tablets.

What To Look For in a Vitamin Supplement

It’s not hard to find vitamins that are truly good for your health. You need to know what you’re looking for when you read the label. While the packaging design doesn’t tell you anything about the quality of the ingredients, you’ll find everything you need to know on the nutrition label.

Amount of Each Vitamin

Your body can’t use 100% of everything your multivitamin contains. That’s just the nature of vitamins. Many manufacturers may include more than the recommended daily amounts of specific vitamins to overcompensate for this natural loss.

The multivitamin you choose should contain substantial amounts of each vitamin or mineral. However, it is essential to remember that multivitamins aren’t a replacement for the vitamins and minerals in whole foods. Your family should still eat well-balanced meals made from natural ingredients.

Serving Size

The ingredients and percentages listed on the back of the multivitamin are always per serving size – not per tablet, dropperful, or gummy. To meet that amount, you need to have a whole serving.

Most multivitamins have a serving size of one tablet or dropperful. But you may even encounter gummy multivitamins with servings of two or more. Some gummy vitamins even require serving sizes of as many as five pieces.

What Are Potential Allergens or Ingredient Restrictions?

Allergies or dietary restrictions can create a tricky situation for children and adults alike. Those who follow plant-based diets or have food allergies may need a multivitamin more than others.

Allergies and dietary restrictions take certain foods off the table, limiting the ability to reach recommended daily goals through diet alone.

Multivitamins and other supplements can contain ingredients derived from egg, fish, shellfish, nuts, soy, or gluten. If the company manufactures several different products in the same facility, there’s always the potential for cross-contamination.

Suppose your household is vegan or someone has an allergy. In that case, determining if the multivitamin you choose is safe and suitable for your family’s needs is essential.

Additional Ingredients To Consider 

Supplements contain ingredients besides vitamins and minerals to bind them together. Most chewable vitamins need some added flavor to disguise the taste and are often sweetened to make them more palatable.

If you want a vitamin without synthetic ingredients or added sugar, it’s essential to read the label. You need to know where the coloring, flavors, and sweetness come from.

Hiya Has a Solution

At Hiya, we were shocked to learn how gummy vitamins are made. It didn’t make sense to put vitamins in gummy candy and market them as wellness tools. As parents, we want the best for our kids, and we know you want the best for your kids, too.

Hiya’s Kids Daily Multivitamin is naturally sweetened with monk fruit extract, which doesn’t add the empty calories of added sugars into your child’s diet.

We don’t use gummy junk, artificial colors, or flavors. Our vitamins contain a fruit and vegetable blend that makes them tasty enough for kids without the need for synthetic chemicals.

Hiya is gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, vegan, eco-friendly, and made in the United States. While most vitamins are mislabeled and unregulated, Hiya is transparent about what’s included and why.

If your child’s pediatrician agrees that a multivitamin supplement can be a valuable part of your child’s diet, choose Hiya today!

Sources:

Do Gummy Vitamins Work as Well as Traditional Vitamins? | Cleveland Clinic

Fat-Soluble Vitamins - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics

Replacing Lost Nutrients Due to Food Allergies | Kids with Food Allergies

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