If you’re like me, you take gummy vitamins because you’re not good at taking your vitamins. And you love sweets. But after writing this article, I will think twice before I toss a couple of sugary sweet multivitamins into my mouth in the morning.
First of all, research suggests that most people don’t need to take multivitamins if they eat a healthy whole food diet and maintain a healthy weight. There are people who don’t eat enough of certain foods or have problems absorbing certain nutrients that can use the extra vitamins, but should they take gummy vitamins?
Lots of Sugar
Most of us know that too much sugar is bad for us. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams a day for women and 38 grams for men. If you take gummy vitamins you are adding 2-8 grams of sugar to your daily intake. And your daily sugar intake can add up pretty quickly.
In addition to sugar, gummy vitamins can have erythritol, mannitol, isomalt, and other sweeteners. And the added sugar-free products often use citric acid. Sugar, sweeteners, and citric acid are not good for our overall health and are bad for our teeth.
According to primary care specialist, Neha Vyas, MD, gummy vitamins have fewer vitamins and minerals than regular vitamins. They have a pleasant taste and are easy to take, however, most varieties contain added sugars and may not list nutrient content accurately on their labels. And often they are loaded with artificial food dyes, fillers, and other things to give them a desirable texture.
Because gummy vitamins are not regulated, the dosage can be unreliable. Most don’t have the components that they claim to contain. A 2017 supplement analysis by ConsumerLab.com, a private company that conducts safety and quality testing of consumer products, found that four out of five gummy products contained more or less than their listed amounts of ingredients. And by the time you take your gummy, there’s a good chance that the vitamin content has degraded.
Should I Take Gummy Vitamins?
Some people need to take vitamins, so check with your doctor. According to Dr. Vyas, if you need to take extra vitamins, and cant take traditional pills, try a chewable (which are more chalky), and as a last resort, go with a gummy vitamin.
Eat Healthy and Exercise
Multivitamins are not the shortcut to perfect health, especially gummy vitamins. Larry Appel, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research says, that pills are not a shortcut to better health and the prevention of chronic diseases. He explains that other nutrition recommendations like eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and sugar you eat, have stronger benefits.
So, unless your doctor suggests that you take them, say goodbye to gummy vitamins and focus on eating a variety of whole foods and getting exercise to keep your body healthy.