Vitamins and supplements have become an important part of our diet. Each person requires different amounts of vitamins to avoid sickness and to stay healthy. Every year, Americans are spending over $30 billion on vitamins and dietary supplements. This obsession can be linked to health trends and consumers’ eagerness to avoid chronic health conditions.
A previous study revealed that vitamin deficiencies are associated with chronic diseases. In this case, supplementation is necessary for different conditions, such as menopause, pregnancy, stress, and sleep disorders. For example, a gout supplement is a form of dietary supplement to keep gout symptoms at bay and keep uric acid levels in check.
Today, a new form of supplement is coming to the wellness market — gummy vitamins. They’re sweet, sugary, easy to consume, and perfect for grown-ups with a complex medication routine. As gummy vitamins become increasingly popular, many are wondering if they’re as effective as ordinary supplements.
What are gummy vitamins?
Gummy vitamins are sugary, sweet, and chewable vitamins with the same taste and texture as gummy candies. To make them more palatable, they’re available in a variety of colors, shapes, and flavors. These vitamins were originally marketed toward little kids, but they’re now sold as an alternative to adult supplements in pill form.
Today, gummy vitamins are marketed to adults who have difficulty swallowing pills or following routine medications. They also address a condition called “pill burden” where patients take medications less frequently from the required frequency intake.
Like gummy candies, gummy vitamins are often made from gelatin, sugar, cornstarch, and food coloring. They may also contain other ingredients such as beeswax, coconut oil, and acacia gum. The sweet taste comes from sugar alcohols (e.g. sorbitol) or glucose syrup, with three to eight grams of sugar for every serving. Popular flavors are orange, cherry, raspberry, and lemon.
Most gummy vitamins are multivitamins, but some contain one specific nutrient or a few select vitamins and minerals. These include vitamin A, B6, B12, C, D, E, calcium, and folate. But compared to traditional vitamins, gummies may have fewer vitamins and minerals.
Potential benefits of gummy vitamins
Aside from their sugary sweet taste, gummy vitamins have health benefits over other vitamins.
Since they’re packed with nutrients, gummy vitamins are a great alternative to some populations. These include people struggling to absorb some nutrients, increased nutritional needs, and picky eaters who refuse to eat a few food groups. These include vegans, pregnant women, and older adults.
Gummy vitamins are also every parent’s best friend to help their kids quell their fear of medicine. Every parent knows how difficult to encourage kids to take vitamins or medicine, especially if they don’t like the flavor or the medicine is too big to swallow. Since they look similar to gummy candies, kids and adults can easily take them while enjoying their sweet flavor and adorable designs.
Although gummy vitamins aren’t the ideal source of vitamins, they’re still much better than taking no vitamins at all. If a child has a limited diet with vitamin deficiency, a gummy vitamin is still worth the effort.
Potential drawbacks of gummy vitamins
Most medical professionals still recommend traditional pills than taking gummy vitamins. First off, they contain added sugars, food coloring, and sugar alcohols that can lead to dental cavities, obesity, and heart disease.
When it comes to vitamin and mineral content, it can be difficult to identify the real nutritional value of gummy vitamins over time. Due to their limited shelf life, gummy vitamins lose their potency over long periods. Another reason is that manufacturers cannot include as many vitamins since they contain other ingredients, such as coloring, sugars, and filler compounds to maintain the gummy texture.
Overconsumption can also put patients at risk if they consume a lot of gummy vitamins. This can lead to vitamin toxicity, which results in acute or chronic conditions.
Should you take gummy vitamins?
Gummy vitamins may be unnecessary if you’re getting a well-balanced diet. But if you’re looking for an alternative to traditional pills, you can take liquid vitamins or flavorless drops which you can add to your drink.
Still, gummy vitamins are a great alternative for those with absorption issues, nutrient deficiency, or increased nutritional needs. If your physician requires you to take vitamins, ask them to provide options to make medications easier for you.
Taking gummy vitamins may be a great alternative to take the burden out of routine medications. But since we’re talking about health, it’s important to be wary of what we put inside our bodies. Gummy vitamins have their own advantages and drawbacks, so it’s important to understand how they will affect your health. In the end, make sure to consult a doctor before taking anything.