You’ve seen those colourful gummy vitamin bottles lining the shelves of your local pharmacy and wondered – should you make the switch?
Sure, they make taking your supplements more enjoyable and convenient. But all that gelatine, colourings, preservatives and sugar they contain could be doing more harm than good, especially if you’re watching your waistline or following a diet like keto.
Before you grab a bottle and start chewing your way to better health, it’s essential to understand what’s really in those gummies and whether they deliver on their promises.
If you care about your health and nutrition, read on to find out if gummy vitamins should be part of your self-care routine or if you’re better off sticking to traditional pills and capsules (and proper diet).
What Are Gummy Vitamins and Supplements?
Gummy vitamins and supplements are chewable gelatin-based candies infused with vitamins, minerals or other nutrients. Unlike traditional supplements in capsule or tablet form, gummies aim to make taking your daily dose more palatable and even enjoyable.
Before you swap your usual supplements for a more tasty option, there are a few points to consider:
- Are gummies as effective? Gummies can be a great way to ensure you actually take your supplements regularly. However, some nutrients may have reduced potency or stability in gummy form. Check with the manufacturer about any differences in formulation.
- Watch out for excess sugar. Gummies get their texture and taste from gelatin, sugar, colourings and flavourings. While some use natural alternatives, many are high in added sugar. Be wary if following a keto or low-carb diet.
- Consider any additives. Some gummies contain artificial dyes, preservatives like potassium sorbate or sodium benzoate, and fillers with little nutritional value. If you prefer naturally-sourced supplements without additives, check the ingredients list.
- Specific nutrients may be lacking. Gummies aren’t always the best option for omega-3 fatty acids or probiotics which can lose potency more rapidly. Capsule forms may provide higher amounts of these sensitive ingredients.
- Cost and dosage can vary. Gummies are often more expensive and may require you to take more pieces to achieve the same nutrient levels as standard capsules or tablets. Compare costs and servings to determine the best value.
While gummy vitamins and supplements can be an easy and tasty option, make sure you go into it with your eyes open. Consider your priorities and needs to choose a formulation that will benefit your health and well-being in the long run.
Benefits of Taking Gummy Vitamins
Gummy vitamins can be easier to take than pills for some. The chewy, candy-like texture may make them more palatable and pleasant to swallow, especially for children or those who have difficulty taking tablets. Gummies also tend to have natural fruit flavours that mask any vitamin aftertaste.
Of course, gummies aren’t for everyone. If you’re on a diet like keto or paleo, gummies typically contain too much sugar. And for some, the higher sugar content and gelatin base of gummies may cause digestive issues.
Should You Be Concerned About Added Sugars in Gummy Vitamins?
The short answer is yes. The sugar content in one gummy vitamin can vary but most often ranges between one to three grams per gummy. Over time, these sugars can add up and can be bad for your health, especially if you’re consuming more than the recommended amount of gummies per day.
As always, you’ll want to consider your own nutritional needs and talk to your doctor about which vitamin and mineral supplement is right for you.
Drawbacks of Gummy Vitamins: Gelatin, Sugar, Artificial Ingredients
Gummy vitamins may seem like an easy and tasty way to get your daily nutrients, but there are some significant drawbacks to consider before switching from traditional supplements.
Gummy vitamins typically contain high amounts of sugar, gelatin, artificial colours and flavours to achieve their chewy, candy-like consistency and taste. The sugar and artificial additives found in most gummy vitamins provide no nutritional value and can be detrimental to health, especially if consumed in large amounts.
Gelatin, made from animal collagen, is a common ingredient used as a thickening agent in gummy vitamins. For those following a vegetarian or vegan diet, gelatin may be undesirable. Artificial dyes like Red 40, Blue 1 and Yellow 5 are often added to gummy vitamins to make them more appealing, especially to children, but these dyes have been linked to behavioural issues and other health concerns.
If you want to avoid excess sugar, gelatin and artificial ingredients, gummy vitamins may not be the best choice. There are natural alternatives available with fewer additives that still provide the essential nutrients you need. When choosing any vitamin or supplement, it’s best to consider the pros and cons and how it fits into your own health needs and concerns.
Are Gummy Vitamins as Effective as Traditional Vitamins?
Are gummy vitamins as effective as traditional vitamins? In short, no. Gummy vitamins are not equivalent to regular vitamin tablets or capsules. Here are a few reasons why:
- Gummy vitamins contain fewer vitamins and minerals. Due to their gelatinous texture, gummy vitamins can only hold a fraction of the nutrients found in traditional vitamin and mineral supplements. You would need to take many more gummies to get the same amounts.
- Gummy vitamins lose potency faster. The gelatin, colours, and sugars in gummy vitamins speed up the breakdown of the actual vitamins and minerals. Studies show gummy vitamins can lose up to 70% of certain nutrients like vitamin C within a month of opening. Tablets and capsules have a longer shelf life.
- Gummy vitamins may have extra sugar. Some gummy vitamins contain 3-4 grammes of added sugar per serving, especially those aimed at children. While a bit of sugar is fine, too much added sugar provides empty calories and promotes tooth decay. For those on low-sugar diets like keto, gummy vitamins should be avoided.
- Gummy vitamins could contain artificial ingredients. Certain gummy vitamins contain artificial colours, flavours, preservatives and high fructose corn syrup. These synthetic and highly processed ingredients provide no nutritional value. For those seeking cleaner supplements free from artificial additives, gummy vitamins may not fit the bill.
In summary, while gummy vitamins seem appealing and convenient, for many people, traditional vitamin and mineral supplements in tablet or capsule form may be a healthier choice. They typically contain higher amounts of nutrients, have a longer shelf life, and fewer artificial ingredients.
Choosing the Right Gummy Vitamin or Supplement for You
When choosing a gummy vitamin or supplement, a few factors are important to consider based on your needs and preferences. Do you have any dietary restrictions or sensitivities? Are you looking for a specific vitamin or mineral? The options can seem overwhelming, so determine what’s most important to you.
Pay close attention to the ingredients list. Look for natural ingredients and avoid artificial colours, sweeteners, and preservatives. If following a keto or paleo diet, choose a brand with no added sugar and little to no carbohydrates. Gelatin sourced from grass-fed cows or organic plants like pectin are better options.
Compare the amounts of each nutrient to the recommended daily intake for your age and gender. For most people, a balanced multi-vitamin and mineral supplement is a good place to start. You may want to choose a formula tailored to your needs, e.g. prenatal, men’s or women’s health. Consider any deficiencies you may have based on diet or medical tests.
Follow the instructions and do not exceed the maximum dosage. While gummy vitamins may seem like candy, they still provide the same nutrients as pills and capsules. Consuming too many can lead to toxicity of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K in particular.
Dental Health Considerations of Gummy Vitamin Supplements
As we noted earlier, many gummy vitamins contain a significant amount of added sugar to improve the taste. The excess sugar can lead to tooth decay, especially if you take the gummies frequently throughout the day. The sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth that produce acid, which eats away at your enamel.
The gelatin that gives gummies their chewy texture also makes them very sticky. They can adhere to your teeth for a long time after eating them, giving the sugar and bacteria longer to do damage.
Some manufacturers market some gummy vitamins as sugar-free by replacing sugar with citric acid, but this is equally harmful since it erodes tooth enamel.
Be sure to brush your teeth soon after eating gummy vitamins to remove any remaining residue. This is also very important when giving gummy supplements to children.
If you find it difficult to swallow pills or prefer a more enjoyable way to supplement your diet, gummy vitamins can fill that role.
However, if you’re concerned about the sugar, gelatine, or artificial ingredients they contain, they may not be the best choice.
At Epsilon Life, we do not consume or produce gummies due to the presence of high amounts of sugar and artificial additives, which we avoid in our products.
For now, we believe that traditional supplements are a better choice.
As always, remember that the best results are achieved by combining supplements with a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.