Do Gummy Vitamins Work?
Gummy vitamins have become an increasingly popular choice among patients. Gummy vitamins are appealing since they are easy to consume, are offered in a variety of flavors, taste good, and can also alleviate the pill burden of those with an already complex medication regimen.
Patients may consider taking vitamins less of a chore when they taste as good as candy. Patients take vitamins for a variety of reasons. Some reasons may be as simple as trying to attain a boost in energy or as a sleep aid. However, certain patient populations may require a supplement to their diet, such as vegans, older adults, patient populations with absorption issues, and pregnant women.
You might not be getting all the nutrients you think you are getting
If your doctor has recommended a vitamin supplement due to a deficiency, it may be important to consider the formulation you choose. Gummy vitamins are certainly more appealing when presented with all the options on the market, and help the medicine go down easily, but what about their quality? Research suggests that gummy vitamins lack certain essential vitamins and minerals, can contain unreliable amounts, and may even cause an extra trip to your dentist’s office.
Compared to traditional multivitamins, gummy vitamins tend to have fewer vitamins and minerals included. For example, when comparing Centrum Silver for Men Multivitamins and Centrum MultiGummies, there are noticeable differences between the two. The tablets contain 27 vitamins and minerals, while the gummy version contains only 13. The gummies do not contain the following: potassium, chloride, chromium, lutein, phosphorus, molybdenum, lycopene and vitamin K, just to name a few.
Your Gummy supplement isn’t really supplementing your diet
There is also a difference in the amount per serving when comparing these two side by side. For example, there is 120 mg of vitamin C in the tablet formula, while the gummy contains 75 mg. When comparing vitamin A, there is 1,050 micrograms in the tablet, while the gummy contains only 600 micrograms. Additionally, in most gummy vitamins, there is significantly less folic acid (vitamin B9) contained in each serving. Folic acid is an important vitamin that is essential in the production of new cells and is especially important in pregnant women to help prevent birth defects.
When comparing our example of Centrum, there is 300 micrograms of folic acid contained in the tablet, while only 100 micrograms in the gummy. Iron is another important mineral that is required for red blood cell production, and supplementation is necessary in patients with anemia. However, most gummy multivitamins do not contain iron due to its natural metallic taste. Therefore, when choosing a vitamin, it is important to consider that a gummy multivitamin may be one of the least effective ways to supplement your diet in comparison to taking a traditional tablet.
The price of a tasty vitamin comes at a cost
Surprisingly, not only are some vitamins excluded from gummy formulations, but they may contain more or less than the amount stated on the label. During the manufacturing of gummy vitamins, the main goal is to have ingredients in the gummy that taste good, which leaves little room for your vitamins and minerals. Some manufacturers simply spray the vitamins on the gummy as a thin film. This can cause the vitamins to degrade quickly and have a short shelf life, which means they will lose their potencyover time more quickly in comparison to a tablet.
To try to circumvent this problem, some manufactures add extra amounts of vitamins in their formula. However, this can cause unreliable amounts of vitamins in each gummy and can differ from what is stated on your bottle. Some have even been found to contain more than the recommended daily amounts. On the other hand, you could not be getting enough. Therefore, it may be important to reconsider a gummy if you and your physician have discussed a specific dose of a vitamin to take daily.
The sugars in gummy vitamins aren’t good for your teeth
In addition, patients should also consider that gummy vitamins contain glucose syrup or sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol. Most gummy vitamins contain anywhere between 3 to 8 grams of sugar in each serving, which can affect your oral health over time. This is because when a gummy is chewed, the sticky consistency of the gelatin can cause sugar to stick to the surface of your teeth and even between your teeth. This creates the perfect environment for a cavity to form.
Manufacturers have attempted to make sugar-free gummy vitamins as well. However, these formulations are usually made with citric acid. The citric acid allows the gummy to still taste sweet, but this ingredient can also be harmful because it eats away at the enamel that protects your teeth. If you do choose a gummy vitamin, you can avoid these harmful effects to your dental health by making it part of your normal morning routine and to take them before you brush your teeth. You do not want to have the sugar sitting on your teeth or between your teeth for long periods of time causing damage to your enamel. Therefore, it is important to brush and floss properly afterwards in order to prevent tooth decay from occurring.
Should you switch back to traditional vitamins
So what type of vitamin is the right choice for you? Considering all aspects, in general, traditional forms will contain more vitamins and minerals, higher concentrations per serving, and are also more accurate with regards to the vitamin concentrations they are said to contain in comparison to gummy vitamins. This may mean that gummy vitamins are not your best choice. However, some patients do have a harder time consuming tablets due to their bulky size or taste. Most tablets can be crushed to help overcome this. Additionally, some alternatives that are easier to consume for patients may be liquids or chews. When deciding on which vitamin is the right choice for you, remember you can always have a conversation with your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider to help you decide which type of vitamin will be most beneficial to you.
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