Healthy Directions Staff Editor
Multivitamin products are those that contain a wide variety of important vitamins and minerals that work to support your overall health and well-being.
If you have dietary restrictions or find it hard to eat a variety of different foods on a regular basis, you or your children may end up having gaps in your diet.
A gap in your diet may lead to a deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals. With a multivitamin, this may be an easy and effective way to make sure all your bases are covered.
When it comes to children, younger children may not be able to swallow multivitamins in pill form, and some children simply might not want to take pills.
In these cases, multivitamin gummies may seem like a great option that allows your kids to get all of their nutrients--and enjoy doing it.
However, many multivitamin gummies may not be quite as beneficial as you would expect. This is because many gummy vitamins contain plenty of artificial additives and inactive ingredients that are not necessary for the product to do its job.
Even for adults, some multivitamin gummies may be an intriguing option instead of conventional vitamin capsules or pills. Still, it might actually be best to steer clear of these colorful products.
Learning more about the pros and cons of multivitamin gummies can help you do a personal risk assessment and make the best, most informed decision regarding your and your family’s health.
Vitamin Gummies Versus Traditional Vitamins: Which One Is the Better Choice?
The main reason why multivitamin gummies are such a popular choice is that they are formulated to be sweeter and more pleasant-tasting than regular vitamin capsules and pills.
However, some evidence suggests that these types of multivitamin gummies do not contain as many essential vitamins and nutrients as conventional vitamins. And it can be difficult to know how much nutritional value you are really getting each time you eat a multivitamin gummy.
This is because gummy vitamins can lose potency over time, and they tend to have a short shelf life. Because of this loss of potency, when you take a multivitamin gummy, you may not actually be getting nearly as much of each vitamin as the product’s label indicates, depending on how long it has been since the gummies were originally made and sold.
Even more, multivitamin gummies have such a pleasant taste because they are often filled with processed sugar, artificial sweeteners, or artificial flavors. The average gummy vitamin can have anywhere from two to eight grams of sugar per serving.
This can quickly take away from the recommended amount of sugar you should be consuming each day. The high sugar contents in gummy vitamins can also take a toll on your dental health by raising your risk of experiencing cavities the same way other sweet foods do.
It is also important to pay attention to what kind of sweetener is included in your multivitamin gummies. Sugar substitutes and sugar alcohols have long been known to cause certain health problems, including digestive and gastrointestinal problems.
Making Sure Your Vitamin Contains Key Nutrients
Many multivitamin gummies are missing some of the essential nutrients that can be found in conventional vitamins. According to the Institute of Medicine, our bodies need 13 essential vitamins and 12 minerals with a healthy diet. Yet, several studies reveal that multivitamin gummy brands only contain some of these vitamins and minerals and may be missing up to ten key nutrients.
A study of 37 different brands of multivitamin gummies found that none of them matched up to conventional multivitamin tablets or capsules. Due to this, if you are able and willing to swallow tablets, capsules, or pills, you may be better off using conventional vitamins as opposed to multivitamin gummies.
If your child is taking soft, chewy vitamins and not yet able to swallow full-sized supplements, a multivitamin gummy may be better than nothing for now. Still, it is best to switch them over the conventional tablets once your child is at an appropriate age.
Artificial Ingredients: What You Should Know
Multivitamin gummies often come in various colors, flavors, and forms, and the pleasant colors and flavors of these gummies can often be attributed to artificial colors and sweeteners.
That said, many artificial additives such as these have recently been linked to certain health conditions and unpleasant symptoms, such as severe allergic reactions, adverse effects, and even symptoms of hyperactivity.
Many synthetic dyes have been recognized as top allergens and irritants. You may not know you are allergic to a certain synthetic dye until you consume a product that contains it and end up experiencing an allergic reaction.
Because many dyes and artificial colors are known to cause allergic reactions, it may be best to avoid products containing these dyes as much as possible, but this can be difficult to do within the world of gummy vitamins. Thus, opting for conventional tablets may be a better bet.
Understanding the Vitamins You and Your Kids Really Need
So, now you know why multivitamin gummies might not be the best option for you and your family, but how do you know which vitamins really are worthwhile?
It can be helpful to gain a better understanding of some of the most essential vitamins and minerals so that you know what to look for on ingredient lists before making your next purchase.
Some of the most important nutrients for children and adults include:
Vitamin A, which is a key part of maintaining healthy skin as well as normal growth and development. Vitamin A also helps with tissue repair and vision.
B vitamins, which work hard to help your body produce healthy red blood cells. B vitamins also help with metabolic activities.
Vitamin C, which is a key part of a healthy and strong immune response. Vitamin C can help fight off infection while also working to strengthen tissue, muscles, and skin.
Vitamin D helps your body form and maintain strong and healthy bones and teeth, and it also improves your body’s absorption of calcium. While some vitamin D can be naturally produced by your body when you spend time in the sun, most people still need to supplement vitamin D.
Iron helps contribute to the body’s production of blood as well as the building of muscles, and it is especially important for women. Iron is also essential for children during periods of accelerated growth.
Calcium is a mineral that plays a vital role in the development and maintenance of healthy and strong bones and teeth, and it goes hand in hand with vitamin D. Inadequate amounts of calcium during childhood can lead to weak and fragile bones.
Being on the lookout for vitamins that contain at least these key nutrients can help you rule out products with insufficient nutritional value, but ideally, you should find a multivitamin containing nutrients beyond those mentioned above.
How Much Is Too Much?
If you are having trouble knowing where to start or which products are actually worth your time, your doctor may be able to recommend certain products.
Additionally, you should always consult your doctor before you begin taking any vitamins or supplements, as it is not always necessary to supplement certain nutrients, and having an excessive amount of vitamins in your system may cause negative effects.
Discuss these concerns with your doctor to help you determine which vitamins you should or should not take.
The Bottom Line
Multivitamin gummies are a very popular choice for making sure that you are getting all of your essential nutrients. They tend to be very appealing because of their colors and pleasant taste.
However, multivitamin gummies are sweetened with sugar, sugar substitutes, and artificial sweeteners in many cases, making them a less healthy choice than conventional vitamins. Some sugar substitutes can even cause gastrointestinal issues and problems with digestion, and artificial flavors and dyes have been known to cause severe allergic reactions and adverse effects in some consumers.
Multivitamin gummies also often exclude many of the most important vitamins and minerals and lose potency over time. This means that if you have had your gummies on a shelf for a while they may no longer contain the proper amounts of each vitamin.