Are Gummy Vitamins Effective? All You Need to Know
- Gummy vitamins are vitamin supplements that often resemble conventional gummy candies but with added vitamins.
- Whether or not a gummy vitamin is effective depends on factors like its sugar content and the type and amount of nutrients it has.
- Anyone can eat gummy vitamins. But there are specific groups of individuals who may need to check with their healthcare provider or dietitian to see if these vitamins suit their dietary needs.
Are gummy vitamins effective? Or are they just candy masquerading as dietary supplements?
If you, like many others, wonder whether you should give gummy vitamins a try, you’ve come to the right place. Below, learn the answer to “do gummy vitamins work?” so you’ll know which type of vitamin supplements to add to your shopping cart next.
What Are Gummy Vitamins?
Before we unveil the answer to the question “are gummy vitamins effective?”, let’s first define what these vitamin supplements are.
Gummy vitamins are essentially nutrient supplements made to look — and taste — like gummy candies. The sweet taste, chewy texture, and adorable shapes entice you (not just kids!) to take a bite. Needless to say, it’s a delicious way to eat your vitamins compared to the usual pills and capsules that some people may find hard to swallow, particularly young children.
How Do Gummy Vitamins Work?
In a way, gummy vitamins work similarly to pill vitamins. Both types contain vitamins that the human body can absorb to help meet your daily nutritional requirements.
One of the key differences, though, is that vitamin gummies usually start breaking down in your mouth. The act of chewing, coupled with salivary enzymes, partially digests the gummy. Once you’ve swallowed it, the supplement travels to your stomach and then your small intestine, where digestion is completed.
Meanwhile, pill-form vitamins only start the digestion process when they reach your stomach. Find out more about the differences between gummy supplements and non-chewables with our guide on chewable vitamins vs. pills.
To maximize absorption in your body, we’ve enveloped our vitamin supplements at Llama Naturals with a proprietary plant-based enteric coating (don’t worry, it doesn’t affect the fruity taste). It keeps the vitamin stable until it arrives at your stomach, where absorption is at its most potent.
Are Gummy Vitamins Effective at All? 3 Factors to Note
So, are gummy vitamins effective? Well, it depends. Perhaps you’ve heard that some gummy vitamins are nothing more than sugar-filled candy with little nutritional value to their name. And you may be right.
But that’s not the whole story. There are clean alternatives (read: no added sugars) so that you can have your gummy vitamin and eat it with peace of mind. Here’s what to look for when choosing gummy vitamins.
The Amount of Sugar Matters
The average gummy vitamin typically contains more grams of sugar than a pill vitamin — roughly 2-8 grams of sugar per serving. No wonder the former tastes like candy!
Downing a gummy vitamin (or more) every day quickly adds up in terms of sugar content, especially for kids. Research has shown that young children are consuming added sugar in alarming quantities.
Most worryingly, this unhealthy trend begins as early as infancy; almost all kids in the United States consume added sugars before they turn two. In fact, toddlers eat nearly 25 grams of sugar every day; the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that toddlers avoid added sugars completely.
And the repercussions are worrisome, to say the least. A 2019 oral health survey found that by the age of five, children have a 25% chance of tooth decay. In addition, many long-term studies link sugar to a risk of health issues later in life, including diabetes and obesity.
But what about sugar-free supplements? The thing is, manufacturers may include other sugar substitutes, like sugar alcohols, which can set tooth decay in motion.
That's probably not what you want to hear, especially if you're giving said supplement to your kid. There’s a silver lining, though. Not all gummy vitamins are plagued with unwanted sweeteners.
Cue Llama Naturals' gummy supplements that are free of added sugars and sweeteners. Rest assured that our gummy multivitamins are effective enough to meet your daily nutrient intake without giving you (or your child) a sugar rush. And because they’re made with whole fruit, they don’t stick to your teeth as much.
The Amount of Beneficial Ingredients vs. Bad-for-You Ingredients
When solving the mystery of "are gummy vitamins effective?", take note of the amount of beneficial ingredients vs. bad-for-you ingredients.
- Beneficial ingredients: Active ingredients like calcium and vitamin D in bone-health supplements are prime examples of beneficial ingredients in a vitamin gummy. So is vitamin C in a chewable that bestows health benefits on your immune system. Of course, there are wholesome non-active ingredients, too. Case in point: apple pectin, a type of soluble fiber, is often used as a gelling agent in supplements.
- Bad-for-you ingredients: These icky substances can be either active or non-active. For instance, many sugar-packed gummy vitamins are generous on sweeteners like glucose to make them more palatable to your taste buds. As an aside, gelling agents like gelatin from pigs or cows may not necessarily be bad for you. But they aren’t a good match for those on a vegan or vegetarian diet either.
The Amount of Vitamins Makes a Difference
Another thing to be on the lookout for is the amount of vitamins in your gummy supplement.
Compared to traditional vitamins like pills and capsules, some gummy vitamins generally contain a higher concentration of non-active ingredients. This means they have a smaller amount of nutrients. In this case, such gummy vitamins may not be all that effective in helping you meet your daily nutrient intake.
On the flip side, certain gummy supplements may possess a higher amount of vitamins than what's printed on the label. The reason for this is to prolong the typically short shelf life of chewable vitamins — they tend to degrade faster than traditional ones. As the potency of the gummy vitamin wanes, its higher-than-listed concentrations ensure you still get the minimal health benefits of the product over time.
Of course, not all gummy vitamins face this issue. For instance, Llama Naturals' supplements are free of pesky fillers, such as artificial sweeteners, artificial colors and flavors, as well as gluten and other allergens. We also don't add large amounts of vitamin overages in our gummy vitamins.
Instead, what you see on the product label is exactly what you get. In llama-speak, that means natural vitamins from real fruits and veggies.
Are Gummy Vitamins Effective for Everyone?
Perhaps you're a vegetarian on the lookout for a tasty vitamin E supplement. Or maybe you're a pregnant woman who eats a balanced diet but could do with a boost of nutrients for your growing bump. But are gummy vitamins effective for everyone?
Once again, it depends. The truth is, there's more than meets the eye. Sure, anyone can eat a gummy supplement. But there are some things you may need to consider first.
- Are you a diabetic? As you know by now, gummy vitamins usually rank higher on the sugar meter than the traditional ones. While diabetics can take gummy supplements, you need to scrutinize the product information carefully for its sugar content.
- Are you a vegan? Many vitamin gummies are made with gelatin. If you recall, this substance comes from animal sources, like pigs or cows. If you're a vegan, this is definitely something to keep in mind. Fortunately, there are brands like Llama Naturals that use plant-based gelling agents such as apple pectin.
- Do you have any food sensitivities or allergens? Certain vitamin supplements contain ingredients like gluten and nuts that people with digestive issues or food allergens may not react well to. With Llama Naturals, this is something you never have to worry about. Our organic vitamin supplements are free of gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, soy, dairy, shellfish, and wheat.
Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements differently than food and drugs, do your research to check that the brand you’re buying from is trustworthy. Don't forget to read the product label carefully to see if it suits your dietary needs or not.
The One Gummy Vitamin Brand That’s Definitely Effective
In general, the answer to "are gummy vitamins effective?" depends on various factors like the product formulation and how the ingredients are sourced and used.
As long as you pick a brand that doesn't go overboard on the sugar levels and accurately reports its nutritional composition, you're likely in safe hands. Whether you're a kid or an adult, you're sure to find a gummy vitamin that's effective for you at Llama Naturals.Llama Naturals is a plant-based nutrition brand that has created the World's First Whole Fruit Gummy Vitamins that are made with no added sugar and whole-food vitamins. They are USDA Organic, Vegan, Gluten-Free, free of common allergens, and are slow-cooked on low heat to retain rich phytonutrients & fruit flavor. It’s a win-win gummy vitamin that the whole family will love.