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Do gummy vitamins work: the bittersweet truth about multivitamin gummies


Gummy supplements are a popular form of chewable dietary supplements that are often marketed as a more flavourful, fun and appetising option than traditional supplement taking. They have become increasingly popular in recent years, with the global market for these chewable vitamins estimated to be worth 9,43 billion dollars[1]. So, do gummy vitamins work? They are marketed as a convenient and tasty way to get the nutrients you need, with claims that they can improve your sleep, mood, digestion, and overall health. Although bursting in popularity, the truth behind gummy supplements is more sour than sweet.

Gummy supplements with a lot of sugar and spice

Gummy supplements are typically composed of gelatin, cornstarch, water, sugar, and added colourings, and are often infused with popular flavours like lemon, raspberry, cherry, and orange. Are gummy vitamins healthy? One of the main drawbacks of gummy supplements is that they are often high in sugar, making them one of the unhealthiest supplements on the market. The sugar content in gummy supplements is what gives them their flavour and makes them more pleasant-tasting than traditional pills or capsules. However, this also means that they can be unhealthy, especially for people who are trying to limit their sugar intake. Sugar can contribute to weight gain, tooth decay, and other health problems[2]. According to UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) Health Department, some gummy supplements contain as much as 8 grams of sugar per serving, which is equivalent to about two teaspoons of sugar[3]. This is a significant amount of sugar, especially when you consider that the NHS recommends adults should have a maximum of 30g of sugar a day[4]. For a healthier option opt for tablets and capsules that use as little additives as possible. 

Chewable vitamins: are gummies better than tablets?

Another drawback of gummy supplements is that tablets and capsules are usually more effective compared to gummy vitamins. This is because gummy supplements are often made with lower-quality ingredients and lack precision when it comes to dosing. So, are gummy vitamins effective? According to a study by Consumer Lab, a third-party investigative laboratory, there have been dosing inconsistencies in four out of five gummy products[5]. They contained more or less than their listed amounts of ingredients. This means that you usually get too little or too much of the supplement you buy. In addition, the absorption of gummy supplements in your body is weaker compared to tablets and capsules[6]. This is because the gelatin in gummy supplements can interfere with the absorption of the supplement. This can be problematic as the body only absorbs a small amount of nutrients, maintaining nutrient deficiency despite supplementation. Best-quality vitamins in the form of a tablet or capsule are a far more efficient option.

Multivitamin gummies through time

Another drawback of gummy supplements is that they have a short shelf life and can degrade quickly because of what they’re made of and how they’re stored. Gummy supplements are made with gelatin, meaning they can break down over time and lose their texture and flavour which was shown in an Icelandic study[7]. In addition, gummy supplements are often packaged in clear containers, which can expose them to light and air, further accelerating their degradation. The results of the same study also highlighted that when stored in a plastic container at ambient temperature, the active ingredient, in this case, a vitamin, loses its effect over time[7]. This can happen instantly or in a few weeks - in any case, it happens way sooner than the stated expiration date on the packaging. To ensure that you are getting a high-quality supplement, it is important to buy one with a longer expiration date such as tablets and capsules, and store the supplement in a cool, dry place away from light and moisture. Another indication that the supplement is of high quality is that it has been SGS inspected and approved. That ensures that products, processes, systems and services comply with national and international standards and regulations. 

The safety and quality of gummy vitamins

FDA or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s job is to approve over-the-counter drugs[8]. A drug is approved by the FDA if it’s determined to provide benefits that outweigh its known and potential risks for the intended population[8]. FDA is yet to approve vitamin gummies for effectiveness and safety. That means that the regulation of gummy vitamins falls into the hands of the manufacturer itself. That poses the question of whether the supplement is safe to consume and if the ingredients listed on the label are accurate. In addition, manufacturers supervise the manufacturing process by themselves, which means that there is a higher risk of contamination or other quality issues. Only opt for supplements that manufacture their products in an FDA-registered facility and have a GMP quality certification. 

The hoax of sugary multivitamins


Finally, it’s important to be aware that some companies that make gummy vitamins try to draw you in by offering you a personalised multivitamin gummy. Some gummy supplement manufacturers market their products as personalised supplement solutions that are tailored to your specific health needs. However, multivitamins are often generic and usually steer away from taking into account your individual health history or needs. Usually, multivitamins pose a risk of overconsuming certain vitamins while still being deficient in others[9]. In other words, what you get in a gummy is probably what every other person does as well. Opt for high-quality supplements even if that means you’ll need to pop two capsules in the morning instead of just one.

While gummy supplements could one-day bridge nutritional gaps and address nutrient deficiencies, there’s still a long way to go before multivitamin gummies could become as safe and efficient as high-quality tablet and capsule supplements. With the truth about gummy supplements revealed,- it begs the question where can you get supplements that focus on purity, potency & efficacy ? Introducing brain feed's range of brain health supplements. These natural, isolated nutrients , work off a single dose. Learn more about these natural nootropics here. 


[1] Gummy Supplements Market Size & Share Analysis - Growth Trends & Forecasts (2023 - 2028) (2023). Mordor Intelligence.

[2] Haque, M., McKimm, J., Sartelli, M., Samad, N., Haque, S. Z., & Bakar, M. A. (2020). A narrative review of the effects of sugar-sweetened beverages on human health: A key global health issue. Journal of Population Therapeutics & Clinical Pharmacology, 27(1), e76–e103. 

[3] Should you take gummy vitamins? (2022). UCLA Health.,36%20grams%20for%20men%20daily.

[4] NHS (2023). Sugar: the facts. NHS.,day%20(5%20sugar%20cubes).

[5] Multivitamin and Multimineral Supplements Review (2023). Consumer Lab.

[6] Yan, B., Davachi, S. M., Ravanfar, R., Dadmohammadi, Y., Deisenroth, T. W., Pho, T. V., Odorisio, P. A., Darji, R. H., & Abbaspourrad, A. (2021). Improvement of vitamin C stability in vitamin gummies by encapsulation in casein gel. Food Hydrocolloids, 113, 106414. 

[7] Grétarsdóttir, K. G. (2019). Development of vitamin D gummy supplements and their shelf-life [Master Thesis, University of Iceland, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition].

[8] Fischer, K. (2022). What Is the FDA? WebMD.

[9] Potter, L. (2023). Let’s chew it over: a look at gummy supplements. The Guardian.

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