Gummy products, from vitamins to medications, account for a small portion of the $41 billion market for supplements in the U.S. Since 2015, it has increased by 25 percent as more consumers embrace the chewy candy-tasting gummies. However, many debate the efficacy of vitamins hidden in the chewy gel.
As with any type of supplement pros and cons exist. At least the gummy vitamins are being consumed, meaning more people are accessing and taking vitamins, which benefit overall health. Conversely, there are concerns that placing medication or vitamins inside of a gummy, which looks like a candy, is a good idea, especially when children are concerned.
Gummy Vitamin Concerns
Gummy vitamins are made primarily of gelatin and sugar, which is the main cause for concern. How can a vitamin help your health if it’s loaded with something unhealthy? Since less than 10 percent of your diet should include sugar, your overall sugar count must now include the sugar (about four grams worth) from the gummies. If you are trying to watch your sugar intake, you might not want to take gummy vitamins.
Researchers also point out not everyone really needs to take vitamin supplements. It is possible, and preferable, to get your vitamins from food sources. Eating a balanced diet gives you the right amount of vitamins without taking a pill or gummy. However, if you fall short of the recommended daily allowance of certain foods containing calcium, magnesium, fiber or potassium, then you may need a supplement. Children especially need to get enough of these vitamins, as do the elderly. Often vegetarians or vegans can benefit from vitamins if they are not eating the proper plant-based foods to get these essential vitamins. Otherwise, there is no need to take vitamins at all.
Vitamins are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a food or drug. Because they are considered a dietary supplement, they must meet labeling and safety requirements, but they do not have to be approved before it can be sold. Many dietary supplements are introduced into the U.S. marketplace to consumers without notification to the FDA. The only way to know you are purchasing a “safe” gummy is to stick with the name brands, which have been on the market for a while.
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One of the prevailing concerns is children will view the gummy supplements as candy, and therefore are more likely to consume more than they should. If you opt to use gummy vitamins to ease the trouble of getting your child to take vitamins, then make sure to lock them up or place them out of reach of children to prevent overdose.
Additionally, because of the other ingredients in the gummy, manufacturers are not able to place as much of each vitamin and mineral as they can in a pill. Gummies also tend to cost more than pills. Consider the cost of a bottle of regular Centrum versus a bottle of gummies. Not only do you get more vitamin pills in the bottle, but in comparison you pay more for the gummies. Pills have a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals as well.
Some vitamins can interfere with other medications you take. Talk to your health care provider if you would like to take gummy vitamins to make sure the vitamins in the gummies are not going to cause your other medications to be less effective. For example, certain medications do not respond well when there is Vitamin C present, while others may not do well when there is the presence of Zinc.
Gummy Vitamin Benefits
Most consumers do not like taking pills. Whether it is the taste of the pill, keeping track of when and how they are taken, or even the cost, adults prefer to take as few pills as possible. This is why many advocates for gummy vitamins state the chewy supplement has much to offer its adult consumers. Aside from being easier to take than an ordinary vitamin pill, they taste better. Consider that adults who are 45 years of age or older take at least four different types of prescription drugs at least once a day, having one less pill to swallow is attractive.
Another benefit to vitamin gummies is they do not tend to give you medicine belly as vitamin pills do. This is because gummies are covered in gelatin which is easier for the body to break down and digest. If you have avoided taking vitamins because traditional pills make you ill, then a gummy might be the best option for you.
Gummy vitamins are a great alternative for those finding pill swallowing difficult. Because they can be chewed, and they are soft enough to be swallowed whole if you like, consumers who have difficulty swallowing pills can now get their vitamins without battling the large vitamin pill. For consumers who have avoided taking vitamins because they could not swallow large pills, a gummy vitamin is a great alternative.
As with regular vitamin capsules, gummy vitamins also come in various types. Gummy vitamins geared for a woman’s specific dietary needs, for children, men or the elderly are all on the market. Gummies also come in single vitamin types, such as an all calcium, or all Vitamin C version. Pregnant women who need to increase their intake of folic acid can find a gummy soothing to their stomachs as well as providing the necessary supplement. Those looking to improve hair, skin or nails can take a biotin gummy.
Adults, children and the elderly who may not otherwise consider taking a vitamin, do take gummy vitamins. In the end, if you don’t have a balanced diet, then some vitamins are better than none at all, even with increased sugar in the gummy. As far as efficacy, gummy vitamins work just as well as traditional vitamins experts state, though there may not be as much vitamins in a gummy as in a pill.
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