There’s no denying the popularity of gummy vitamins – they’re everywhere. Yet, are gummy vitamins effective in the same way as traditional vitamins? I always advocate that everyone take a multivitamin and typically the hardest part for people is getting into this daily habit. Chewable multivitamins such as gummies come in many shapes, flavors, and sizes. Some people prefer these flavorful gummy vitamins because they are easier to swallow, taste better, and don’t have a weird smell.  

One of the more popular gummy vitamins is a multivitamin. You can also find melatonin, ashwagandha, and many other herbs and nutrients in gummy form. They are designed to be more appealing and a better-tasting alternative to traditional vitamins. Yet, regarding benefits, gummy vitamins are nowhere near an even swap. 

I will answer the questions: are gummy vitamins effective, and what are the advantages of gummy vitamins? I will also tell you why you should stick with the traditional capsule or pill multivitamins. Let’s begin by talking about whether or not gummy vitamins even work.  

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Do Gummy Vitamins Work?

The supplement market is bursting with new gummy products every day.  You can find gummy melatonin, ashwagandha, and collagen, along with gummy vitamins. The short answer to whether or not any of these gummy products are effective is yes and no! 

While gummy vitamins do “work,” they are nowhere near the potency of traditional vitamins. The same goes for gummy versions of melatonin, ashwagandha, and collagen. There are two reasons why gummies lack the nutrient potency of traditional vitamins. 

First, gummy vitamins get manufactured using gelatin, corn starch, water, sugar, and added coloring and flavoring. This means you’re getting a lot of sugar or sugar substitutes and artificial chemicals which are toxic and can cause more harm than the potential good from the supplement.  It also leaves less room for the reason you’re taking a multivitamin to begin with – getting optimal nutrients and minerals. Gummy vitamins get produced under high heat, which activates the gelatin to make their fun shapes. During this heating process, many nutrients are decreased or depleted altogether. It’s just not the optimal process for producing a supplement with high quality ingredients.

Secondly, gummy vitamins have a shorter shelf life due to the additives and artificial flavorings used to make them. This means they could quickly lose much of their nutrient content. Independent Consumer Lab analyses found that gummy vitamins often don’t contain all the nutrients they claim on their label.1 Unless you’re getting your gummy vitamins fresh after they are manufactured this is likely the case.

Another disadvantage of gummy vitamins is they often do not contain minerals. Minerals, such as iron and magnesium, are harder to put in a gummy form due to their taste and composition. If they are in gummy form, most of the potency gets lost in the manufacturing process, they can not be added to their optimal levels, and what’s left is a metallic taste to the gummy. 

The bottom line is that gummy vitamins do not have the same potency as traditional vitamins that come in a capsule or pill form. Therefore, you’re not getting optimal amounts of the vitamins you need. However, there are some advantages to gummy vitamins.  

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Are There Advantages to Gummies?

The lack of essential nutrients in gummy vitamins is enough of a reason not to swap out your traditional vitamins for gummies. However, there are some pros to gummy vitamins. For one, they are convenient and easier to take, especially for children. Many children do not like pills or have a hard time taking them, and some adults have a hard time swallowing pills. 

Another advantage, especially for children, is that they taste good. However, this can also be a disadvantage because they could take too many. Young children view gummy vitamins as candy and may eat many of them if you aren’t watching them. Some vitamins, such as fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K, can be toxic in large amounts.2 Also they taste good because they contain sugar or sugar substitutes and artificial flavors which as I mentioned earlier are toxic and have the opposite effect you’re intending by giving your child the multivitamin in the first place.

The most significant advantage of gummy vitamins is their higher bioavailability than non-chewable ones, which means your body can absorb the vitamins more efficiently. However, the reason they are better absorbed is because they contain less vitamins and minerals than traditional vitamins or chewable ones. So, you’re not going to get optimal amounts from the gummy vitamin.

What are Optimal Amounts?

Nutrient insufficiencies are much more common than you’d think. In fact, studies show these insufficiencies affect about 40% of all American adults. Among the most common vitamin deficiencies are calcium, vitamin B6, iron, vitamin D, vitamin C, and vitamin B12. Nutrient deficiencies happen due to a poor diet full of inflammatory foods, processed sugars, leaky gut, or genetic mutations

Signs of a nutritional deficiency include: 

  • Cracked, sore mouth
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Bleeding gums
  • Poor vision at night
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss

To function, your body needs essential micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat). Micronutrients are nutrients required in small amounts, whereas macronutrients, such as protein, carbohydrates, and fats, are needed in larger quantities.

The gold standard for testing for nutrient deficiencies is a full panel nutrition blood test, which includes a Complete Blood Count (CBC) and a Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) test. Your doctor can order these nutrition tests. However, you can order at-home tests. If you want to test your nutrient levels at home, I recommend using a home micronutrient test from LetsGetChecked. 

While your results may say you have “normal” levels, you may not have optimal amounts of nutrients in your blood. Let’s look at the difference between optimal and normal. 

Optimal vs. Normal

Even if you read labels and believe you’re getting the appropriate nutrients each day, you could be wrong, especially if you’re using a gummy vitamin. That’s because the Food and Drug Administration allows a 20% margin of error on the nutrients reported on the nutrition facts panel, which could mean you’re only getting 80% when the label says 100%. 

Moreover, remember that gummy vitamins lose their potency during manufacturing and have a shorter shelf life. You’re likely not getting enough if you rely on gummy vitamins for your nutrient needs.  

Consider that the Recommended Daily Value for vitamin C is 65 to 90 milligrams per day. Eating one cup of broccoli will provide you with the recommended amount of vitamin C, according to the RDV. However, your body needs up to 2,000 mg of vitamin C to function optimally. Most gummy vitamins don’t even come close to this amount.  

This is why, in functional medicine, we use the Optimal Daily Intake (ODI), which is far more than the RDV and the amount you need for optimal health. The ODI establishes the amount of vitamins and minerals your body requires to function optimally.3 Here’s a look at the differences in the amounts recommended by the ODI and the RDV:

Nutrition Test – Are Your Vitamins Optimal – Infographic – Amy Myers MD®Nutrition Test - Are Your Vitamins Optimal - Infographic - Amy Myers MD® https://www.amymyersmd.com/article/are-gummy-vitamins-effective/Nutrition Test – Are Your Vitamins Optimal – Infographic – Amy Myers MD®

Multivitamins are the most popular gummy product on the market, especially for children. As I mentioned, children can view gummies as a sweet treat or candy. Not to mention, gummy vitamins include added sugar, artificial colorings, and flavors. The great news is there is an alternative to gummies for you and your children.  

A Better Alternative for Children

Being a mother, I understand the importance of setting your child up for optimal health. Children can be picky eaters with very sensitive palates, which isn’t the only challenge with relying on food alone to meet your child’s nutritional needs. 

We, nor our children, simply cannot get all the vitamins and minerals we need from our food, despite eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and lean protein. Modern agriculture methods have stripped our soil of nutrients, resulting in less nutritious fruits and vegetables.4

The challenge is that most children’s vitamins have fillers, additives, preservatives, dyes, and high-fructose corn syrup! This is especially true with gummy vitamins. I would never give these to my daughter, so I wouldn’t want to recommend them to anyone else.

Because I found it so difficult to find a good multivitamin for children that met all their specific needs and didn’t contain those fillers and preservatives, I decided to formulate my own. The Kid’s Multivitamin Chewable is what I recommend for all patients to give their children and what I give my daughter, Elle.

Each chewable tablet contains 23 essential vitamins and minerals, including micro-nutrients, to support a strong and healthy immune system. The B vitamins in this multivitamin are all pre-methylated, which is very important if your child has issues with methylation or has one or more MTHFR mutations.

Of course, Kid’s Multivitamin Chewable is free of allergens – no gluten corn or soy, and has no preservatives, additives or high-fructose corn syrup. Also, you’ll be happy to know, it’s been taste-tested by kids and they love it! Even your little picky eaters will enjoy the natural  mixed berry flavor.

Why Traditional Vitamins are More Effective

The bottom line is that gummy vitamins provide less nutritional value than traditional vitamins. However, the good news is traditional vitamins are readily available. A high-quality multivitamin is essential to optimal health, and it’s why The Myers Way® Multivitamin was the first supplement I formulated. 

Unlike gummy vitamins that lack minerals, The Myers Way® Multivitamin has optimal levels of selenium, zinc, and iodine to support thyroid health and contains 100% of the folate you need each day. And, of course, I don’t include any of the added sugars or colorings you might find in other multivitamins, especially gummy vitamins. 

I made sure to include optimal levels of B Vitamins that far exceed the USDA’s recommended daily value (RDV). I ensured these highly critical vitamins were methylated to ensure they were in the most bioavailable form to promote cardiovascular and neurological health. 

Finally, I included bioavailable Vitamin D3 in The Myers Way® Multivitamin, which is not only critical to support bone health, it can also promote a healthy immune system. 

Compare the supplement facts label of The Myers Way® Multivitamin with gummy vitamins, and you will see for yourself the higher levels of critical nutrients designed to support overall general wellness and detoxification. 

The Final Word

There’s no denying that gummy vitamins are a popular alternative to traditional vitamins in pill form. There are some advantages to taking gummy vitamins, yet none have anything to do with the potency of vitamin content or effectiveness. As I’ve mentioned a few times, everyone should take a multivitamin. Instead of turning to gummy vitamins, I recommend sticking with traditional vitamins to ensure you get optimal amounts of these essential nutrients. 

Article Sources

  1. Multivitamin and Multimineral Supplements Review. Tod Cooperman, MD. ConsumerLabs. 2022.
  2. The Fat-Soluble Vitamins: A, D, E, and K. Atli Arnarson, PhD. HealthLine. 2022.
  3. Nutrition and healthy eating. Mayo Clinic. 2021.
  4. Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 to 1999. Donald R Davis, et al. Journal of American College of Nutrition. 2004.