Over the past few years, the vitamin industry has gained massive popularity due to the common belief that they can improve health and prevent disease.
The most common type of vitamins out there is gummy vitamins, which especially appeal to children.
However, more adults are buying these tasty and chewable vitamins to avoid taking pills.
In this article, we will cover the basic composition of gummy vitamins, the possible side effects of consuming large quantities, and the major warning signs to stop taking these supplements.
Information about gummy vitamins
Gummy vitamins have similar taste and texture to conventional gummy candies. Add to that the high concentration of different vitamins and the wide diversity of flavors, colors, and shapes, and you can understand why this form is leading the supplement industry.
The main ingredients of gummy vitamins include:
- Corn starch
- Added colorings
Benefits of gummy vitamins
Of course, these gummies may be very beneficial for certain patients with known vitamin deficiencies since they include various vitamins, such as vitamins A, B, and D.
Unfortunately, most of the products sold in the market do not meet the nutritional values mentioned on their labels.
The reason behind this is that vitamins and supplements are not strictly regulated like the pharmaceutical industry.
For instance, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no control over these products, hence the increasing rates of scammers and misleading advertisements.
In a 2017 report, experts stated that over 80% of gummy vitamins are not compatible with their labels.
Flavorful and tasty
While several scientific papers confirmed that individuals who follow a well-balanced diet do not need to take dietary supplements, there are still some people out there with moderate to severe deficiencies.
Some of these patients hate taking pills to replenish their vitamin storage, which may result in low therapeutic compliance, further exacerbating their condition.
By offering these individuals a variety of choices to pick from (different tastes, shapes, and forms), it is more likely that they would take these gummies.
Unfortunately, this benefit is invalid if the product they’re consuming falls In the 80% category we cited above.
Side effects of taking too many gummy vitamins
Now that we covered the main benefits of gummy vitamins, let’s see their adverse effects when consumed inadequately:
High carbohydrate content
Ironically, the appealing side of gummy vitamins –their taste– can lead to some serious adverse effects.
You see, these gummies are loaded in added sugars, which is partially why manufacturers cannot adhere to the labeled amount of vitamins (taste comes first!).
For instance, one popular multivitamin gummy that’s sold for children contains 3 grams of sugar and 15 calories. These numbers are per gummy!
As you can probably deduce, the calories can easily build-up, leading to obesity, which is a major risk factor for debilitating conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
In fact, the American Heart Association advises against taking more than 25 grams of carbohydrates for children, which can effortlessly be exceeded with the three meals and a couple of gummies.
As we mentioned earlier, the toothsome and chewable texture of these gummies can make people overconsume them.
In the last side effect, we addressed how this feature may cause obesity and other health conditions. However, you should also keep in mind that excessive amounts of gummies can lead to vitamin and mineral toxicity.
This is especially true for lipid-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) that can be stored in adipocytes (fat cells) for a long time.
One study reported vitamin A toxicity in 3 cases after consuming vitamin gummies by children.
Due to increased complaints about the amount of added sugar to gummy vitamins, companies adopted a new strategy by adding alcohol sugar and labeling the supplement “sugar-free”.
Sadly, this created another issue since consuming too much alcohol sugar causes a myriad of digestive problems, including diarrhea, bloating, nausea, and vomiting.
To complete the list of side effects, some conflicting studies found that added colorings are linked to several behavioral abnormalities, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
When should you stop taking gummy vitamins?
There are several downsides to consuming gummy vitamins; however, if you buy these supplements from reputable brands that follow appropriate manufacturing guidelines and take them rationally, they may be beneficial.
Nevertheless, if you experience any digestive trouble, start to gain weight, or feel like you’re taking too many gummies per day, it might be time to stop taking them.
Obviously, if you stick to a healthy, balanced diet, you will not require any vitamins or minerals.
Gummy vitamins may help replenish the vitamins of deficient individuals, but they should be consumed with caution.
Hopefully, you have a better understanding of these supplements, and you’ll be more careful from now on.