Do Gummy Vitamins Really Work?

Health and wellness is currently a trillion-dollar industry (via Global Wellness Institute) and the global dietary supplements market alone is currently valued at 163.1 billion dollars with an expected increase of 6.5 percent over the next six years (via BusinessWire). With options like capsules, chewables, drops, and gummies, fulfilling the different ways people can take their supplements adds to the market by satisfying all populations. Unfortunately, some of these vitamins may not be the best way to get in your daily dose of nutrients.

According to Time, gummy vitamins are not as effective or nutritious as they claim to be. President of Consumer Lab, Dr. Tod Cooperman, says even though they are popular, gummy vitamins are harder to make than other supplements and "many companies seem to have trouble controlling the amounts of ingredients in each gummy." He goes on to explain that some gummies, due to an unstable shelf life, are made with added nutrients to ensure potency over time, and in this case, more vitamins are not necessarily a good thing. Excessive mineral and vitamin intake has been linked to health issues (via European Food Safety Authority). 

The controversial gummy vitamin ingredient

Alternately, according to Healthline, research has found that nearly 80 percent of gummy vitamins do not contain the number of vitamins and minerals that are listed on their labels and they actually have fewer nutrients than you may think. What gummy supplements may be lacking in nutrients, they make up for in added ingredients — like sugar. Shockingly, a well-known brand of children's gummy multivitamins has 3 grams of sugar per gummy, with three types of added sugars in the ingredients. This is concerning because according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, less than 10 percent of your calories each day should come from added sugars.

Dr. Mark Moyad, Director of Preventive and Alternative Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center, states, "It's like eating Halloween candy 365 days a year." Moyad advises getting essential vitamins and minerals from whole foods, rather than supplements containing sugars, as one way to avoid obesity. Diets high in sugar can lead to high blood pressure, fatty liver, and heart disease, making the choice between sugary gummy bears and a powder or capsule all that much easier.