Gummy Vitamins Versus Pills: Which Is Better For Nutrition?

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health explains that vitamins and minerals are essential to the proper function of our bodies. While it is best to get them through eating nutritious foods, if we are unable to get enough, it might be necessary to take supplements.

Several different formulations of vitamin supplements exist, including tablets, capsules, powders, and gummies, says the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. There are many reasons that people might prefer one form over another, however. WebMD says that some people prefer gummy vitamins over traditional pill vitamins because they taste and smell better and aren't as difficult to swallow. Livestrong notes that factors like the number of vitamins and minerals contained in the supplement and its sugar content can also sway people in one direction or another.

While gummy vitamins might seem preferable to other forms of supplements due to their greater palatability and ease of swallowing, are they really the best option for you nutritionally? What criteria should you use in deciding between vitamins in pill or gummy form?

How do gummy vitamins and pills compare?

One thing to consider when comparing gummies to pills is shelf stability. The Cleveland Clinic says it can be hard to know how many vitamins and minerals you are really getting in gummies. They aren't as stable as pills, so manufacturers might put more vitamins and minerals in them to account for lost potency over time.

University Health News suggests that we also want to be cognizant of how gummy vitamins are sweetened. Although they taste better, they often contain up to 8 grams of sugar. With the American Heart Association recommending no more than 36 grams of added sugar per day for men and no more than 25 grams for women, gummies can account for a substantial portion of the recommendation. Also, even if you buy gummy vitamins sweetened with sugar alcohols, these may cause upset stomach or diarrhea.

Finally, be careful when giving gummy vitamins to children. Healthline cautions that children may eat too many, thinking they are candy. This can lead to a dangerous buildup of vitamins. University Health News also warns that the sugar in gummy vitamins can stick to children's teeth, contributing to tooth decay.

Despite these concerns, however, Livestrong notes that the best vitamin for you may be the one that you will actually take. If a person can't, or won't take vitamins in a pill, then a gummy vitamin may be better than nothing.