Gummy Vitamins vs. Traditional Vitamins: A Guide

Apr 29, 2022 Vitamins & Supplements

Gummy Vitamins vs. Traditional Vitamins: A Guide

Quick Health Scoop

  • Many people experiencing “pill fatigue” turn to gummy vitamins.
  • Gummy vitamins are tasty and easy to take chew.
  • A gummy supplement comes with both pros and cons compared to a traditional vitamin.
  • Vitamin gummies provide a great alternative for many people, including people who suffer from pill fatigue have difficulty swallowing pills, or who forget to take their vitamin

With so many supplements on the market these days, you might already take a variety of them, from multivitamins to specific nutrients to cover nutritional gaps (such as Vitamin D deficiency). If you’re pregnant, you might take Folic Acid or a Prenatal Vitamin. Worried about heart health? You might turn to Fish Oil supplements. To help support a healthy immune system, take Vitamin C and a zinc tablet.

The problem for some people, though, is “pill fatigue.”  While vitamins aren’t pills per se, they’re taken the same way—with water. Taking multiple supplements a day (while all in the name of good health) can get tiresome if they all require a glass of water to wash them down. And some people find it hard to swallow  vitamins. You might already take daily prescription medications. These traditional pills—in addition to vitamin supplements—can intensify that feeling of “pill fatigue.”

Whatever the reason, you might be thinking about switching out your traditional vitamins for chewable vitamins like gummies.  So, what’s the appeal of gummies? Well, gummy vitamins are easier to take and they taste good and because they taste good you might just “remember” to take your vitamins more regularly.

But do gummy vitamins work? And are gummy vitamins as effective as traditional tablet or softgel vitamins? Read on to learn more about gummy vitamins and traditional vitamins.

Learn More: What Are Prenatal Vitamins?

Are Gummy Vitamins Good For You?

Absolutely! Gummy vitamins pack in essential vitamins and minerals your body needs for optimal health.

As a quick refresher, your body requires 13 essential vitamins (including all the B vitamins) and at least 15 minerals essential to your health, including the following [1]

Essential vitamins:

  1. Vitamin A
  2. Vitamin B1: Thiamin
  3. Vitamin B2: Riboflavin
  4. Vitamin B3: Niacin
  5. Vitamin B5: Pantothenic acid
  6. Vitamin B6: Pyridoxal/pyridoxine
  7. Vitamin B7: Biotin
  8. Vitamin B9: Folate/folic acid
  9. Vitamin B12: Cobalamin
  10. Vitamin C
  11. Vitamin D
  12. Vitamin E
  13. Vitamin K

Essential Minerals (Major and Trace Minerals):

  1. Calcium
  2. Chloride
  3. Cobalt
  4. Copper
  5. Chromium
  6. Fluoride
  7. Iodine
  8. Iron
  9. Magnesium
  10. Manganese
  11. Molybdenum
  12. Phosphorus
  13. Potassium
  14. Selenium
  15. Sodium
  16. Sulfur
  17. Zinc

Your body needs these vital nutrients for a variety of functions ranging from growth and development to immunity and reproduction. These key vitamins and minerals help build strong bones and teeth, maintain healthy vision, convert food into energy, provide antioxidant benefits, regulate bodily processes, support your immune system, maintain healthy muscles, and provide many other health benefits. [2]

But are all these essential nutrients in a gummy? Let’s take a deeper look.

Do Gummy Vitamins Work As Well As Traditional Vitamins?

If you’re wondering whether gummy vitamins do their job, it’s a definite “yes.” Just like traditional vitamins, gummy vitamins (as well as chewable tablets) can provide a variety of the essential vitamins and minerals listed above.

In fact, research shows both a gummy vitamin and a traditional vitamin  (such as a tablet or softgel) are absorbed equally into the bloodstream (i.e., their bioavailability) if they both contain the same amount of a vitamin or mineral. [3,4]

However, while gummy vitamins are as effective as traditional vitamins in delivering key nutrients, they do pose some disadvantages. It’s sometimes harder for manufacturers to pack as many nutrients into gummies. Why? Because certain minerals contain larger molecules and simply take up more space! Plus, the metallic taste of minerals can sometimes change the taste of vitamin and mineral gummies.

When you choose any dietary supplement, you should always do your homework. The same holds true for adult gummy vitamins. Read the label to see what ingredients the gummy contains. Review the information to see how much of each nutrient the gummy provides. Make sure you understand the recommended dosages and how to take the product. For example, you might take just one traditional multivitamin a day. But gummy multivitamins might require taking two gummies a day.

When it comes to ingredients, turn to a brand that you trust. For instance, Nature Made gummies use only natural fruit flavors and colors, not artificial flavors or synthetic dyes. Nature Made also uses no high fructose corn syrup. Gummies typically contain around 4g of added sugar per serving, check the label for the amount of sugar per serving contained in the product you are taking.

Keep in mind that your nutritional needs change throughout your life. If you’re not sure which nutrients (and how much) you should strive to get from a balanced, healthy diet, review the most current nutrition guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Once you know what nutrients you might not get enough of in your diet (such as Vitamin D, Calcium or Omega-3s), then you’ll have a better idea what to look for in a gummy.

How To Choose Between Gummy Vitamins And Traditional Vitamins

Although originally designed for kids, gummy vitamins appeal to adults, too. Why? Because they taste good and are easy to chew Plus, if you struggle when swallowing pills, it might be difficult to take a traditional vitamin. Multivitamins, in particular, are often large tablets, capsules, or softgels. Finally, if you often forget to take your vitamins, chewing on a tasty gummy might make it easier to add to your daily routine. If you actually enjoy taking your vitamin, you’re more likely to do so on a consistent basis.

Then there’s that issue of “pill fatigue.” If you take multiple dietary supplements, you might be tired of washing down several vitamins with a glass of water every day. And if you’ve got a chronic health condition that requires prescription medications, you might be tired of taking pills every day in addition to vitamin supplements. Gummies might be a great solution.

Still not sure which supplement form is right for you? You can check out this detailed comparison chart of gummy vitamins versus traditional vitamins. But here’s a quick pro/con overview.

PROS of taking gummy vitamins:

  • They’re tasty and come in a variety of flavors.
  • They’re convenient—no water needed.
  • They’re enjoyable to take, making them a good choice who struggle to swallow tablet
  • They help fill in nutritional gaps if you don’t eat a balanced diet.
  • They help establish the “vitamin” 

CONS taking gummy vitamins:

  • They contain additional ingredients, notably sugar.
  • They might not contain as many nutrient
  • They may not contain minerals you need.
  • They’re less shelf-stable and may have a shorter shelf life.

Bottom Line

If you take multiple supplements every day and/or take prescription medications, you might suffer from “pill fatigue.” That makes vitamins in gummy form an appealing alternative. Why? Gummies are tasty and easy to taket compared to traditional vitamins such as softgels or tablets. However, gummy vitamins come with both pros and cons compared to traditional vitamins. Gummies may not contain as many vitamins and minerals, and they contain some sugar to make them taste good. Read the supplement’s ingredient label to know what’s inside! Gummies provide a great option for many people, including people who suffer from pill fatigue, have difficulty swallowing pills, or forget to take their vitamins.

Learn More:
Vitamin C For Immune System
Vitamin D Source

Continue to check back on the Nature Made blog for the latest science-backed articles to help you take ownership of your health.


† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


References

  1. Pharmacy Times. “Vitamins and Minerals Explained.” June 22, 2015. Accessed on: April 1, 2022. https://www.pharmacytimes.com/view/vitamins-and-minerals-explained
  1. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. “Vitamins and Minerals.” April 1, 2022. Accessed on: April 1, 2022. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/vitamins-and-minerals
  2. “Vitamins and Minerals: Are You Getting What You Need?” Adapted from Making Sense of Vitamins and Minerals, a special health report published by Harvard Health Publishing. 2019. Accessed on: April 1, 2022. https://www.helpguide.org/harvard/vitamins-and-minerals.htm
  3. Nutrient “Bioequivalence Studies of Vitamin D Gummies and Tablets in Healthy Adults: Results of a Cross-Over Study.” May 2019. Accessed on: April 5, 2022. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6566230/
  4. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. “Vitamin C Bioequivalence from Gummy and Caplet Sources in Healthy Adults: A Randomized-Controlled Trial.” July 2020. Accessed on: April 5, 2022. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31747355/
  5. Cleveland Clinic. “Get Nauseous After Taking Vitamins? 6 Tips to Make Them Easier to Stomach.” May 21, 2019. Accessed on: April 5, 2022. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/get-nauseous-after-taking-vitamins-6-tips-to-make-them-easier-to-stomach

Authors

Lisa Beach

NatureMade Contributor

Lisa Beach is a seasoned journalist whose work has been published in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Eating Well, Parents, AARP’s Disrupt Aging, Optimum Wellness, and dozens more. She also writes for a variety of health/wellness-focused brands. Check out her writer’s website at www.LisaBeachWrites.com.

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Melissa Dorval Pine, RD

Science and Health Educator

Melissa is a registered dietitian (RD) and works in our Medical and Scientific Communications department as a Science and Health Educator. She has worked for Pharmavite for over 20 years educating consumers, healthcare practitioners, retailers and employees about nutrition, dietary supplements and overall wellness. Prior to joining the Medical and Scientific Communications team, Melissa launched and managed Pharmavite’s Consumer Relations department. Melissa received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Science, from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, and completed her dietetic internship at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in East Orange New Jersey.

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