If you know me, you probably know that I swear by my supplements. I love to read and talk about vitamins and minerals. “What’s new? Why take it? Will it help my workout? Will it keep me from getting a cold? Will it help my wrinkles?”
But somehow I missed seeing the coming of the gummy vitamin craze. I didn’t know that there were so many brands and varieties of them. Would you be surprised to know that almost 10% of the vitamins taken are in gummy form? You can find them in multis, B12, D3, fiber supplements, etc. etc. etc. You can even find your fish oil in gummy form. (To me, those two things just don’t go together.)
My first thought when I started seeing the gummies was, “How much sugar’s in those things”? They average about 1 gr. of sugar per gummy. (one tsp. of sugar is 4.2 gr.) If you are taking a multi the common dosage is 2 gummies, which is 2 – 3gr. of sugar. (Look at the ingredient list. Typically the first two or three ingredients listed are some form of sugar.) You may not think that sounds like much but it adds up over time.
The composition of the gummy vitamin does not allow enough room for the full spectrum of vitamins that are typically contained in a multi. It also doesn’t allow enough of each vitamin it does contain to be put into the gummy. A common scenario would be, you take your multi but don’t think you’re getting enough B12 or D3. You decide to add those to your supplement regimen. (There’s another 4 gr. of sugar.) You think you need extra fiber so you add two fiber gummies. (There’s another 2 gr.) Now you’re up to 8 or 10 grams of added sugar before you even eat or drink anything. If you’re a woman and you’re limiting your added sugar to 24 grams per day or approx. 6 tsps., what the American Heart Association recommends, then you don’t have much more sugar that you can eat that day.
Another concern about gummies is they will be treated as candy. They taste so good that kids and adults just eat too many. The fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K can be bad for you if you take too much. They are not “washed out” of your system as quickly as water-soluble vitamins such as C are. So decide on the dosage that you should take and don’t take any more, no matter how good they taste.
Yikes! There is also the fact that most of the gummies contain gelatin. (something has to be added to make them hold their shape.) Gelatin sticks to your teeth and stays there. If you or your child aren’t/isn’t brushing your teeth after you take your vitamins then there is an increased chance of tooth decay.
OK, if this has caused you to rethink your gummy consumption then, “What do I do now?” A great place to start is by having a conversation with Dr. Bruce. Find out what supplements you should be taking, how much and when.
(If your sticking point about vitamins and minerals is that you can’t swallow them, there are most likely some Standard Process supplements you can take. Many of those are chewable or in capsule form that can be opened and poured into your smoothie.)
Here’s to good health in 2017. – Lisa