Adding a vitamin supplement to your daily regimen can be healthy way to increase your intake of vitamins and minerals. However, not all vitamin supplements are created equal. Gummy vitamins were originally designed to appeal to children. Their sweet taste and bright color quickly became a hit with kids and adults alike, leading to the now popular adult gummy vitamins. Although these supplements do contain vitamins and minerals, there are several reasons why you should think twice before purchasing them.
Most gummy vitamins on the market today contain around one to two grams of sugar per gummy. While that might not seem like a large amount, four grams of sugar equals one teaspoon. By taking a daily gummy vitamin supplement, you could potentially be ingesting an extra teaspoon of added sugar per day. It is recommended that added sugar intake be kept to a minimum especially in children. Added sugar has been linked to weight gain, diabetes, dental cavities, diabetes, heart disease and many other health conditions.1 The sweet taste of gummy vitamins also creates a temptation to consume too many. Ingesting an excessive amount of vitamins and minerals can be harmful to your health.
While many women’s gummy vitamins are advertised as a way to improve the health of hair, skin, and nails, they may be doing the exact opposite. A diet high in added sugars takes a toll on skin health. One consequence of added sugar is the harmful effects of glycation on the skin. Glycation is a process in which sugars in the bloodstream attach to proteins. This forms molecules called advanced glycation end products. Collagen and elastin, which are proteins that keep your skin looking young and full, are especially vulnerable to the process of glycation. A diet high in added sugar leads to elevated amounts of advanced glycation end products that damage these delicate proteins, causing the skin to age prematurely.2 Sugar also creates inflammation in the body, which can lead to thinning hair and unhealthy nails.
Aside from high amounts of added sugar, gummy vitamins often contain artificial colorings, flavorings, and preservatives. These ingredients can potentially cause allergic reactions in individuals who are sensitive to additives. Food dyes in particular have been studied for their potential link to hyperactivity in children and allergic reactions. Just like candy, gummy vitamins contain fillers, stabilizers, and preservatives in order to remain shelf stable. These potentially harmful artificial ingredients are another reason to avoid highly processed gummy vitamins.
While gummy vitamins may seem like a delicious and convenient way to improve your diet, they may do more harm than good.