Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — Gummy Vitamins

Dear Dr. Walt,

A friend told me he heard that “gummy vitamins” are not recommended. He said there are some sort of concerns about them. What would he be worried about? I kinda like the taste of them myself.

—Gummy in Iowa 

Dear Chewy,

Long-time readers of this column know that in the U.S., “natural medications,” that is herbs, vitamins, and supplements, are virtually unregulated. As a result, health professionals and consumers depend on independent testing labs such as USP or ConsumerLab.com to assess these products.

Tests by ConsumerLab.com have found that some gummy supplements — particularly gummy multivitamins — do not contain their listed amounts of vitamins or minerals, while others contain impurities. They write, “We continue to find more problems with candy-like vitamins like gummies than with traditional forms, such as tablets and caplets,” adding, “Gummies are notoriously difficult to manufacture.” Yet, they report, “Some companies seem to do a better job making gummy vitamins than others,” and they list the products that pass quality testing on their subscription-based website.

A benefit of gummies is that they may be easier to take than pills and more palatable than liquids for children and older adults. Also, since they are chewable, there is not the risk that the gummies won’t properly break apart, as there is with some tablets. But a risk with any candy-like supplement, particularly for children, is that too many will be consumed, potentially resulting in toxicity.

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2019. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.
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