What to Know About Gummy Vitamins

Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on October 25, 2021

Chewable multivitamins come in many shapes, flavors, and sizes. Their makers claim that they offer health benefits while making the supplement experience better for children and adults alike. Gummy vitamins are marketed to fit every nutritional need.

Research has found that, if you stick to a healthy and balanced diet, you don’t need a daily multivitamin. But if you have a hard time eating a variety of foods, if you have dietary restrictions, or if you have trouble absorbing some nutrients, a multivitamin might be a good idea.

Some people prefer gummy vitamins over pills because they’re easier to swallow, taste better, and don’t have an unusual smell. They may make you more likely to take vitamins regularly.

As convenient as they may be, gummy vitamins have several disadvantages. They owe their flavor to sugar, erythritol, mannitol, isomalt, and other sweeteners. Some manufacturers market their gummy vitamins as sugar-free, having replaced this sweetener with citric acid. But in most cases, the citric acid in the gummies is equally harmful because it wears down the enamel that guards your teeth.

Refined sugars can be bad for your health. When you eat a lot of them, they may lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, tooth decay, and other long-term (chronic) conditions.

Studies suggest that refined sugar might raise your chances of liver disease and some types of cancer. Sugar intake in high amounts also has ties to depression.

Sugar alcohols, which are natural sugar substitutes that come from fruits and berries, are commonly found in vitamin gummies and may cause digestive issues like nausea, bloating, and diarrhea.

Gummy vitamins are often loaded with artificial food dyes, fillers, and other things to give them an appealing texture.

It’s important to take only the recommended amount of gummy vitamins. If you take too many at one time, you may have a vitamin overdose. Symptoms of vitamin toxicity can include:

  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Digestive problems
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Nerve damage

Talk to your doctor right away if you notice any of these problems.

The FDA does not review vitamin and supplement products before they reach the market. So they aren't regulated, and their health benefit claims may be false.

Research has found that most gummy vitamins don't seem to have the components they claim to contain. There's little proof that they can compete with traditional supplements in terms of nutrition. Gummies might also be made unevenly, so you get too much or not enough of the vitamin.

The human body needs certain nutrients to work the way it should. You can get most of these nutrients from a balanced diet. Experts recommend that this include:

Gummy vitamins have many downsides, compared with traditional supplements.

The dosage of gummy vitamins can be unreliable. Also, chances are that by the time you eat your gummy, its vitamin content will have degraded. The better option is to take traditional pills and tablets.

Talk to your doctor before you start taking any vitamin or supplement.

Show Sources


Flushing Hospital Medical Center: "Can You Overdose on Vitamins?"

Harvard Health Publishing: "The sweet danger of sugar."

OakBend Medical Center: "Do You Really Need A Multivitamin?"

Ochsner Health: "Do Gummy Vitamins Work?"

Scientific Reports: "Sugar intake from sweet food and beverages, common mental disorder and depression: prospective findings from the Whitehall II study."

U.S. Food & Drug Administration: "What You Need to Know about Dietary Supplements."

Yale New Haven Health: "Eat Any Sugar Alcohol Lately?"

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