Do Gummy Vitamins Really Work?

They’re yummy, but check label for ingredients, including sugar

Boy with gummy vitamin.

They’re yummy, but check label for ingredients, including sugar

Multivitamins and supplements come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Gummy vitamins are a popular choice for both kids and adults. But are they the best choice for you and your family?


Gummies taste good, are easy to take and don’t have a bad smell. These benefits can help you and your family, especially children, take vitamins on a consistent basis. It can help people who struggle swallowing pills or drinking liquid supplements. However, gummies may not provide all the benefits of traditional vitamin pills or tablets.


“While they may be more convenient, the downside of gummy vitamins may outweigh the benefits,“ says Zariah Chappell, MD, a family medicine physician at Scripps Coastal Medical Center San Marcos.


For example, gummy vitamins taste sweet because they contain added sugars; some varieties may even have up to three different types. Consuming too much added sugar is linked to obesity, diabetes and other chronic conditions.


Before getting on the gummy bandwagon, consider the pros and cons.

Do your research

Check the latest nutrition guidelines from the USDA to know which nutrients you should get from a healthy diet.

If your doctor says you should take vitamins, ask them to help you choose the right kind and form.

Supplements not regulated by FDA

As a supplement, gummy vitamins are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so the nutrients they contain may not match what is on the supplement facts label.

The label provides information on nutrients, such as dietary fiber, vitamin D and potassium. Since this information may not always be accurate, it can be difficult to determine the exact amount of nutrients and vitamins in a dose. It’s important to look for trusted brands from reputable retailers.

Gummy vitamins also tend to degrade faster and have a shorter shelf life than conventional pills.

Essential nutrients may be missing

Some essential nutrients are not included in gummies. For instance, few gummies contain iron because the metallic taste is difficult to mask. Other supplements that have a strong flavor include some B-vitamins and zinc, so extra sweetening agents may be added to make them taste better.

High sugar level not recommended

Sugars may be the number one reason to take a closer look at gummy vitamins. Gummies owe their flavor to sugar or sugar substitutes.


Many gummy vitamins contain one or more grams of sugar per gummy. If you take several vitamins every day, the sugar can build up. This might be an issue if you have to reduce sugar intake for health reasons. The American Heart Association recommends 25 grams of sugar per day for women and 36 grams for men.


“It’s like having a sugar pill or candy 365 days a year,” says Dr. Chappell. “That’s a lot of sugar that can add up quickly. Children in particular may eat more than the recommended dose because the vitamins taste so good and even look like popular candies.”


Gummies labeled sugar-free leave out the sugar, but the citric acid that replaces it wears down tooth enamel.

What are common supplements?

Multivitamins and minerals are popular supplements with a mix of vitamins, minerals and other ingredients. Each one plays a special role in the body.

Many other individual options are available, including:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps fight infections, heal wounds and acts as a strong antioxidant in the body.

Many brands sell vitamin C gummies with added minerals and vitamins. The best way to get enough vitamin C is by eating fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin C is completely absorbed at single doses of 100 mg; any amount greater than that is excreted.


Magnesium is important for muscle and nerve function and helps regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure. It is essential for making protein, bone and DNA in the body.

Eating a variety of foods can provide your body with the magnesium it needs. These foods include beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, leafy greens, milk, yogurt and other dairy products. Consuming a mix of these foods can help ensure that your body gets enough magnesium.

Magnesium supplements can help if you need more minerals and come in gummy form.


Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep and is often taken for insomnia and jet lag. Melatonin is safe for short-term use in adults. It is not addictive and does not usually cause tolerance to develop. However, do not give melatonin to children under 2 and check with your pediatrician before providing to older kids or adolescents.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is used by many people for blood sugar management. Gummies would negate any benefit because of the added sugars.

Gummies vs. pills

If you struggle with swallowing pills, try taking them with food or cutting them in half. If your child doesn't like pills, try chewable vitamins instead. This can make it easier to get the nutrients you need without any issues.

Do we need supplements?

Eating a healthy and balanced diet most likely provides the vitamins and minerals you need. Some people, including pregnant women, people with limited diets, post-menopausal women or people who have trouble absorbing some nutrients, may need an extra boost.


“Most adults and children do not need supplements, although there are exceptions,” says Dr. Chappell. “Your doctor can determine if you are deficient and discuss what type of supplement is best if you need one.” 

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