In the ever-evolving landscape of dietary supplements, gummy vitamins have taken center stage, captivating the attention and taste buds of both the young and old with their appealing candy-like taste and appearance. But as tasty as they are, you might be wondering if gummy vitamins are truly effective in delivering the essential nutrients they promise.
Before you pop another gum-drop-like vitamin into your mouth, let’s have a closer look at what gummy vitamins are, their nutritional content, absorption mechanisms, and how their effectiveness compares to pill supplements.
Gummy vitamins are chewable dietary supplements that come in a variety of flavors, such as lemon, raspberry, cherry, and orange, and share a resemblance in texture and taste to gummy candy. Gummy vitamins are often composed of ingredients like gelatin, cornstarch, water, sugar, and colorings, as well as a range of essential nutrients commonly found in traditional vitamins and dietary supplements. They can be a tasty and convenient alternative to traditional pills and chewable tablets, particularly for children and individuals who dislike or have difficulty swallowing pills.
Similar to pill vitamins, the specific nutrients included in gummy vitamins vary based on the brand and intended purpose of the supplement.
Gummy multivitamins contain a blend of various vitamins and minerals. Gummy multis can provide essential nutrients to help cover nutrient gaps in your diet. However, since multiple nutrients are combined into a multivitamin, the dosages of each individual nutrient might be limited compared to a gummy that contains a single nutrient.
Single-nutrient gummy vitamins are more targeted supplements typically used to address specific nutrient gaps or deficiencies since they can typically contain higher doses compared to a multivitamin.
Nutrients commonly found in gummy vitamins include:
Vitamin A: Vitamin A plays key roles in vision, the immune system, reproduction, growth, and development, as well as heart and lung function [ 3
Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage and supports vision, brain health, and women’s reproductive health [ 4
B Vitamins: The B vitamins, which include thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folic acid (B9), and cobalamin (B12), play important roles in energy metabolism, nerve function, and red blood cell production while folic acid can prevent major birth defects during pregnancy [ 5 6
Calcium: The body needs calcium to build and maintain strong bones and to carry out many important functions, including muscle contractions, nerve signaling, hormone release, and blood vessel function [
Iron: Iron is vital for muscle metabolism, healthy pregnancies, physical growth, cellular functioning, and hormone synthesis, and is especially important for women due to increased menstrual losses [
Magnesium: Magnesium plays critical roles in protein synthesis, bone health, energy production, disease prevention, and heart, muscle, and nerve function–and is involved in over 600 enzymatic reactions [
Zinc: Zinc is important to fight inflammation, boost immune health, support wound healing, and for reproductive health [ 10
Fiber: Dietary fiber supplements are now also available in gummy form. Dietary fiber supplements may help promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation, and may also be beneficial for lowering cholesterol [
Probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial microbes that can help protect your digestive tract from harmful microorganisms, improve your digestion and gut function, and may have other health benefits as well [
While gummy vitamins are fairly new on the supplement scene, early research shows the effectiveness of gummy vitamins is comparable to traditional vitamins in pill, tablet, and capsule form.
One study that compared Vitamin D3 taken in gummy and tablet form showed that the vitamin D gummies were better absorbed and produced higher levels in the blood compared to tablets. A focus group conducted by this group of researchers also suggested that chewable or gummy vitamin D may result in improved adherence, potentially enhancing or their overall effectiveness as well. [ 14
Another trial comparing two multivitamin formulations found that a gummy vitamin containing Vitamin E, B12, and folate produced comparable levels to a tablet, with the absorption of folate from gummies occurring notably faster than the tablet [ 15
A third study showed vitamin C gummies produced similar increases in vitamin C levels compared to a caplet, though the gummies took a bit longer to reach their peak vitamin C level in the blood [ 16
If you’re curious about gummy vitamins but not sure they’re right for you, here are the pros and cons of gummy vitamins vs. traditional supplements.
While the research behind the effectiveness of gummy vitamins is promising, it’s important to remember that the benefits of any supplement hinge on several factors, not just the form it comes in. Your overall diet, supplement regimen, dose, quality, freshness, and how your body absorbs and utilizes the nutrients it contains, will also significantly affect its overall impact on your health goals.
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your gummy vitamins.
Fill up on nutrient-rich foods first. While gummy supplements offer convenience and taste appeal, you will reap more benefits from them if you prioritize eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet first. Gummy vitamins should complement a well-rounded diet rather than replace it.
Make sure you’re taking the appropriate dose. To get the most out of your gummy vitamins, follow the dosage recommended by your doctor or dietitian. Not taking enough may prevent you from achieving the desired benefits, while taking too much could potentially be harmful.
Take your vitamins regularly. When it comes to supplementation, consistency is key. Taking your gummies regularly, and as instructed, ensures you’re getting a steady supply of nutrients so that you achieve the intended benefits over time.
Check the expiration date. Expired gummies may lose their potency and can potentially become less effective. Always check the expiration date to ensure you're getting the full nutritional value.
Choose quality gummy vitamins. Look closely at gummy vitamin ingredients Elo’s rigorous third-party testing
gummy vitamin ingredientsand opt for ones that have been tested by independent third-party organizations. This certification ensures that what's written on the label matches what's in the gummy, guaranteeing their quality and effectiveness. Learn more about
Elo’s rigorous third-party testingprocess.
Recheck related biomarkers. If you're taking gummy vitamins to address specific health concerns, you’ll want to monitor any related biomarkers. This can help you track improvements and adjust your supplement regimen as needed. At Elo, we provide regular biomarker testing and 1:1 dietitian support to help you recalibrate your nutrition plan as your goals and biomarkers change. Learn more about our Smart Supplements biomarkers we test at Elo
Smart Supplementsand the
biomarkers we test at Elo.
Gummy vitamins can be a tasty alternative to traditional vitamin and supplement pills, as they provide a variety of nutrients from essential vitamins and minerals to healthy omega-3 fats and gut-friendly probiotics. While the effectiveness of a supplement hinges on several factors, growing research indicates gummy vitamins can be as effective as traditional forms. To get the most out of your gummy vitamins, pair quality, third-party tested gummy supplements with a nutrient-rich diet and take them regularly as directed by your doctor or dietitian. Monitoring related biomarkers and working with an Elo dietitian can help you track improvements and recalibrate your nutrition plan as your goals and biomarkers change.
Disclaimer: The text, images, videos, and other media on this page are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to treat, diagnose, or replace personalized medical care.
Gummy vitamins offer essential, health-boosting nutrients in a tasty, chewable form that appeals to adults and children alike.
Initial research suggests that gummy vitamins can be as effective as traditional pill supplements, with some studies indicating better absorption and adherence, enhancing their overall impact.
While gummy vitamins show promise, their effectiveness also depends on factors like dosage, quality, and overall diet.
To maximize the effectiveness of your gummy vitamin, pair quality gummies with a nutrient-rich diet, take the appropriate dose as directed, and regularly check related biomarkers to track improvements and adjust your supplementation regimen as needed.
U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Vitamin C: Medlineplus medical encyclopedia. MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002404.htm
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.-a). Office of dietary supplements - vitamin D. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamind-healthprofessional/
Office of Dietary Supplements - Vitamin A and Carotenoids. (2022, June 15). Retrieved August 24, 2023, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/
Office of Dietary Supplements - Vitamin E. (2021, March 26). Retrieved August 24, 2023, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/
National Library of Medicine. (2021, September 23). B vitamins. MedlinePlus. Retrieved August 24, 2023, from https://medlineplus.gov/bvitamins.html
National Library of Medicine. (2015, April 2). Folic acid. MedlinePlus. Retrieved August 24, 2023, from https://medlineplus.gov/folicacid.html
Office of Dietary Supplements - Calcium. (2022, October 6). Retrieved August 24, 2023, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-HealthProfessional/
Office of Dietary Supplements - Iron. (2023, June 15). Retrieved August 25, 2023, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-HealthProfessional/
Volpe S. L. (2013). Magnesium in disease prevention and overall health. Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.), 4(3), 378S–83S. https://doi.org/10.3945/an.112.003483
Office of Dietary Supplements - Zinc. (2022, September 28). Retrieved August 25, 2023, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/
Office of Dietary Supplements - Omega-3 Fatty Acids. (2022, July 28). https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/
Fiber supplements: Safe to take every day? (2023, June 13). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/fiber-supplements/faq-20058513
Office of Dietary Supplements - Probiotics. (2022, June 2). Retrieved August 28, 2023, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Probiotics-HealthProfessional/
Wagner, C. L., Shary, J. R., Nietert, P. J., Wahlquist, A. E., Ebeling, M. D., & Hollis, B. W. (2019). Bioequivalence Studies of Vitamin D Gummies and Tablets in Healthy Adults: Results of a Cross-Over Study. Nutrients, 11(5), 1023. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051023
Wagner, C. L., Shary, J., Ebeling, M., Wahlquist, A. E., & Nietert, P. J. (2020). Bioequivalence Pilot study of two multivitamin formulations in healthy adults. Current Developments in Nutrition, 4, nzaa067_073. https://doi.org/10.1093/cdn/nzaa067_073
Evans, M., Guthrie, N., Zhang, H. K., Hooper, W., Wong, A., & Ghassemi, A. (2019). Vitamin C Bioequivalence from Gummy and Caplet Sources in Healthy Adults: A Randomized-Controlled Trial. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 39(5), 422–431. https://doi.org/10.1080/07315724.2019.1684398