If you take vitamins, you know that, sometimes, it's not easy to get them down.
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"Multivitamins in pill form can be pretty large, making them difficult for some people to swallow," Kelsey Rosenbaum, RD, LDN and spokesperson for the hospitality group Sodexo, tells LIVESTRONG.com.
Swallowing pills can be particularly challenging for children. Another advantage to chewable vitamins: They can be easier on the stomach, Rosenbaum says.
Take a look at some of the best chewable vitamins for adults, along with a recommendation for kids.
How We Chose
We spoke with a dietitian as well as reviewed relevant research to recommend the supplements below. We looked for products with Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations enforced by the FDA as well as compliance or verification from one of the three main independent quality control groups that test and review supplements:
A note on language: It's very typical for supplement makers to have options geared toward either women or men. That's because the nutritional needs of people assigned female at birth (AFAB) often differ from those of people assigned male at birth (AMAB), particularly during pregnancy. In this article, we'll use the terms "women" and "men" to match the brands' language.
- Best Overall: Kirkland Signature Adult Multivitamin ($23.95, Amazon.com)
- Best Chewable Multivitamin for Men: Nature Made Multivitamin for Him + Omega-3 Gummies ($19.59, Amazon.com)
- Best Chewable Multivitamin for Women: Walgreens Women's Multivitamin Gummies Berry ($11.99, Walgreens.com)
- Best Chewable Multivitamin for Kids: Flintstones Complete Chewable Kids Vitamins ($16.70, Amazon.com)
- Best Chewable Prenatal Multivitamin: Nature Made Prenatal Gummy Vitamins With DHA + Folic Acid + Choline ($19.99, Walgreens.com)
- Best Chewable Calcium: Caltrate 600 + D3 Plus Minerals ($11.31, Amazon.com)
1. Best Overall Chewable Multivitamin: Kirkland Signature Adult Multivitamin
Kirkland is one of the brands that Rosenbaum calls out as being certified by the USP, an independent organization that tests supplements to make sure they contain the ingredients listed on the label and do not have any contaminants.
Take two of these gummies (one serving) and you'll get 100 percent of your daily value (DV) of vitamin D, as well as significant amounts of B vitamins, and vitamins A and E.
2. Best Chewable Multivitamin for Men: Nature Made Multivitamin for Him + Omega-3 Gummies
Nature Made is another reputable brand when it comes to vitamins, and this supplement has the USP verification. This gummy multi has vitamins A, C, D3 and E. Plus, it contains heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
As with many chewable vitamins, this gummy is a tasty option, but one with a significant amount of sugar — 4 grams per two-gummy serving.
3. Best Chewable Multivitamin for Women: Walgreens Women's Multivitamin Gummies, Berry
This gummy multivitamin from Walgreens has 2 grams of sugar per serving and contains 100 percent of your DV for vitamins E, B3 and B6, as well as 800 IU of vitamin D. It's also gluten-free.
It's an approved option by ConsumerLab, an independent organization that tests health-related products, including supplements.
4. Best Chewable Multivitamin for Kids: Flintstones Complete Chewable Kids Vitamins
This chewable vitamin is a top pick for children from ConsumerLab. It contains vitamins A, C and D along with folate and iron.
Considering chewable vitamins can include iron and other minerals, it's a better option for kids than gummies, according to ConsumerLab.
5. Best Chewable Prenatal Multivitamin: Nature Made Prenatal Gummy Vitamins
Dealing with a hard-to-swallow pill is even less appealing during pregnancy, which is why prenatal gummies are so great.
6. Best Chewable Calcium: Caltrate 600 + D3 Plus Minerals
This supplement provides 600 milligrams of calcium, which is 60 percent of your DV. It also contains 800 IU of vitamin D3. Together, vitamin D and calcium support bone health.
Caltrate is approved by ConsumerLab. Unlike many other chewable vitamins, this one has zero calories and no added sugar.
The Drawbacks of Gummy Vitamins
Often, gummy vitamins will have more — or less — of a vitamin or nutrient listed on the package in place, according to ConsumerLab.
"In general, gummy and chewable multivitamins lack several vitamins and minerals found in the pill form," Rosenbaum says. For taste-related reasons, multivitamin gummies often leave out iron, magnesium and zinc, according to ConsumerLab, which notes that a chewable tablet multi can be a better choice.
Plus, if you find gummy or chewable vitamins reminiscent of candy, there's a reason for that: Often, these supps are full of sugar. "Chewable multivitamins, especially gummy vitamins, can contain up to 8 grams of added sugar," Rosenbaum says.
What to Look for in Chewable Vitamins
When you're considering a chewable or gummy vitamin, keep these considerations in mind:
- Purchase products with third-party testing: Look for chewables that bear the seal of an independent testing firm such as the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention. Chewables that have the USP Verified seal have undergone and passed stringent testing. The seal assures consumers that the product is free of harmful contaminants and contains the ingredients listed in declared potencies, among other things.
- Make sure you're getting the nutrients you need: You'll want to confirm that your multi contains a vitamin and mineral content comparable to standard vitamins.
- Check the ingredient list: If you're allergic to any ingredients (such as soy or gluten) make sure to purchase products that don't contain those allergens. Plus, keep an eye on the sugar contents of the product.
How to Know if You Need a Supplement
Most people will get all the vitamins and minerals they need through a nutritious diet, Rosenbaum says.
That said, "some people may benefit from taking vitamins," she notes. That includes people with chronic disease, people who are pregnant, older adults, anyone taking a medication that influences how your body absorbs nutrients, people who follow a strict vegetarian or vegan diet or people who eliminate a food group, Rosenbaum says.
When in doubt, reach out for help. "Everyone should talk to their physician before taking supplements," Rosenbaum advises.
- U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention: USP Verified Dietary Supplements
- ConsumerLab: Top-Rated Vitamin and Supplement Brands and Merchants for 2013 Based on Consumer Satisfaction
- ConsumerLab: Multivitamin and Multimineral Supplements Review
- ConsumerLab: "Calcium Supplements Review"
- ConsumerLab: "Is there cause for concern with "gummy vitamins?" There are many different gummies out there. Are some better than others?"
- ConsumerLab: "Multivitamin and Multimineral Supplements Review"
- USP: "USP Verified Products Listing"
- Jamieson Vitamins: Chewable Vita-Vim