For people who routinely eat a variety of meats, vegetables, grains and other whole foods, supplementing with a multivitamin may not be required. But if you're like most Americans, a multivitamin may help fill in the gaps left behind by incomplete nutrition. Popular with children, gummy multivitamins offer a way for picky eaters to obtain beneficial vitamins and minerals. However, for women who prefer gummy vitamins, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.
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May Not Meet RDA
In a 2013 article in the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, dietitian Mary Steffensmeier stated that one popular brand of gummy multivitamin offered less than half the amount of vitamins C, E, B-6 and B-12 as the comparable chewable variety. Gummy supplements that include fish oil can further miss the mark -- most products offer less than one-fifth of the fish oil and one-tenth of the omega-3 fatty acids suggested for daily intake. This trend is similar for gummy multivitamins marketed for women. When selecting a multivitamin -- gummy or not -- look for a brand that offers 100 percent of the recommended dietary allowance of key vitamins and minerals.
Often Don't Supply Minerals
Your gummy multivitamin may lack the right amounts of key vitamins and minerals, but it could also be leaving others out completely. Many trace minerals such as selenium, manganese, chromium, and vitamin K are often excluded from gummy multivitamins due to taste and texture. These compounds -- while available in a variety of food sources -- could be important for women with anorexia, Crohn’s disease or other illnesses that affect diet. Steffensmeier warns that iron and calcium are two other minerals sometimes excluded from gummy multivitamins -- yet they are two of the most important supplements for women. Iron especially can alter the taste and texture of gummy multivitamins and is incompatible with other compounds such as omega-3 fatty acids.
Contain Chemical Addititves
Gummy multivitamins may blur the line between health supplement and treat, but with the additional flavor comes sugar, artificial coloring, preservatives and calories. While traditional multivitamins contain some binding ingredients as well as shellfish or soy -- the source of many vitamins and minerals -- gummy vitamins require chemicals to create that popular sweetness and texture. For women, additional calories may be an unwanted side effect of these supplements. And if you have a sensitive stomach, the above artificial ingredients may cause more harm than good. Gummy multivitamins may be small, but dentist Mary Hayes told USA Today in 2007 that they may contribute to cavities and other dental ailments due to their sugar and stickiness.
All multivitamins pose a risk for overdose. However, due to the sugary taste of gummy vitamins, you may be more likely to eat extra servings of this candylike supplement than you would be to swallow additional horse pills. Many ingredients in gummy multivitamins can cause adverse effects when taken in excess of the recommended doses. According to the National Institutes of Health, you may experience nausea or diarrhea from large amounts of vitamins A, C and D. Vitamin B-3 can cause an itchy skin condition called niacin flush, although this effect is temporary. Most importantly, if you take a brand of gummy multivitamin that includes calcium or iron, without immediate medical attention an overdose could be fatal.