The Truth About Gummies

My Grind Is Organic had made the decision to develop a gummy to add to our product line. But, through our research we decided gummies go against everything we stand for as a company and although it would provide a significant amount of revenue we decided against it and by what our customers expect from us.

The following represents the highlights of our research, findings and conclusions:

  • Problem number one is that most gummy brands are missing too many essential nutrients. 

According to the Institute of Medicine, we need to get 13 vitamins and 12 minerals from our diet, fortified foods, or dietary supplements. Multivitamins are supposed to be a kind of insurance policy to make sure we’re getting these. What’s the point of taking one that has only about half of what we need? 

Brand ‘X’, for example, is missing 10 of these vitamins and minerals. Brand ‘Y’ and Brand ‘Z’ lack 9 of them.

Brand ‘V’ (Name of Brand), “Adult Complete” doesn’t have vitamins B-1, B-3, and K, as well as the minerals iron, magnesium, copper, selenium, and chromium. How can a supplement that’s so “incomplete” call itself “complete?” Good question.

Among the 37 brands of gummy multivitamins examined, none came close to being a good substitute for an ordinary multivitamin tablet! Chewable and liquid multis may contain more nutrients than gummies, but they’re no match for multivitamin tablets, either.

  • Problem number two with gummies is that their manufacturing quality is poorer than with multivitamin pills, gelcaps, and tablets, according to the latest findings of the supplement-testing company recently purchased several dozen popular multivitamin products, including 5 brands of gummies, in the United States and Canada and tested them for several key nutrients.

Four of the five gummies contained too much folate or vitamin A, in fact, way more than what was listed on the label. For some brands, the folate levels exceeded the safe daily limit established by the Institute of Medicine. (There may have been problems with other nutrients, but ConsumerLab looked at only a few of them.)

Gummies are notoriously difficult to manufacture with precision, ConsumerLab points out.  Their nutrients are sometimes sprayed on, and since vitamins are more likely to degrade in a gummy, companies put in extra amounts.  Sometimes too much extra, apparently. 

The FDA does not regulate gummy vitamins or most supplements for that matter. They make recommendations. This means companies can add whatever ingredients they want without having to undergo regulation processes that would determine if the ingredients, combinations, and the amounts were safe or not.

  • Problem number three with gummies is they are incapable of providing proper dosages.

Under-dosage is the single biggest problem in the gummies industry. My Grind Is Organic interviewed two manufacturers of gummies, one stated their maximum capacity is 200mg for one gummy, the other company stated their maximum capacity is 100mg. A person would have to eat depending on the manufacturer, between 20-80 gummies per day to get proper dosages.

  • Problem number four with gummies lower absorption.

While far less delicious, other forms of vitamins do “one-up” gummy’s in one significant way: vitamin bioavailability. Yes, the sugary chew may be fun to eat, but it doesn’t compare to other vitamin delivery methods.

As soon as we begin to chew these sweets, we begin the breakdown and digestion process. Thanks to the enzyme amylase, which is a chemical present in our saliva that digests carbohydrates, our body makes fast work of breaking down these sweet supplements. By the time the gummy reaches the stomach, where it is subject to more digestive enzymes and high acidity, the gummy vitamin has been almost entirely degraded.

Without the protection of a capsule or tablet, the micronutrients in the gummy vitamin are unable to make it to the small intestine, where the majority of absorption occurs during digestion. So we’re left absorbing less bioactive form of the vitamins compared to other supplement forms. When you consider that a gummy already provides fewer vitamins and minerals than traditional supplements, this becomes particularly problematic. 

Sugars, fillers, and colors, they look like candy, taste like candy, smell like candy, but they’re healthy, right? So what are these non-essential “other” ingredients that accompany the essential vitamins and minerals?

Sugars, sweeteners, and sugar alcohols: There’s a good reason why these sweet supplements appeal to adults and children alike. With 1-2 grams of sugar per gummy, the nutrition label for these vitamin sweets isn’t far off from many of America’s favorite candy treats. Helping to tip your weight upward on the scale, over time, these extra carbs can negatively impact your health.

The sugar and high fructose corn syrup added to gummy vitamins work as both a sweetener and a way to mask the unpleasant taste of certain minerals. However, while these sweeteners result in a tastier supplement, our body will treat a gummy vitamin as it would any other simple carbohydrate, breaking it down rapidly while spiking our blood sugar.

If a brand does choose to skip the sugars or sweeteners, they typically rely on sugar alcohols, which give the sensation of sweetness without the caloric consequence. The problem with these alcohols is that they wreak havoc on many peoples’ digestive systems, leading to symptoms like diarrhea, gas, nausea, and bloating. If a supplement is sticking to your teeth, thickening your hips, or making you feel sick, it sounds like it’s doing more harm than good.

Fillers: These ingredients are used to bind and bulk up gummy vitamins to reach a candy-like, thick consistency. Two common culprits you might find on the labels are carrageenan, a thickening gelatin, or a binding agent.

If you follow a whole food plant based diet, vegan or vegetarian diet, the addition of gelatin in gummy vitamins is a plant-based problem as this ingredient is sourced from the tendons, ligaments, and bones of cows or pigs. Unfortunately, the source of gelatin is not the only issue with this dodgy additive, which has been linked to digestive distress for many consumers.

Artificial Colors: They say you first eat with your eyes, which is why some manufacturers of gummy multivitamins add artificial colors to their products. The visual appeal of these brightly colored vitamins is much more enticing than the colorless, murky white or brown alternatives.  However, when you weigh the risks associated with artificial food coloring, an ugly gummy doesn’t seem like such a bad option.

Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 are three dyes that commonly sneak into gummy supplements. These dyes all contain benzidine, a known carcinogen, that may lead to increased cases of anxiety, migraines, and behavioral changes. 

It’s easy to be seduced by the sweet satisfaction of a daily gummy, which might make it difficult to remember the original reason we take our multivitamin in the first place (to promote our health).

  • Problem number four with gummies is there are many suppliers who have fraudulent labeling.

Companies are putting their profits over what’s best for consumers, and their personal integrity. We have seen Sea Moss gummies ranging from 800mg to almost 3,000mg, all fraudulent labeling. The largest gummy size that we have found has 500mg of an active ingredient, ACV, which is Apple Cider Vinegar, a popular trend for the moment. That’s rare, the industry standard is 100mg to 250mg. 

So, if you are searching on the internet for Sea Moss gummies and find suppliers who are presenting you with anything over 250mg SAVE YOUR MONEY. Or if you find a supplier that is providing  you 250mg or less, then you have to decide if you want to be eating gummies all day. Either way in our opinions gummies are not a good option for nutritional supplements.

My Grind Is Organic will never provide gummies of any kind to its customers for these reasons. 

Below is a link to report fraudulent labeling if you find a Sea Moss supplier having label contents exceeding the amount of milligrams we stated above.  

The Safety Reporting Portal

The Safety Reporting Portal (SRP) streamlines the process of reporting product safety issues to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).