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  • What Is Up With Gummy Supplements?

    What Is Up With Gummy Supplements?

    By Laura D. Field – July 27, 2015

    The other day while walking through the store, searching for a supplement I take which I normally purchase online, I was completely shocked over the number of available “gummy” type vitamins that are now available and for all ages. The aisle on one side was full of various gummy supplements, and not just a multivitamin for children or the calcium chews for women. My first thought was the effect it can have on ones teeth. My second thought was whether these supplements provided an individual enough nutrition to make it worth the sugar that would be in these delectable treats.

    Those who provide these to their children, elderly parents, or even take them themselves might be offended by my use of “delectable treats”, although my intent is not to insult. My point is that when we make nutrition all about the “sweetness” and not about actual nutrition, we might be getting away from why supplements are even available. Sometimes we over compensate by being “safe” in taking a multi-vitamin “just in case” we are not getting sufficient nutrition through the foods we consume.

    Eating healthy with plenty of vegetables, fruit, nuts, legumes, etc., is in reality the best medicine we can provide for our bodies. Teaching our children to enjoy these foods at a young age, will allow them to enjoy what naturally is available to us, and not under the guise of supplements. We must remember that supplements are also a medicine, which can affect how your physician might treat you and your children when one is ill.

    Children are influenced, at a very early age, as to their choice in foods. If they are presented with sugary substitutes, they will continue to crave them. When their diets are balanced with a variety of natural flavors and textures, they will be drawn to them as they grow as a preferred food source.

    In all transparency, I do take natural supplements, but I do not consume gummy brands, as I do not feel I need to complement a supplement with sugar to “make the medicine go down”. I once did take a multivitamin, and although it was natural, I stopped taking it because I knew that I was eating healthy and getting the bulk of my nutrition through the foods I chose to eat. After I was off that multi-vitamin for a month, and noticed no change in my health or how I felt, I realized that there was no need to continue with it. That was when I also stopped taking other supplements, and as long as my annual blood work comes back normal and I feel healthy, then I do not feel I need to return to consuming them. There are very few supplements I take, such as Vitamin C, E, D3, B12, and Fish Oil with a few specialty supplements, all of which were suggested by my physician, that I take due to health needs.

    I do realize that some supplements that one might need, such as calcium, are quite large, while chewing on a tasty supplement is a bit more palatable, there are other options that might help to acquire this nutritional need such as: leafy greens, seafood, legumes, and fruit.  In addition, I do realize that some have health conditions that make it difficult for a person to swallow any size pill and/or unable to consume certain foods, so supplement drinks or chewable supplements make it easier for those patients.

    If one finds that they need to supplement, and decide that the gummy formula’s to be preferable, it might be wise to consider reading the labels and viewing the label to educate yourself on what is added for sugar content, preservatives, artificial colorings and flavors, in order for the pleasing taste you acquire by consuming them.

    In order to not pick on any one particular supplement brand, I do recommend that one look at the ingredient list. If the first ingredient consists of corn syrup followed by sugar, then you might want to reconsider why you would even consider consuming that product or giving it to your child. These are common ingredients within the gummy supplements. And if one is confortable in consuming these products, one should be sure to brush their teeth after, as the sticky, sugar residue will aid in the need for additional dental visits. Also, excess sugar, even in small doses, can have an impact for other and/or additional health complications.

    Be sure that what you are supplementing your body with, is in fact what your body needs. Since supplements are sold over the counter, they are basically safe given the dosage amounts that are recommended, but the danger comes in when the flavor tastes like candy, that one can easily overdose, such as with a child who sees them as a treat (if you give them after breakfast like you would dessert). They can also be dangerous if you are taking them to self-treat an illness. In addition, taking supplements do not guarantee protection for disease or illness. They are meant as a supplement vs. a substitute for ones nutritional needs.

    Be safe, be healthy, and eat your veggies.

    Laura – Blogger and paid Freelance writer

    Potpourri of Health www.potpourriofhealth.com
    Freelance writer at www.reflectivetapestryoflife.com
    Seamstress consultant at www.davinadawnsewing.com

    RESOURCES:

    • http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09338.html
    • http://www.forbes.com/sites/marijkevroomendurning/2013/09/12/medicine-or-treats-gummy-vitamins-and-chocolate-calcium-chews-blur-the-line-2/