Pros and cons of chewable vitamins for adults

We’re all about bringing back your inner child, and chewable vitamins seem to be made to help.

But a candy-flavored daily vitamin? If this sounds too good to be true, it’s because it probably is.

“Adults today have so many vitamin options. Use chewable vitamins as a last resort,” says Taimur Habib, MD, an internist and geriatrician at Hartford HealthCare Medical Group in Fairfield.

Dr. Habib talks about the pros and cons of adult gummy vitamins and what you need to know before you head to the vitamin store.

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Wait. Do they make chewable vitamins for adults?

True, chewable vitamins began for children. They look, smell and taste like candy and can be chewed. All of this makes them an easy pill for kids to swallow – er, chew.

Then the companies realized that adults also like these things. Chewable versions are now available for select supplements such as vitamin C as well as daily multivitamins.

What are the disadvantages of chewable vitamins?

The way in which chewable vitamins are made—specifically the gelatin they’re made from—makes them less reliable as a nutrient package. And all the sugar they’re made of isn’t very healthy either.

“When it comes to the pros and cons of chewable vitamins, the list of cons is much longer,” says Dr. Habib.

Chewable vitamins:

  • Do not include important minerals such as iron
  • Nutrient content has been shown to differ from what is listed on the label.
  • Doesn’t last as long on the shelf as conventional vitamin tablets
  • Increase the risk of caries
  • It can be tempting to take too much at once, leading to an overdose of vitamins.

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Are there any benefits?

This list is noticeably shorter.

“There is really only one pro for chewable vitamins,” says Dr. Habib. “If you need a vitamin supplement but can’t or don’t want to take it in other forms, chewable vitamins are better than nothing.”

Note. If you have trouble swallowing tablets, many vitamins are now available in liquid form. Talk to your doctor about what is best for you.

Remember that not everyone needs to take vitamins.

“The best way to get nutrients is through a healthy and balanced diet,” says Dr. Habib. “If you do that, a lot of people don’t actually need to take vitamin supplements.”

But for others, like people who have dietary restrictions or problems absorbing nutrients, vitamins are an important part of staying healthy.

As always, your doctor is the best person to help you navigate the rows of options at your local pharmacy.

You may have to disappoint your inner child in the vitamin department. But maybe you can pick up something interesting for them in line at the checkout.

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