Finding a multivitamin that provides a truly complete array of vitamins and minerals can be challenging enough as it is–and if you’re searching for a gummy multivitamin that offers a truly comprehensive formula, well, you might be chasing a pot of gold that doesn’t even exist.
“I don’t think multivitamin gummies warrant the designation ‘multivitamin’ because they are so incomplete compared to their capsule, tablet, or softgel counterparts,” says Ferira. In fact, she considers incomplete formulas that either contain sub-efficacious amounts of certain nutrients, or leave them out altogether, one of the biggest red flags in the multi world–and gummy multivitamins are perhaps the most common culprit.
Part of the reason for this is actually simpler than you might think: In gummy multivitamins, all of the nutrients have to be packaged up in sugar and either gelatin or pectin, the ingredients that actually make a gummy a gummy, Ferira explains. This means that there is quite literally only so much space for the nutrients themselves. Minerals, in particular, tend to be bulky nutrients–and, as a result, are often left out of gummy multivitamins for the sake of space, she notes.
And lack of space is just the beginning of the gummy multi dilemma. Ferira goes on to say that, “gummies require heat, and that poses real challenges and stability issues for many nutrients. Also, it’s just plain difficult to conceal the less-than-tasty ingredients, like distinct metallic overtones from minerals. Nutraceutical confections are more complex than you’d like to think.”
The long and short of it: Check your Supplement Facts panel and you’ll see that gummy multivitamins often lack a bunch of nutrients (especially minerals, vitamin K, and the full array of essential B vitamins), so they simply don’t provide as complete a lineup of vitamins and minerals that multis packaged up in other forms (capsules, softgels, tablets) can offer.
Due to the collective limitations and challenges of this candy-meets-vitamin option, gummy multis also fall short on a bunch of nutrients (particularly minerals, which can be bulky), so they ultimately can’t provide as complete a spectrum of vitamins and minerals as multivitamins that are packaged up in other forms, adds Ferira.