Posted on: June 14th, 2022

Safety and ensuring standards are met are most apparent when it comes to nutraceuticals for children–specifically gummy and other candy-like supplements.

While gummies are popular with kids for obvious reasons (it’s candy!), the manufacturing process and the end product are important to consider. Everything from the extra materials used to make the gummy to the heat levels of the process can adversely affect any nutraceutical or nutritional content gummies may advertise.

The Effectiveness of Gummy Nutraceuticals

Gummies are an appealing way for parents to get their kids to take daily doses of important vitamins and minerals. It is important to know, however, that the gummies actually deliver daily vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients.

The process used to create most gummies involves not only adding the gummy & flavor but also heat. Heat can have detrimental effects on certain supplements, which can make it especially difficult to determine the best level of heat to make a gummy that tastes good and retains all the expected nutrients.

Additives can also throw a wrench into the effectiveness of any vitamin and mineral products. As with all supplements, over-the-counter vitamins and supplements, and even pharmaceuticals, additives can potentially affect how fast a nutraceutical is absorbed or the rate at which the gummy itself is broken down.  

Companies that produce these products often test the products for the level of nutrients in them after production.  Testing includes things like one called a dissolution test, which assesses how well the tablet, capsule, or gummy will dissolve in the stomach (e.g., stomach acid). Established supplement companies, and particularly those with quality seals from USP and NSF, follow these standards.  Some companies go the extra step to conduct a clinical trial on bioavailability to ensure the vitamins and minerals can be found in the bloodstream after the product is consumed. Because much is known about how standard vitamins and minerals are absorbed, this type of study isn’t required for most products, and it is food to know that many large supplement companies take seriously their commitment to providing efficacious products.  

Gummy Supplements: Too Much Sugar?

One area that has received attention has been the possibility of consuming added sugars from gummies. Many gummy products are designed to limit calories from sugar.   Checking the sugar levels on ‘nutritional’ gummies is important, however, as there is no set value for sugar in these products and levels can vary.

Gummy vitamins and supplements may contain levels of sugar that can actively harm some conditions (diabetes, hypertension, etc). This makes reading the nutritional information on gummy supplements extremely important. If you or one of your children has any issues with high levels of sugar, you will definitely want to read the nutritional values of any supplements you consider buying. Just because it’s a ‘vitamin’ doesn’t mean it’s totally healthy.

Sugar levels can also directly adversely affect other products. High sugar levels on gummies used for aiding sleep can cause effectiveness issues–especially for children. Parents should check sugar levels on any products for their children.

Research at Biofortis

Biofortis is dedicated to protecting consumer health throughout the world by delivering a wide range of testing and consultancy services to the food, supplement, and nutrition industries. Biofortis supports this mission in two ways—through clinical trials and sensory and consumer insights testing. We specialize in clinical research targeting foods, ingredients, and dietary supplements that affect body structures, function, and overall health. Contact us with any clinical trial or scientific consulting needs.

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