Gummy vitamins come in tasty flavors and may seem like a fun way to stay healthy, but you can have too much of this good thing. According to Malina Linkas Malkani, MS, RDN, CDN, media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, people who generally eat a balanced diet won’t necessarily benefit from taking a daily multivitamin. And downing more than the recommended daily amounts of certain nutrients—in the form of a supplement—could be dangerous. Before searching through your medicine cabinet to see which vitamins you should cut back on, read up on the 15 vitamins and supplements that nutritionists don’t take, and you shouldn’t either.
You could experience vitamin toxicity
The vitamins to worry about are the fat-soluble kind: Vitamins A, D, E, and K. They’re a little tougher to digest and absorb, so these nutrients can build up in your organs and tissues, explains Ali Webster, PhD, RD, associate director of nutrition communications for the International Food Information Council Foundation. “Taking high doses of these nutrients in a short time frame could lead to issues that range from an upset stomach to hospitalization due to vitamin toxicity,” she says.
Very high doses of vitamin D taken over time can lead to a buildup of calcium in the blood and trigger nausea, vomiting, and weakness, warns Malkani, creator of the Wholitarian™Lifestyle. And getting too much vitamin A over a long period of time can cause hair loss, bone loss, and liver damage. Don’t miss these 12 vitamin mistakes you might not know you’re making.
Sticking with recommended doses is safe
Remember, these negative side effects only occur when you either eat too many gummy—or even regular—vitamins. Most multivitamins have less than 100 percent of your daily need for minerals and fat-soluble vitamins, according to Webster. So if you’re sticking to the proper dosage, you shouldn’t have any issues. Malkani adds that she doesn’t generally recommend gummy nor non-gummy vitamins unless there is a specific nutrient deficiency. If you do need to take vitamins, Webster says to look for bottles and brands with a USP seal; this indicates the product has been tested for purity, strength, safety, and quality.
Gummy vitamins aren’t candy
If you have kids or are one at heart, keep your gummy-eating habit separate from your vitamins. “Gummy vitamins are not a healthy substitute for candy, and eating too many could have really negative effects on your health,” Webster says. “Also, gummy vitamins don’t exist to make up for unhealthy eating habits.” Focus on getting nutrients through foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and dairy products, Webster advises. Even after changing your diet, you should still consider taking these 16 vitamins and supplements doctors actually take every day