What Happens to Your Body if You Eat Too Many Gummy Vitamins
When you aren't getting enough nutrients, gummy vitamins may seem like a simple solution. But don't mistake them for gummy bears—vitamins are definitely not candy.
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 registered dietitian nutritionist Malina Linkas Malkani, 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. (Here are 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 registered dietitian Ali Webster, PhD, 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. 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. Check with your doctor or pharmacist first before adding new vitamins and supplements to your diet. 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.
- Malina Linkas Malkani, MS, RDN, CDN, media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Ali Webster, PhD, RD, associate director of nutrition communications for the International Food Information Council Foundation