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Gummy Vitamins

Gummy Vitamins have sugar and may contain artificial and may may contain fewer nutrients than regular vitamins. Do the sugar intake and artificial content have a significant negative impact on our health?
Is it better to take regular vitamins than gummy?
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Avatar universal
There is no such thing though as "regular" vitamins.  A gummy is a candied form of a chewable vitamin, which some families found kids would take when they wouldn't swallow pills easily.  All chewables usually had sugar added and gummies are even worse, as they stick to your teeth.  But the real issue is deeper, as many pills also have artificial ingredients, which I take it you mean fillers and binders that may not be good for you.  Some tablets and capsules, especially if you buy drugstore vitamins or discount vitamins, have forms of sugar in them also.  Frankly, sometimes it's hard to buy even the best vitamins without some kind of sugar in them, as some are used as binders, such as maltodextrin.  But there is certainly a lot less of it if it's just to bind the pill than in a chewable or a gummy.  And then there's the content of the supplement aside from the additives -- most drugstore brands don't have the right form of vitamins and minerals for the body to have the best chance of absorbing them.  Some use forms that are cheap but useless.  Or harmful.  So it's more than just the additives.  It's also the vitamins and minerals themselves.  Always buy from the best health food stores and buy the most expensive product on the shelf if you don't know your brands, or if you still have a small health food store (and I don't mean a GNC or the like) that isn't a chain store, ask the supplement buyer which current brands their customers seem to like.  If it's really cheap, it's probably cheap for a reason.  If it's a mineral and it's a very small pill, know there's either not enough in it given we don't absorb isolated supplements nearly as well as we do food or it's a form that won't help you any.  Some companies really go an extra mile to try to get absorption, such as fermenting or culturing the nutrients so they are turned back into something more like what it would look like if still in food.  But yeah, don't bother with gummies, they're just candy.
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Also, something that has become an annoying trend for those of use who know our supplements, most even best companies are now only making one a day multivitamins.  You can't fit anything into a one a day, so there's little point in taking one.  The calcium and magnesium alone take up a huge amount of space.  It used to be that if it wasn't at least 3 a day, it was worthless.  But again, even many of the best companies have been bought by conventional vendors and they don't actually are about your health, they only care about getting your money, so they discontinued most of the several a day multis which are the only ones that contain enough of the absorbable forms of nutrients to really be useful.
649848 tn?1534633700
COMMUNITY LEADER
I agree with everything Paxiled has said - with the possible exception being the recommendation to buy the most expensive brand in the store.  It's true that, basically, you will get what you pay for, the most expensive isn't always the best - look at the price of some of those gummies, for example.  

I look for supplements that have the least ingredients, with the actual supplement being among the most prevalent ingredients.   Also, look for those that are in a form in which the body can readily use.  It's true that taking only one of most supplements/day isn't going to be enough, but you should also not try to take the entire dosage (say, 1200 mg calcium) all in one dose, because the body can't absorb that much all at once... Again - calcium is a good example - the body can only absorb approximately 600 mg at one time, so split the dosage to accommodate that.  

All of that said - it's best to try to get your vitamins/minerals from your food, over the course of the day, whenever possible.  
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Good point, Barb -- a multi that requires several a day shouldn't be taken all at once -- it should be split up evenly with each meal, as should a high dose calcium supplement, or you'll just have expensive toilet water.  Some vitamins Barb is right about and price isn't important as they're all made by the same manufacturers.  The form is the key though to the others, and it's very expensive to make a vitamin your body can absorb.  Calcium is a great example, as the inexpensive ones all use some form of calcium carbonate, which most bodies can't absorb and is made of things nobody eats, such as oyster shells or rocks.  That was my main point.  But also, some brands use fermentation and culturing to increase absorption, which again will considerably raise the cost.  
Yes, the form is the most important issue when it comes to vitamins/minerals.  

Another I forgot to mention is that some vitamins/minerals should not be taken with or near some medications.  A good example, again, is calcium - should not be taken with 4 hours of a replacement thyroid medication, as calcium blocks absorption of the medication.  I time all my supplements to be taken during the afternoon/evening because by then, I've taken all my thyroid med(s) and don't have to worry about them being blocked.  
As long as you take your calcium with a meal.  It's always hard these days because so many formulas combine things that should be taken with food with things that shouldn't, such as amino acids.  My main point about price is about reliability of the manufacturer.  While we can never be sure, you do get some confidence with good companies but they also tend to be more expensive.  Because I was in the biz for many years I know brands, but most of them have been purchased by large companies and who knows what happens when that occurs.  It was a small business when I got involved and has turned into big business.  One example is New Chapter, which was and hopefully still is one of the best companies, but it's now owned by a mainstream large company and so can you still trust it?  Got rid of almost all of their several pills a day multis, for example.  Sigh.
The problem with calcium (and other minerals, as well) is that many doctors say one shouldn’t even have a high calcium meal, let alone take a supplement within 4 hrs of thyroid medication, including milk or fortified OJ for breakfast, etc.  

I can’t argue about the quality of products.  One has to be very careful to make sure we’re getting the best we can for the money.  
Hey, Barb, my wife is on thyroid meds for Hashimoto's -- she takes the hormone.  So does that include, say, the milk she uses in her cereal or the Greek yogurt she eats every day?  She doesn't eat a lot of it at a time.  I had not heard of this and I'm guessing her endo didn't tell her this.  She also takes a Cal/Mag supplement, so that applies as well?  Oh, wait you said the milk in cereal.  Because that's not a whole lot of milk.  I'm not a big fan of dairy or plain calcium supplements for most people, as there are the digestion problems and then the adverse effect on magnesium, but this is again not something I knew and would like to tell my wife what you say.  Thanks.
Supposedly, yes - calcium is not to be eaten/taken within 4 hrs of thyroid hormones.  I’ve never considered 1/2 cup milk (for cereal) or a bit of yogurt to be such an issue, but I did have one doctor really raked me over the coals about it.  Most doctors don’t tell us these things though, which is one of the reasons so many of us struggle as much as we do.  Read the insert that comes with your wife’s thyroid hormone medication.  The insert on mine (T4) clearly says not to eat/drink anything (except water) within 30-60 minutes after taking thyroid medication and  to avoid calcium containing foods/supplements for 4 hrs.  

It’s important to note that T3 medication isn’t as “particular” as T4 as it’s absorbed much more quickly.  
My levothyroxine bottle has a warning label that says "do not take antacids or products containing calcium or iron within 4 hours of taking this medication."

I had trouble getting to the right dose after thyroid surgeries, and my doctor told me to be really careful with calcium.  I learned they add calcium to all kinds of milk, like almond milk.  I have oatmeal for breakfast and still use a little milk (maybe 1/4 cup at most) on top of the oatmeal, but I try to wait at least an hour after taking thyroid hormone to eat or drink anything besides water (usually I wait about 1.5 hours to eat, so while I'm consuming a little calcium in the milk, I'm trying my best not to screw up absorption, but I can't live the rest of my life without a tiny bit of milk on my oatmeal in the morning).  My dosage issue was related to another medical problem and once that was fixed, I've been able to get to a stable dose of thyroid hormone.

I take calcium and iron supplements, but those I take much later in the day, and spaced out about 4 hours from each other (since they can also interfere with each other's absorption).

The antacid thing I just learned today as I looked at the bottle to type this.
You're right, Sarah - I've been talking about just calcium, but iron is another one that can affect absorption of thyroid medications, even though adequate iron is necessary for the absorption of thyroid med.   Magnesium and other minerals would fit into that category, as well.  Antacids (I think even PPI's) fit into the category of interfering with thyroid med.

I don't eat breakfast, most days, but when I was still working and had to have something quick prior to leaving for work, I didn't hesitate to have 1/2 cup of milk on my cereal.  There's not THAT much calcium in a small amount of milk - in other words, it's not like taking a 500-600 mg calcium pill right after taking thyroid med.   When it comes to supplements, there's plenty of time later in the day to take them.  Most people take thyroid med first thing in the morning, so could take calcium, iron and other minerals at lunch, dinner and/or bedtime.   I do take T3 at lunch/early afternoon, so I wait with minerals until evening (dinner and bedtime).  

For those of us who work, it can be much harder to space foods/supplements without having to drag bottles of supplements to work, which is a real pain.  I was not nearly as particular when I worked as I am now - I have to admit, I feel better now, but is that simply because I'm retired or because I'm taking my thyroid med/supplements in a different manner?  
Thanks, I'll tell her.  She hasn't really had any noticeable problems even when she discovered she had Hashimoto's.  In fact, the only effect she has ever felt was dryness and soreness in her vagina.  None of the fatigue and all the rest, so if it hadn't been discovered she would never have noticed at all.  I guess she's been lucky with it.  And remember, folks, please take your mineral supplements with a meal.  Taking them at bedtime won't be the best time for absorption, although calcium and magnesium at that time can help with things like muscle cramps and sleep problems as you will absorb some.  And I guess that's the explanation given the antacid situation -- apparently, acid affect absorption, and mineral also need an acidic stomach to help break them down.  So again, thanks.
Paxiled - your wife seems to have been one of “lucky” ones when it comes to hypothyroidism, if there is such a thing.  She doesn’t seem to have had nearly the issues many of us have had.  It’s always good to be aware of what to take with what and which things to avoid, but if she’s feeling well doing what she’s doing, it might not be worth upsetting the apple cart for.   I’ve made, seemingly, small changes to supplements/routine, etc and really messed myself up royally, so I always figure it’s not worth trying to fix something that isn’t broken.   :-)
Thanks, Barb, I'll tell her that.  I did mention what you said about this.  She thought there was a 1 hour rule, didn't know about the 4 hour rule.  Wish docs knew what they were prescribing, I wouldn't have a destroyed life!  I doubt she'll change anything,. though, she's pretty independent thinking and does what she feels is best.  
The one hour rule is separate from the 4 hour one.  The one hour says that one shouldn’t eat/drink anything except water for 30-60 minutes after taking thyroid medications.   In other words, one shouldn’t take their thyroid med with coffee (though I’ve known people who did) or take it with breakfast, etc.  

Sometimes, I think most doctors don’t have a clue about the meds they prescribe.  
Most of the time.  Actually, almost all of the time.  Doctors don't actually study a lot of pharmacology.  They have 4 years to learn organic chemistry and all the rest and the last two years to learn medicine, really.  They have to learn about everything, which nobody can really do.  Then they do a residency and after that, no matter how well or poorly they perform, they are allowed to practice with the only oversight being panels made up of fellow physicians who are members of the same union, the AMA and its local affiliates.  Law is the same, which I studied -- you have 3 years to learn everything, which you can't do.  The best you can do is get a taste of everything and then you can learn it more thoroughly after graduation if you want to, but if you're earning, why bother?  Specialists do get a more thorough taste, as they have to study another couple of years, but again, they aren't scientists, they are practitioners.  Pharmacists also don't study a whole lot of pharmacology.  They are mostly trained to take pills from a big bottle and put it in a little bottle, which is what they have to do at work.  The people who do know are the university research scientists we never meet or hear from until they leave when they discover something that might sell and form a small pharma company that eventually, if the drug seems to have promise, sell to a large pharma company who claims to have invented the thing.  Take the vaccines -- we call it J&J, but it was actually developed by a company they own, a foreign company named Jahnssen or something like that.  Moderna is a small company that did invent its vaccine, but with research mostly done at NIH which they were allowed to take with them for free and are now rich.  But they can't make a whole lot of vaccine.  The Pfizer was invented by a small German company run by a husband and wife Turkish team who also learned from the NIH research called BioNTech.  But they aren't talking a whole lot, because they have patents to protect and liability to avoid.  What docs know is almost all from marketing people who are the sales staff for the pharma companies.  It is what it is.  It could be better, but the US is about making money and that's how it's set up.  Peace.
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