Thursday, September 6, 2012

On Adult Gummy Vitamins

         When I first saw and read about the advent of gummy vitamins, I was not encouraged.  Most of us need very little encouragement with which to ingest sugar, and I had concerns that children could easily become poisoned when they eat the entire bottle, not realizing these are medicine. This was of particular concern for me as a critical care registered nurse, because iron overdosage has caused child deaths. When I saw this package in the store, I was not thrilled. Certainly, it comes with a "child-proof cap" but at my house, we often joke that this is only a "nurse-proof" cap, as when our children were tiny and I couldn't open something, I would hand it to them just long enough for them to open it, and they were in it in a jiffy ! (No poisonings, by the way.)  It was only a matter of time before there were not only gummy vitamins designed for children, but gummy vitamins designed for adults, with adult potencies, available on store shelves.
          I am glad I reconsidered.  One of my children has Crohn's disease, and normal vitamins often produce stomach aches and occasionally vomiting for him.  Perhaps this would be a way he could supplement certain vitamins on a more consistent basis. He was reticent, of course. He thought that although the vitamins came in a sugary vehicle, that he would likely taste the vitamins, just as we do in Carnation Instant Breakfast drink, or Ensure.  He was pleasantly surprised that at least, Vitafusion brand gummy vitamins, taste like gummies.  We even wondered if they really had the vitamins in them !  He needs to supplement pretty large amounts of vitamins as he no longer has a colon, and must absorb things using a small intestine alone.  The Vitafusion Prenatals actually fairly closely approximated some of the things he needed.  The manufacturers left out the iron one would normally include in a prenatal, most likely because I am not the only one who feared child death following a potential poisoning of iron rich gummies.  Before long, we were supplementing his D3 using a gummy, and his Vitamin C in this way also.   I also have been taking my Vitamin C, B-complex, and D3 in this way.

Yes, these are for adults, with adult potencies.

It is no longer necessary to stir crystals into a glass of water for fiber for some of us.

I don't know whether these are absorbed as well as Calcium Citrate preparations of calcium. Check with your pharmacist or physician to see if this brand and vehicle are beneficial to you.  Always drink plenty of water with calcium also.

         This is my new take on the advent of at least this brand of adult gummy vitamins.  First, if you have any small children who reside or even visit your home, you need to lock these up. They are very tasty, and the most discerning psychiatric patient, or your Aunt Freddie with Alzheimer's will not have a clue that these are anything beyond a candy.  Compliance, or the regular ingestion of this medication will be excellent. No one is going to forget their gummy after breakfast each morning. Even I am tempted to ingest just one more !  The poisoning potential hazard remains and so you must be careful of this.  Fat soluble vitamins, which are A, D, E and K, are poisonous in doses higher than the Recommended Daily Allowance, unless your physician has ordered higher, therapeutic doses for the purpose of treating some other pre-existing condition.  Water soluble vitamins are less toxic, and wind up in your toilet and septic, but are still undesirable.  Excessive Vitamin C, for example, will cause cold like symptoms when withdrawn.  So, we want to make sure that everyone takes the RDA and not more unless it's physician ordered.
         Secondly, if you are diabetic and your diabetes is under control, then these still may be a possibility for you.  Most varieties are about 4 Gms of sugar per dose (one or two vitamins, depending upon brand) and are about 15 calories. If you do choose to use them, they should be taken after a meal on a consistent basis, so that the sugar is processed along with protein and fat, and does not spike blood sugar.  For the rest of us, a consistent time of ingestion is wise for another reason. We probably should take our gummies after breakfast daily so that just after we can brush our teeth and remove that sugar bath.  Dentists will tell us that a consistent habit such as this will probably increase the number of cavities some of us develop.
        Still, I now accept that some patients, by virtue of better compliance, and better tolerance can benefit from this new novel approach.  Please note that genuine pregnant women who take gummy prenatals will need to supplement the iron they need to take in another non gummy form.  This does provide another means by which patients who really need supplemental vitamins can get them, without nausea and vomiting afterward,allowing them tol take them on a more consistent basis.
         These are available at most pharmacies, Ebay, Amazon, and at Wal-Mart.  As for adding them to preps, you could, although I do expect them to become less tasty in the vicinity of their expiration dates, which was 2/2014 on mine.  I suspect that conventional vitamins would last longer in a cool dry place.
Again, take every possible step to keep these out of reach of children, or adults with dementia.


Matt said...

Has you child with Crohn's been tested for a gluten allergy? I've heard of two cases lately (one being my wife and a woman she works with, both pharmacists) who have went on gluten free diets.

Both have autoimmune disorders, neither were Crohn's, but both have seen vast improvements in their particular issues. In addition, as a side benefit, my wife's thyroid med dosage has been reduced twice since going on this diet, and that's even why she went on the diet to begin with.

I'm hesitant to say more publicly due to Hippa issues although I'm not sure if they apply here.

JaneofVirginia said...

Matt, Yes, our now adult child with Crohn's was tested for celiac disease immediately at age 14 when he developed the disease. Since there are many instances of false negatives for gluten intolerance, he went on the gluten free diet for one year anyway. In his case it made no difference. Sadly, the top hospitals in the world were unable to successfully treat his ulcerative colitis versus Crohn's disease successfully, and at 18, his entire colon had to be removed. By then, he was legally disabled and quite ill.
As for celiac disease, as in gluten allergy, many people, especially those of British Isles ancestry have this issue. Many people could benefit from a celiac diet. I do remember it well. It was difficult and expensive to provide one child with celiac diet while providing another with a diabetic diet. Just for those reading, since that time Augason Farms has produced an entire gluten free line which makes life easier and food a bit more normal for everyone. Thanks for your post.

Vipul Gupta said...

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic.
I like it. Thanks for sharing information about Gummy Vitamins
For more info please visit -

JaneofVirginia said...

Vipul, I went to your website and I actually use one of the lines of vitamins you sell. I use the Taurine.