Ah, gummy vitamins. The perfect excuse to eat candy before breakfast (as an adult) while still feeling super healthy. Those adorable little bears are so delicious that sometimes, you’ll admit, it’s hard to stop at the recommended dose. Before you know it, you’re chowing on four to six servings of gummies per day. For your health!
But there is a real risk of getting too much of a good thing — including gummy vitamins. Eating, say, an entire bottle of the vitamins “can cause permanent and serious harm,” Dr. Ken Spaeth told Buzzfeed.
“The risk comes, most notoriously, from the ‘fat-soluble’ vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E, etc.,”Spaeth explained. “The body is not able to clear excessive amounts of this type quickly, and the subsequent buildup of high levels can inflict an array of injury to various organ systems, including the brain.”
Minerals in gummy vitamins, such as zinc, magnesium, and manganese, could also become toxic at very high levels.
Death by gummy vitamins — it sounds preposterous, but it’s very possible.
As for exactly how many gummy vitamins you can consume before encountering any risk, the number varies. The amount of vitamins and minerals added to each gummy depends on the brand — and even the amounts within each individual gummy can vary.
“Like most supplements, gummy vitamins aren’t regulated by the FDA,” nutritionist Chelsey Amer informed The Daily Meal, “so candy vitamins may contain greater or smaller amounts of the ingredients listed on the label. Some reports have even found that they contain some impurities, as well.”
But all in all, so long as you’re not inhaling entire bottles of the nutrient-spiked gummies, you’re probably going to be OK.
When a reporter from Extra Crispy asked nutritionist Abby Langer what would happen were she to eat, say, five gummies in one sitting rather than the recommended two, she was told she would “probably get diarrhea” but experience few other consequences.
“Just be sure not to pop ‘em like candy,” Amer advised, “even if they taste that way.”
So how can you cut back? Those squishy little treats are so tasty, it’s like they want you to overdose. They coat those suckers in sugar, serve tropical and zesty flavors, and design candies in adorable shapes and sizes.
Even still, the childlike joy of eating a few extra fun-shaped candies doesn’t seem worth the gastrointestinal distress. It might be time to own up to what’s really going on and just indulge your gummy craving with a bag of Haribo’s.