In response to your article “The Big Problem with Children’s’ Vitamins and Supplements” we have two words:
You might be surprised that a producer of children’s gummy vitamins would endorse your article, but our founders, parents themselves, were similarly frustrated with the vitamin options available, so they set out to create a better product that solves many of the issues you raise. More specifically:
WHAT’S ON THE LABEL IS NOT WHAT’S IN THE PILL (OR GUMMY)
Exactly. This is why we test for purity and potency at every step of the manufacturing process (an FDA requirement). We then go an extra step, sending every finished batch to a third-party lab for independent testing. That way we make sure what’s on the label is what’s in our gummies. As far as USP certification, they don’t have a certification process for gummy vitamins at the moment. But USP does certify certain ingredients like vitamin C, and we use USP-grade nutrients in all our products. Unlike brands that label their products “perfect” we prefer to be transparent, doing our best to source the highest quality ingredients, in the best combination possible.
SOME ARE FULL OF ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS AND SWEETENERS
Right again. In order to get those eye-popping colors and flavors that are so appealing to children brands will often use chemically engineered additives – there’s no such thing as a “blue raspberry” in nature. As you point out in the article, these phony ingredients have a whole slew of documented dangers but even “natural” alternatives like stevia extract can wind up altering people’s sweetness perception; actually causing them to consume more sugar in the long run. Additionally, in order to offer a low or sugar-free product many brands also use artificial bulking agents like sorbitol or maltitol, which can have a laxative effect if taken in large amounts.
This is why we use organic cane sugar to sweeten our gummies, and when you scan our label you won’t find any junk. We’ll never use any artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or synthetic bulking agents.
VITAMIN D IS THE NEW VITAMIN E
True, there has been a wellspring of recent research highlighting the crucial need for vitamin D. As you noted, “Vitamin D deficiencies may cause hypocalcemic seizures, growth disturbances and rickets and perhaps influence cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.”
Due to concerns about skin cancer, spending most of the daylight hours indoors, or living in locations that don’t get much sun, many people may not be getting sufficient exposure to sunlight, which generates the form of vitamin D that’s most easily used by our bodies.
This is why vitamin D3 is an essential component of our all-in-one supplement. As a rule, we focus on including nutrients that are hardest to get through diet, like omega-3 DHA and EPA, iodine and B12. Of course in a perfect world everyone would be able to get all the nutrients they need through food, but as we all know, sometimes reality gets in the way of a perfectly balanced diet. On top of that, the fruits and vegetables we eat today contain less vitamins and minerals than they did just 60 years ago , so even if we were eating all the right foods all the time, we might still not get 100% of the key nutrients we need.
OUR FOODS ARE ALREADY HIGHLY FORTIFIED
Many food staples like milk, cereal and even orange juice have vitamins and minerals added, while some brands have started using vitamin fortification to disguise their products as “health foods”. This is why many of the nutrients in our gummies are not included at 100% of the RDA. We know that people are probably getting those nutrients through other dietary sources. Because our product tastes so good, and it can be hard to stick to the recommended dosage, we only include a small percentage of the RDA for vitamin A and we don’t include iron, which carries the potential for overdose.
IF YOUR CHILD EATS A BALANCED DIET THERE’S NO NEED FOR VITAMINS
Again, we couldn’t agree more. However as parents, we know how hard it is to follow a balanced diet ourselves day in, day out, let alone to get our children to follow one. As nearly any parent can attest, sometimes, despite your best efforts, and many threats of “you’ll sit there until you eat it,” some kids are just plain picky eaters. Heck even some adults can be pretty selective, and many put their children’s health ahead of their own. So while you don’t want to go supplementing with mass dosages of every single vitamin and mineral on the planet, we don’t believe there’s any harm in getting a small daily dose of those nutrients that have been clinically proven to promote good health. Kind of like a nutritional insurance policy, because again, nobody’s perfect.
THE SUPPLEMENT RISK
While we agree with nearly every point in the article, by and large, there were some case studies cited in the article that we found to be a bit sensational — the death of a preterm child from a probiotic administered in a hospital setting seems a bit far afield from the vitamin aisle. There are plenty of examples of problems with the supplement industry without having to resort to melodrama.
Overall, we thank you for the piece. We know that consumers are frustrated with all the confusion surrounding vitamins and supplements, and we welcome any honest attempt to shed some light, and give some actionable advice to consumers about how to find the products that are safe and right for them.
Do you know any vitamin skeptics? Share this with them!
What’s your position on vitamins? Love? Hate? Undecided? We’d love to hear in the comments!
Posted on June 16, 2015