Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Vitamins that Gag You and Those that Don't

Does anyone else have problems swallowing vitamins? Is it my imagination or are they becoming larger? Am I the only one who thinks that some are resembling ammo from a 38 caliber revolver in their size and shape? Could we possibly confuse them someday with the suppositories in our medicine cabinets? They're already about as easy to swallow.

A number of months ago, while my daughter was out of the country, she made a request. She asked me to bring her a bottle of Centrum Flavour Burst Chews. I doubted these were readily available, certainly not with that spelling of the word 'flavour'. Like a good mom, I immediately headed for the source of all things imported and unique....Walmart. There they were, boldly perched atop the shelf like some rare little bird. Why had I never noticed them before?

I had no idea there were such things available.Wow. Who thought of that? Adult yummy chewable vitamins...what a genius! Why should children be the only ones who get Flintstones vitamins, even though they have no idea who the Flintstones are?  Now we too can enjoy good health with a candy coating and bright artificial colours. I took the product home and immediately examined them...with my mouth. Hmmm....crunchy and chewy with some flavour. Easy to consume. Lovely bright packaging too.
On one of my more recent Walmart excursions, I happened to be in the supplement aisle, enroute to the acid reflux relief shelves. Don't you just love old age? Now that I had become more aware of the possibilities, I glanced around and took a closer look. 

"No way! " I said aloud. By the way,  that's another thing I do out loud. I don't notice or care that people are within earshot when I make my comments. It helps me organize my thoughts, share my experiences, and get excited about things more than if I were only to think about them. If there's nobody else with whom I can share my excitement, I share it with myself. Sound weird? I don't care. Alas, I digress.

Once again, something new and amazing caught my eye. Gummies for women! A bottle leapt into my cart and went home with me. I tried one. Mmmmm.....even better than the crunchy Centrums. In fact, I was hard pressed not to sample another one. So delicious. Now I understand why kiddies run into trouble when their vitamin bottles are left within their reach.

I decided to check the label to see what made these gummies so good. Apart from the list of nutrients, vitamins A to Z and calium, which took up the bulk of the label, I found tiny print at the bottom. It said, non-medical ingredients and the first one was...what else? SUGAR!

It had definitely been too good to be true. Despite being called a vitamin, despite all the lovely pictures of fruit on the label...sugar. I suppose the Centrum chews are the same although the label gives no indication and the box has long since disappeared into the recycling bin.

Amazingly enough, these adult essential gummie vitamins actually have their own facebook page. There, it says they are nut and gluten free. Good to know.

I have become very aware of all the sodium, sugar and chemicals in our foods. Many foods, are disguised as nutritious despite their content, but vitamins? Vitamins should be the last pure threshold of all things healthful. On the other hand, the sugar content is probably minimal and if it helps get them down, the benefits surely must outweigh the negatives. Sadly, once I'm finished this bottle, I will be forced to go back to gagging down the old enormous, tasteless projectiles.

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