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Vitamins offer a convenient way for individuals to fill any nutrient gaps they might have in their diets. And for some, a vitamin made from whole foods may be especially appealing.

GEM Vitamins is a relatively new supplement company that stands out from competitors by offering chewy vitamin bites made from whole food ingredients.

This article provides a comprehensive review of GEM Vitamins, including pros, cons, and whether they’re worth purchasing.

Founded by Sara Cullen in 2018, GEM Vitamins was designed around the idea that food is medicine and that, therefore, supplements should be made with whole foods.

Unlike typical vitamins that come in capsule, tablet, or even powdered form, GEM Vitamins are square-shaped bites that are formulated using whole food ingredients such as dates, pumpkin seeds, and quinoa.

GEM Vitamins are 100% vegan and free from soy, gluten, and artificial colors, binders, and fillers.

However, it’s unclear whether these vitamins may be susceptible to cross contamination in the manufacturing process, so they may not be suitable for those with severe allergies.

The company also values sustainability and uses recyclable, compostable, and reusable containers.

Pros

  • whole food ingredients
  • sustainable packaging
  • may be easier to ingest for those who prefer not to swallow pills

Cons

  • not third-party tested for purity and potency
  • company doesn’t adhere to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling guidelines
  • poor Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating
  • expensive
  • not a comprehensive multivitamin
  • some ingredients may not be present in high enough doses to have meaningful benefits

GEM requires a monthly subscription. You can change your delivery date, swap products, or cancel at any time by sending a text message or logging into your account. However, cancellation requests must be submitted before an order is completed.

Each package contains a 1-month supply of product, which is packed in a recyclable tin. Your order is automatically renewed and shipped every 25 days, so you don’t have to worry about remembering to purchase your vitamins each month.

GEM currently offers three products: GEM Daily Essentials, GEM Daily Essentials Citrus Ginger, and GEM Sleep Essentials. Below is a closer look at each product.

GEM Daily Essentials

  • Flavors: cacao, lemon, peppermint
  • Vitamins and minerals: vitamin D, biotin, folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, magnesium, iron, potassium, and vitamins B5, B6, and B12
  • Additional ingredients: dates, pumpkin seeds, coconut, chia seeds, spirulina powder, sunflower oil, chlorella vulgaris powder, quinoa sprouts, ashwagandha root and leaf extract, pink sea salt, Orgen-I curry leaf extract, mushroom powder, mixed tocopherols, chicory root fiber (cacao flavor only), unsweetened chocolate (cacao flavor only), lemon oil (lemon flavor only), and peppermint oil (peppermint flavor only)
  • Nutrition facts per 1-bite (10-gram) serving (1):
    • Calories: 35–40 (varies by flavor)
    • Carbs: 5 grams
    • Sugar: 3 grams
    • Fiber: 1 gram
    • Fat: 1.5 grams
    • Protein: 1 gram

The company’s main product is its Daily Essentials — chewy bites that are made with more than 15 whole food ingredients and meant to serve as a daily multivitamin for adults.

According to the brand’s website, the multivitamin is designed to support energy balance and mental clarity.

While the Daily Essentials supplement contains various vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and vitamin D, it offers fewer nutrients than many other multivitamins on the market.

Additionally, most of the nutrients in GEM Daily Essentials are present in doses that fall below 100% of the recommended Daily Value.

This is because GEM Daily Essentials are designed to help fill nutrient gaps rather than to provide a comprehensive source of micronutrients.

In addition to vitamins and minerals, GEM Daily Essentials includes the following active ingredients:

  • Astaxanthin. According to GEM, astaxanthin is an antioxidant booster, found in red algae, that supports skin health, eye clarity, and healthy aging. While some small studies have found astaxanthin potentially beneficial for skin health, especially in older adults, more research is needed, especially on its potential use for eye health (2, 3, 4).
  • Chia seeds. Chia seeds are a source of omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3s docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) have been linked with benefits for heart health, type 2 diabetes, and chronic disease prevention. However, because chia seeds contain a form of omega-3 that your body must convert to DHA or EPA, it’s unclear whether the amount of chia seeds in this product is enough for a meaningful benefit (5, 6).
  • Ashwagandha. Ashwagandha is an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine. It’s thought to have positive effects on mood and hormonal health. While some studies have found that it may help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, more research is needed (7).

Keep in mind that the specific amount of each of these ingredients is not listed on the label. This means that while some of the nutrients may have some evidence-based benefits, it’s unclear whether they are included in effective doses.

Furthermore, the product is not third-party tested, so it’s unknown whether it actually contains the types and amounts of ingredients that are listed on the label.

GEM Daily Essentials Citrus Ginger

  • Flavors: citrus ginger
  • Vitamins and minerals: vitamin D, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc
  • Additional ingredients: dates, dried orange powder, pumpkin seeds, crisped quinoa, acacia fiber, apricots, algae, candied ginger, chicory root fiber, sunflower oil, gluten free rolled oats, coconut, turmeric extract, probiotic powder, lemon extract, Madagascar pure vanilla powder, pink sea salt, mixed tocopherols, cardamom, and black pepper extract
  • Nutrition facts per 1-bite (10-gram) serving (1):
    • Calories: 35
    • Carbs: 6 grams
    • Sugar: 4 grams
    • Fiber: 1 gram
    • Fat: 1 gram
    • Protein: 0 grams

Unlike the other three Daily Essentials flavors, the Daily Essentials Citrus Ginger is formulated to support digestion, mood, and immune health.

Specifically, this flavor contains:

  • Probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are popular for promoting gut health. However, research on whether probiotic supplements are beneficial for healthy adults is inconclusive. Furthermore, probiotic supplements may be inappropriate for some people (8).
  • Prebiotics. Prebiotics are fibers that support the growth of good bacteria in the gut. However, research on the effectiveness of prebiotic supplements is limited (9).
  • Vitamin D3. Preliminary research suggests that vitamin D supplements may have a positive impact on mood. Additionally, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to decreased immunity. However, regularly overconsuming vitamin D can lead to toxicity, so this product might not be appropriate if you’re already taking a supplement containing vitamin D or eating a lot of vitamin D-rich foods (10, 11, 12, 13).
  • Zinc. Zinc is an essential mineral that plays an important role in several functions in the body, including immune health. Because zinc is found in common foods like red meat, beans, and whole grains, deficiency is rare (14).
  • Turmeric. Curcumin, found in turmeric, is an antioxidant that may help fight inflammation in the body and support muscle recovery in active individuals. However, studies showing these benefits have used doses much higher than what is included in these bites (15).

Like the other flavors of Daily Essentials, Daily Essential Citrus Ginger bites are not third-party tested for purity and potency.

Additionally, because they contain only five vitamins and minerals, Daily Essentials Citrus Ginger bites are not designed to be a comprehensive multivitamin.

GEM Sleep Essentials

  • Flavors: chocolate cherry
  • Vitamins and minerals: vitamin D, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium
  • Additional ingredients: dates, cocoa powder, tart cherries, cacao nibs, crisped quinoa, valerian root, pumpkin seeds, acacia fiber, sunflower oil, chicory root fiber, golden chlorella powder, l-theanine powder, gluten free rolled oats, lemon extract, PharmaGABA, Madagascar pure vanilla powder, pink sea salt, rosemary, and mixed tocopherols.
  • Nutrition facts per 1-bite (10-gram) serving (1):
    • Calories: 35
    • Carbs: 5 grams
    • Sugar: 3 grams
    • Fiber: 1 gram
    • Fat: 1 gram
    • Protein: 1 gram

GEM Sleep Essentials are chocolate cherry-flavored bites that are meant to be consumed at night to promote a more restful night’s sleep and support your mood and stress levels.

Here are some of the active ingredients found in Sleep Essentials:

  • Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is a neurotransmitter in your brain that blocks certain impulses, resulting in a calming effect. While more testing on the safety and effectiveness of GABA supplements is needed, some research suggests they may help prevent sleeplessness and depression, especially when combined with L-theanine — though the dose used in these studies is higher than what’s included in these bites (16).
  • L-theanine. As mentioned above, L-theanine, along with GABA, may help support more restful sleep and relaxation. However, the dose found in GEM Vitamins is much lower than what’s been shown to be effective (16).
  • Valerian root. Valerian, a plant thought to help promote sleep, is often found in nighttime teas and supplements. Some studies have found short-term use of valerian root effective for reducing anxiety and improving sleep, but the research overall is mixed (17).
  • Magnesium. Magnesium is an important mineral responsible for several functions in your body. Taking magnesium supplements has been associated with improvements in sleep quality and duration in adults with insomnia, but more research is needed on its benefits for adults without sleep conditions (18, 19).
  • Prebiotics. While one small study found that a prebiotic supplement was effective in improving quality of life and sleep in women with type 2 diabetes, more research is needed on the effectiveness of prebiotics for improving sleep in adults without diabetes (20).

Overall, while GEM Sleep Essentials contains ingredients that have been shown to be helpful for promoting a better night’s rest in certain populations, there’s currently no research on the safety and effectiveness of this supplement specifically.

Furthermore, many of its active ingredients are present in doses lower than those that studies have shown to be effective for improving sleep.

You can purchase 30 servings of either the Daily Essentials or Sleep Essentials for $55 per month or 30 servings of both for $110 per month, plus taxes. Shipping is free.

If you check out with just one product, such as the Daily Essentials, you’ll have the option to add a five-bite sample pack of another product, like the Sleep Essentials, for $10.

Your purchase also includes two free tins for storing your bites.

GEM Vitamins failed Healthline’s medical vetting process because the company doesn’t comply with supplement labeling guidelines established by the FDA.

Specifically, GEM makes product benefit claims without the addition of a disclaimer, per the FDA’s labeling guidelines.

Additionally, the company’s products are not third-party tested for purity and potency.

From a business perspective, GEM Vitamins received an average score, as no lawsuits or warning letters involving the company or its products were found. The company also has a valid certificate from Cloudflare, Inc., for privacy standards.

However, GEM Vitamins has an F rating from the BBB due to customer complaints.

Reviews found on the GEM website are generally positive, with many people noting their appreciation for the company’s whole foods approach.

Happy customers also say they’ve noticed better energy and mental clarity, as well as better sleep, since they began taking GEM Vitamins.

In contrast, reviews on the BBB website are overwhelmingly negative, with reviewers saying they find the bites dry and unpleasant-tasting. Some customers complain of poor experiences with customer service, billing, and refunds.

Many also feel that GEM Vitamins products are too expensive.

GEM Vitamins are likely safe for most healthy adults. However, because the products are not third-party tested, it’s unclear whether they actually contain the types and amounts of ingredients that they claim to on their labels.

Furthermore, while their ingredients are generally considered safe for healthy adults, GEM Vitamins products haven’t been studied to assess potential risks and side effects.

As they should with most supplements, people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications should consult a healthcare professional before taking GEM Vitamins.

Finally, GEM Vitamins are formulated for adults and are not appropriate for children.

GEM Vitamins promotes a whole foods approach to multivitamins, as opposed to traditional synthetic vitamins.

According to the company’s website, synthetic vitamins often contain harmful ingredients such as artificial additives, chemicals, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The website continues to say that many synthetic vitamins have deceptive supplement labels that don’t list these harmful ingredients.

While it’s certainly true that supplements aren’t regulated as tightly as pharmaceuticals, some vitamin companies provide assurance of purity and quality by voluntarily having their multivitamins tested by a third-party lab such as NSF International.

With that said, it’s still best to consume the majority of your nutrients from whole foods when possible, as research has shown that some nutrients, such as vitamins C and B12, are better absorbed from whole food sources than from synthetic vitamins (19).

Additionally, because whole food ingredients contain a combination of nutrients — compared to the isolated nutrients found in synthetic vitamins — it’s thought that consuming nutrients from whole foods is best, though more research in humans is needed (19).

While GEM Vitamins Daily Essentials offers a whole foods-based multivitamin, it’s important to keep in mind that the Daily Essentials contains fewer nutrients than many other multivitamins on the market.

As a result, it’s better suited for people who already eat a balanced diet but could use some help filling gaps in their diet than for people who are at a greater risk of nutrient deficiencies.

GEM Vitamins supplements also make additional health claims, such as helping to reduce stress and improve sleep. While GEM products do contain research-backed ingredients, many ingredients are not present in doses that have been shown to be effective.

What’s more, the research on many of these ingredients is inadequate to support their effectiveness in healthy adults.

Finally, keep in mind that GEM Vitamins products aren’t third-party tested for purity and potency.

There are several subscription-based vitamin companies on the market, including Ritual, HUM Nutrition, and Nurish by Nature Made.

There are also brands that offer supplements made from whole food ingredients, such as MegaFood and Garden of Life.

Here’s a closer look at how GEM Vitamins Daily Essentials compares to similar multivitamins on the market:

Price per servingTypeThird-party testedNumber of vitamins and mineralsOther benefits
GEM Daily Essentials$1.83bitesno12• whole food ingredients
• multiple flavors
Ritual Essential for Women$1.00capsulesyes9• vegan
• no artificial colors or fillers
• contains omega-3 DHA
Nurish by Nature Made Women’s Multi$0.22capsulesyes23• gluten-free
• no artificial flavors
• one-a-day formulation
HUM Base Control$0.33tabletsyes22• non-GMO
• no artificial sweeteners or colors
• gluten-free
• access to registered dietitian
MegaFood Women’s One Daily$0.98tabletsno21• whole food ingredients
• tested for herbicides and pesticides
• certified gluten-free
• vegetarian
Garden of Life Vitamin Code Women$1.53capsulesno18• certified gluten-free
• whole food ingredients
• vegetarian
• non-GMO verified

Are GEM Vitamins FDA-approved?

Technically, no supplements are FDA-approved.

While the FDA does regulate supplements, the regulations aren’t as stringent as those for pharmaceuticals. In particular, the FDA does not test the contents of dietary supplements, which is why it’s always a good idea to choose products that are third-party tested (21).

Healthline’s vetting team found that GEM Vitamins is not currently compliant with labeling guidelines set by the FDA.

Are GEM Vitamins third-party tested?

GEM Vitamins are not third-party tested, which means the accuracy of the supplement and ingredient labels is not guaranteed.

Are GEM Vitamins organic?

According to the company’s website, GEM Vitamins contain non-GMO, organic ingredients. However, it doesn’t appear that the ingredients are certified organic.

What do GEM Vitamins taste like?

GEM Vitamins Daily Essentials are available in four flavors: lemon, cacao, peppermint, and citrus ginger. The Sleep Essentials product comes in a chocolate cherry flavor.

Happy customers on the GEM website write that the bites have a pleasant taste and chewy texture.

However, on other review sites, customers complain that the bites are dry and crumbly and have an unpleasant earthy taste.

Is GEM Vitamins Daily Essentials a good product?

GEM Vitamins Daily Essentials could be a good option if you’re interested in a whole foods-based multivitamin that you can easily chew.

However, the Daily Essentials isn’t a comprehensive multivitamin, so it may not meet the nutritional needs of all adults. Furthermore, many of the potentially beneficial ingredients aren’t present in effective doses.

Also keep in mind that the products are not third-party tested and are not compliant with the FDA’s supplement labeling guidelines.

GEM Vitamins offers whole food supplement bites that are formulated to support overall health and well-being.

However, due to the lack of third-party testing and low doses of certain ingredients, it’s unclear whether GEM Vitamins products are safe and effective. The company also failed Healthline’s medical vetting because it does not comply with labeling guidelines set by the FDA.

Furthermore, at $1.83 per bite, GEM Vitamins aren’t cheap.

There are more affordable, third-party tested brands on the market that offer a broader spectrum of nutrients than GEM, such as Nurish by Nature Made.

Similarly, while not all of its products are third-party tested, Garden of Life is well known for providing high quality supplements made with whole food ingredients.