GEM Vitamins Review: NOT Worth $5.50 a Day

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So I Googled GEM vitamins to see what the fuss was about. Within a few minutes of clicking through their site and all of its wellness-y rhetoric, I decided they were worth reviewing.  They talk about how “food is medicine,” which you may know I take issue with for several reasons.

Spoiler: these chewy, pricey vitamins are massively overhyped. I’ve written before about how to spot a nutrition scam. GEM Vitamins check several of the boxes.

Below you’ll find my review of what GEM Vitamins are and how they taste. I paid for the samples and am not being compensated for my review.

If you want to dig deep, , there’s also a lengthy, evidence-based examination of GEM’s claims.

Pssstt…want more insight into how diet culture marketing tricks you into wasting your money and time? Sign up for my weekly newsletter for deep dives into various diets, supplements, and wellness trends.

What are GEM Vitamins? “Vitamins you eat.”

GEM vitamin reviews: There are 3 types of GEM vitamins.

GEM’s tagline is that they’re “vitamins you eat.” It’s a bit of a confusing sell. Technically you “eat” all ingestible supplements: pills, powders, chewables, liquids, etc. And, practically all the food you eat contains “vitamins you eat,” too. 

Unlike traditional vitamin pills, GEM Vitamin bites are more like tiny energy bars fortified with vitamins. Dates are the first ingredient in all of the vitamin bites, which also contain pumpkin seeds, coconut, quinoa sprouts, and chia seeds. 

There are 3 different GEM Vitamin formulations:

1) Daily Essentials + Greens: available in 3 flavors (Lemon, Peppermint, or Cacao)
2) Daily Essentials + Gut: available in Turmeric Ginger Citrus
3) Daily Essentials + Sleep: available in Chocolate Cherry

For this review, I ordered one of each formulation. I chose the Lemon flavor for my Daily Essentials + Greens, because it sounded the best.

How much do GEM Vitamins cost?

Given their Goop-like marketing, I wasn’t surprised to see that GEM Vitamins are expensive.

I ordered the Essentials Sampler Kit, which cost $30 (plus $5.60 for standard shipping) for 15 vitamin bites (5 of each formulation). That breaks down to $2 per vitamin bite.

A tin of 30 GEM Vitamin bites costs $55 for all formulations and flavors. That breaks down to $1.83 per vitamin bite.

GEM recommends taking one of each formulation every day (3 bites total), which costs $5.50 per day. (Or $6 per day if you ordered the sample pack.)

That’s pricey. (For reference, a multivitamin will cost you less than 10 cents per day.)

GEM Vitamins Review: How do they taste?

GEM vitamin review: They do not taste good

I won’t lie to you: GEM vitamins do not taste good. I was surprised that each formulation tasted very different.

Daily Essentials + Greens Lemon taste: Absolutely horrible. This bite was dry and crumbly, with the texture of chalk. The spirulina taste was strong, which made it taste like grass. There wasn’t any lemon taste at all.

Daily Essentials + Sleep Chocolate Cherry taste: Extremely bitter, a little minty and very floral with a licorice taste. It was also hard to chew, and I couldn’t finish it. I ate half and threw the rest out, because I was so put off by the bitter, floral, vitamin-y taste.

Daily Essentials + Gut Turmeric Ginger Citrus taste: Actually pretty good. This bite was chewy and tasted like citrus peel. Its sweet-sour flavor was strong enough to overpower any vitamin taste, and there wasn’t a strong turmeric flavor.

Overall, I was disappointed with the flavor and texture of the bites. While the Daily Essentials + Gut bites were OK, the other two were practically inedible.

Are GEM vitamins good for you?

GEM vitamin bites do contain various vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that have health benefits. (They also contain several compounds with no clearly proven health benefit.) But, they don’t deliver anything more than an average, far cheaper supplement. They’re just playing to orthorexic beliefs around food and eating. Plus, it’s likely that you’re getting most of these nutrients from the food you eat, so it might not be necessary to supplement at all.  To read more about how supplement marketers misrepresent science in order to sell their products, go here.

If you’re looking for a vitamin supplement, I’d suggest a standard multivitamin instead of the more expensive GEM vitamins.

And remember, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate supplements. GEM Vitamins don’t have a seal of approval from a third-party lab, either. So, there’s no way to know whether they even contain what they say they do. 

Have I convinced you not to bother with GEM vitamins? Great! No need to read any further.

If you’re still curious about GEM vitamins, let’s dig (much) deeper into the nutrition facts and the evidence.



GEM Vitamins Review: Nutrition Facts, Ingredients and Health Claims

Each type of vitamin has different nutrients and ingredients. Let’s take a look at each one.

Daily Essentials + Greens (Lemon) Ingredients and Nutrition

Daily Essentials + Greens, Lemon review

Ingredients

Dates, Coconut, Pumpkin Seeds, Magnesium Hydroxide (from seawater), Chia Seeds, Cracked Cell Chlorella vulgaris Powder, Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) Powder, Quinoa Sprouts Germinated with B-vitamins (Vitamin B3 as niacin, Vitamin B5 as pantothenic acid, Vitamin B2 as riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B1 as thiamin, Vitamin B7 as biotin, Vitamin B9 as folate, Vitamin B12), Crisped Quinoa, Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Roote and Leaf Extract, Lemon Oil, Pink Sea Salt, Oregon-I® Curry (Murraya koenigii) Leaf Extract, Menaquinone (Vitamin K2 from chickpea fermentation), Mushroom Powder, Astaxanthin (Haematococcus pluvialis algae), Mixed Tocopherols (natural antioxidant)

Nutrition Facts for 1 Daily Essentials + Greens bite (10 g)

Calories: 35

Total fat: 1.5 g (0.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat)

Cholesterol: 0 mg

Sodium: 15 mg

Carbohydrate: 5 g (1 g fiber, 3 g sugars, 0 g added sugars)

Protein: 1 g

Vitamin D: 20.5 mcg (100% daily value)

Biotin: 30 mcg (100% daily value)

Vitamin B12: 1.7 mcg (70% daily value)

Vitamin B5: 2.7 mg (50% daily value)

Riboflavin: 0.5 mg (40% daily value)

Thiamin: 0.4 mg (35% daily value)

Magnesium: 210 mg (50% daily value)

Vitamin B6: 0.5 mg (30% daily value)

Folate: 120 mcg DFE (30% daily value)

Iron: 1.8 mg 1.8 mg (10% daily value) 

Potassium: 60 mg (2% daily value)

Also contains (not on nutrition facts panel):

100 mg Omega-3 (no recommended daily value established)

130 mg Ashwagandha (no recommended daily value established)

4 mg Astaxanthin (no recommended daily value established)

52 mcg Vitamin K2

The Claim

According to GEM, these bites are “formulated to support energy + focus + beauty”.

I’ll start by saying that GEM’s equivalent of a multivitamin, the Daily Essentials + Greens, has fewer essential vitamins and minerals than your average drugstore pill. 

For example, Nature Made Women’s Multivitamin Softgels with Vitamin D3 and Iron delivers 23 vitamins and minerals, including at least 100% of the daily value for 17 of those.

Nature Made Multi For Him delivers 22 vitamins and minerals, including at least 100% of the daily value for 19 of those.

And,

GEM Daily Essentials + Greens vitamin bites deliver just 11 vitamins and minerals, and you’ll only get 100% of your daily value for one of those, Vitamin D. 

Nature Made Women’s Multivitamin Softgels with Vitamin D3 and Iron cost roughly $0.18 per day, and Nature Made Multi For Him costs $0.08 per day, whereas GEM Daily Essentials + Greens cost about $1.83 per day. 

So, you’re paying about 10-20 times more for the GEM vitamins, and getting less than half of the vitamins and minerals. Not a great deal.

GEM Daily Essentials + Greens contains additional compounds: Omega-3s, Ashwagandha, and Astaxanthin.

Omega-3s

A 2019 8,000-participant study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that daily Omega-3 pills reduced a person’s risk for heart attack and stroke. However, all of these participants were already at elevated risk for heart disease, so there’s no way to know from this data whether Omega-3s would do anything for healthy people. And, the participants took 2 grams of Omega-3s per day — 20 times more than you get from a GEM Vitamin bite. 

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an herb used in Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India. In recent years, a handful of small randomized trials (this one from 2009, this one from 2012, and this one from 2019) have found that daily doses of 250-600 mg Ashwagandha extract can decrease anxiety and improve sleep among participants. But, these studies are small and short-term. As of now, it’s not clear exactly how Ashwagandha works, and whether or not it’s safe long-term. So, while the 130 mg Ashwagandha in GEM Vitamins is probably safe, the benefits aren’t clear.

Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin is a red-pink pigment that’s present in various types of seafood and some bird feathers. It’s an antioxidant, and some experts believe that it might prevent your cells from damage. However, there’s very little research available on the effect of Astaxanthin in humans. It’s hard to say with confidence that Astaxanthin has any benefits. 

The Verdict on GEM Daily Essentials + Greens: Not that beneficial for health.

You’ll get far more vitamins and minerals from an everyday (much cheaper) multivitamin. While omega-3s and ashwagandha might have some health benefits, the dose found in GEM vitamins probably isn’t high enough. And, there’s no significant evidence that astaxanthin has health benefits.

Daily Essentials + Sleep (Chocolate Cherry) Ingredients and Nutrition

Daily Essentials + Sleep Chocolate Cherry Review

Ingredients

Dates, Acacia Fiber, Cocoa Powder, Cacao Nibs (Therbroma Cacao with Evaporated Coconut Palm Nectar), Magnesium Hydroxide (from seawater), Chicory Root Fiber, Montmorency Tart Cherries (with Cane Sugar, Sunflower Oil), Valerian Root, Crisped Quinoa, Golden Chlorella Powder, Alphawave® Pure L-Theanine Powder, Pumpkin Seeds, Gluten Free Rolled Oats, PharmaGABA®, Lemon Extract, Pink Sea Salt, Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Powder, Rosemary, Mixed Tocopherols (natural antioxidant).

Nutrition Facts for 1 Daily Essentials + Sleep bite (10 g)

Calories: 30

Total fat: 0.5 g (0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat)

Cholesterol: 0 mg

Sodium: 30 mg

Carbohydrate: 5 g (1 g fiber, 3 g sugars, 0 g added sugars)

Protein: 1 g

Vitamin D: 0 mcg (0% daily value)

Calcium: 10 mg (0% daily value)

Iron: 0.6 mg (4% daily value)

Potassium: 50 mg (2% daily value)

Magnesium 200 mg (50% daily value)

Also contains (not on nutrition facts panel):

120 mg  GABA (no recommended daily value established)

200 mg L-Theanine (no recommended daily value established)

400 mg Valerian Root  (no recommended daily value established)

The Claim

According to GEM, these vitamin bites are “formulated to support sleep + mood + stress”

The only essential vitamin or mineral found in GEM Daily Essentials + Sleep vitamin bites is magnesium. On top of that, each bite also contains GABA, L-Theanine, and Valerian Root

Magnesium

Magnesium is an important mineral. It plays a key role in regulating many biochemical processes, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. It’s also essential for bone development and DNA synthesis. There’s also some weak evidence suggesting that magnesium might help with sleep.

However, you probably don’t need a magnesium supplement. Magnesium deficiency is rare, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). And, it’s abundant in loads of common foods, including many types of nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, beans, meat and fish. 

Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an amino acid and a neurotransmitter. It’s already present in your brain, and its main role is to block certain signals in your central nervous system, slowing down your brain. Thus, it has a calming, protective effect on your brain and body.

2019 review published in Molecules found that GABA has the potential to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and brain disorders. However, more testing needs to be done to figure out whether or not GABA is safe and effective, and what the recommended dosage might be.

L-Theanine

L-Theanine is an amino acid. It’s not an essential amino acid (meaning that our body needs it but can’t produce it) or a non-essential amino acid (one that our body needs but can produce on its own). It’s also not common in food, and really only found in supplements and certain tea. Studies, like this 2011 randomized controlled trial in the Journal of Functional Foods, have found that taking 200 mg of L-Theanine every day can promote relaxation, but that it doesn’t seem to reduce anxiety. Most trials have been very small, and more research needs to be done. Still, the GEM vitamin bites do contain the proper dosage to promote relaxation, so that may be a benefit.

Valerian Root

Valerian is a plant that’s been used in traditional medicine for centuries to promote sleep and relaxation. It’s common in sleep teas, and has a strong bitter flavor. However, most studies suggest that valerian root doesn’t actually seem to improve sleep quality or soothe anxiety.

The Verdict on GEM Daily Essentials + Sleep: Not that beneficial for health

Although magnesium is an important nutrient, deficiency is rare and there’s probably no need to supplement. GABA might have health benefits, but the safety of taking supplements isn’t clear yet. And, although valerian root is a popular sleep aid, there’s virtually no evidence to back it up. Probably the only worthwhile compound in these vitamin bites L-Theanine, which has been shown to help you relax. But, $1.83 per day is a lot to pay for just one compound.

Daily Essentials + Gut (Turmeric Ginger Citrus) Ingredients and Nutrition

Daily Essentials + Gut Turmeric Ginger Citrus Review

Ingredients

Dates, Acacia Fiber, Freeze Dried Orange Powder (Orange Peel & Pulp), Apricots, Candied Ginger, Chicory Root Fiber, BetaVia™ Complete Whole Algae (Euglena Gracilis) Germentate, Pumpkin Seeds, Crisped Quinoa, Gluten Free Rolled Oats, Curcumin C3 Complex® (Turmeric Extract), Coconut, Probiotic LactoSpore® Powder 15B (Bacillus Coagulans MTCC 5856), Lemon Extract, Pink Sea Salt, Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder, Cardamom, Zinc Citrate Dihydrate, BioPerine® (Black Pepper Extract), Mixed Tocopherols (Natural Antioxidant), Vitashine Vegan Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol Rich Lichen Extract).

Nutrition Facts for 1 Daily Essentials + Gut bite (10 g)

Calories: 30

Total fat: 0.5 g (0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat)

Cholesterol: 0 mg

Sodium: 35 mg

Carbohydrate: 6 g (1 g fiber, 4 g sugars, <1 g added sugars)

Protein: 0 g

Vitamin D: 27.2 mcg (140% daily value)

Calcium: 20 mg (2% daily value)

Iron: 0.2 mg (2% daily value)

Potassium: 70 mg (2% daily value)

Zinc: 4.1 mg (35% daily value)

Also contains (not on nutrition facts panel):

250 mg  Curcumin (no recommended daily value established)

383 BetaVia™ Complete (no recommended daily value established)

2 Billion AFU Probiotics (no recommended daily value established)

The Claim

According to GEM, these vitamin bites are “formulated to support gut + skin + immune health”

The GEM Daily Essentials + Gut vitamin bites contain a significant amount of Zinc. They also contain curcumin, BetaVia™ Complete, and probiotics.

Zinc

An essential mineral, Zinc is important for cellular metabolism, immune function, protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA synthesis, cell division, and growth and development. Deficiency is uncommon in North America and other developed countries. Foods like seafood, meat, dairy, oatmeal, and certain legumes are high in zinc, and breakfast cereal is often fortified with zinc. It’s also found in multivitamins.

Curcumin

Curcumin is the yellow pigment found in turmeric. It is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. This 2017 review published in Foods concluded that curcumin could have some potential health benefits, including helping manage muscle soreness, arthritis, anxiety. In most studies, participants took curcumin at a much higher dose than the 250 mg found in GEM vitamins.

BetaVia™ Complete

BetaVia™ Complete is a dried algae supplement made from euglena gracilis, a type of freshwater algae. A 2019 randomized clinical trial published in Nutrients found that it reduced the number of self-reported sick days among participants, which is a sign that it might improve immunity. However, the study only included 34 participants, and only lasted 90 days. Algae is nutritious. But much more research is needed before we know whether it actually supports immunity.

Probiotics

I wrote about probiotics extensively for this article in Outside. The bottom line is that while probiotics (healthy bacteria) are good, you already have trillions living in your gut. There’s no significant evidence saying that probiotic supplements do any good. Plus, it’s impossible to tell whether the bacteria are still alive when you take the supplement. And, while there are thousands of different types of probiotics, most supplements contain the same few types. So, probiotic supplementation just isn’t worth it.

The Verdict on GEM Daily Essentials + Gut: Could have some benefits, but it’s nothing special.

Zinc and curcumin both have health benefits. Zinc is available in multivitamins and food, and curcumin is usually taken as an additional supplement. There may also be some benefit to the algae, but this isn’t clear yet. And, the probiotics aren’t worthwhile.

I hope I’ve convinced you to skip GEM Vitamins and save your $5.50/day for something else.

Like so many expensive, well-marketed supplements out there, GEM Vitamins seem like a great idea. They make all types of claims about improving health, sleep, appearance, mood, etc. But, there’s very little evidence that the vitamin bites will actually deliver on these claims.

The information presented here is not to be misconstrued as individual medical advice. Always talk to your doctor before taking any dietary supplements.



Do you struggle with an eating disorder, disordered eating, bingeing, or constant food cravings. It might feel inescapable, but the truth is that life doesn’t have to be this way. Working with a registered dietitian can help you break free from unhealthy patterns for good. To learn more about my nutrition counseling services, go here.


You might also like:

How to Spot a Nutrition Scam — 4 Red Flags to Look For

How to Reject Diet Culture In Every Part of Your Life

How to Prevent Eating Disorders? Start By Rejecting Diet Culture

The 75 Hard Challenge Is Full of Red Flags

Gem Vitamins Review

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48 Comments

  1. Vitamin D3

    Some categories of individuals may require more types of supplements than others.
    Vegetarians tend to be deficient in certain vitamins that
    are only found in animal products

    Also visit my web-site: Vitamin D3

    • Christine Byrne, MPH, RD

      So true! I definitely recommend that people discuss their diets with their primary care provider to make sure there are no major nutrient gaps.

    • Anita

      I was hooked after watching the video but decided to find out more info before I hand over my money. Thank you sooo much for breaking everything down and making it easy to understand. You just saved my Paypal $40.

  2. Diane

    Thank you. Very helpful information.

  3. Renee Fernandes

    Thanks for this! I appreciate your viewpoint given your expertise. Can you recommend a vitamin instead? Trying to find a good, solid daily vitamin that the body can actually absorb and use-which is why GEM caught my eye.

    • Christine Byrne, MPH, RD

      Honestly, I don’t recommend multivitamins for everyone. But if you have gaps in your diet or have a health condition that means you might need one (which your primary care provider can help you figure out!), I generally recommend the Nature Made brand. They have a few different multivitamins and several other supplements. Almost all of their products are tested by the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP), the most trusted third-party testing lab that makes sure each supplement contains exactly what it says on the label, in the right amounts. They’re also relatively inexpensive and sold at most major drug stores and supermarkets.

      • TODRA

        I like that you’re questioning and you brought up some good points. I lived in several countries in Europe over the course of three years. I have histamine intolerance and overnight nearly all foods gave me allergic reactions. The well respected specialist I saw in Europe wrote me a prescription for vitamins! I’ve never had an American doctor write a prescription for anything other then pharmaceutical meds. He also suggested changes to my diet (food as medicine). The vitamins did wonders for my condition. And my hair stopped falling out in chunks leaving me with bald patches.

        I’m not endorsing GEM. I’ve never tried them and won’t at that price. I’m grateful for this thorough review of them, but the fact that the writer has a thing against vitamins overall is what gives me pause. I find American health professionals will harp on how the FDA doesn’t regulate something,but will suggest a pharmaceutical drug that has known crazy side effects.

        My personal belief is that true health benefits can be found on both sides of the fence, but I certainly don’t want to be scammed by some trendy vitamin company.

  4. Sharon

    Thank you! I was ready to buy Gem but thought I’d review first. I’ll pass!

  5. Adam

    Thanks for writing this up! My mom recently bought quite a bit of these because she’s skeptical about what is “really” in regular multivitamins. Sounds like GEM is using that skepticism of hers to take her money, I’ll have to send her this.

  6. Mikki

    I personally love the Gem daily Lemon vitamins but have only been on them for one month. I don’t mind the taste but will say it took a few days to get used to the 3 bite vitamin. I am pescatarian and lack some things from meats…I’m guessing. At any rate I feel good and for $1.50 a day I’ll stay on it until I decide it might not be making a difference. I appreciate your views but don’t understand why you thought all 3 types were needed at once. I didn’t take it that way when making a decision of which one to choose. They are for 3 difference purposes. Thanks for your opinion but my opinion differs.

    • Mojo

      I am trying to find an alternative to daily vitamins due to reg vitamins make me nauseous. I have eaten the multipak and yes they have a taste that is an aquired taste. I just tried the gut chews and find the palpable.

  7. Theresa

    I’m really glad I did not read your article prior to trying GEM vitamins because it would have influenced me not to “waste” my money and I would have missed out on the best thing I’ve encountered since diagnosed with my auto immune disease. I have no personal investment in the company and only discovered it from an ad pop up during my online games. And maybe most people just need a multivitamin but not everyone. My doctor explained my body wasn’t absorbing properly and I’d need to get what I needed from real food. It would cost me a lot more money and time to try and get everything from my diet alone. I enter the GEM info into my micronutrients app and then I can make up the nutrients it doesn’t supply with my diet. After only a week I felt 20 years younger. Now after 2 weeks, my inflammation is the lowest it’s ever been, my brain fog is gone and my sleep is solid and I have no trouble getting out of bed in the morning. And maybe it’s just a placebo effect, but I’ll still take it over what I was feeling before. So while I understand your hesitancy and viewpoint, it feels like it was only based on taste and cost not the benefits it’s actually providing. It would have been better if you had encouraged people to only try samples to make sure they could handle the taste and felt a difference before they fully committed, rather than make it out to be closer to a scam. And everywhere I checked they always said the recommended dose is to take 1 a day, can take more, but not to exceed 3 per day. I really hope you do more research and update your article to reflect the opinions of those who are benefitting from GEM vitamins.

    • Allison Ford

      I 100% agree with you. As I said in my previous reply to her. She provided no statistical data to back up what she was saying. This review was only her opinion. What works for one person may not work for another. I also read that multivitamins, which has been backed up by statistical scientific data, are a waste of money and do nothing to help us at all. As for eating food to get our 100% vitamins and minerals we need? It isn’t possible. We would be constantly eating all day long everyday. Did you ever read how much of one food we need to eat in order get the recommended daily vitamin for just one food? All we can do is eat as healthy as possible every day and try to eat unhealthy foods in moderation. Because keys face it, we are only human and what would our world be without a little unhealthy food once in a while? I also read that GEM was produced in a way that is most like the healthy foods we eat but instead of eating lets say a entire bag of kale, the nutrition of kale has been taken out and reduced to give us the same nutrtion our bodies require. Also, GEM has added other natural things, such as Valarian root, which is a natural way to help us relax and sleep better.
      Thank you for your comment.
      You helped me decide to try GEM for myself.

      • Christine Byrne, MPH, RD, LDN

        I appreciate your thoughts here, and I hope GEM works for you! My goal was only to review the evidence on various compounds found in GEM, as well as the taste. There are no peer-reviewed studies that look specifically at GEM vitamins, so statistical evidence doesn’t exist yet. But hopefully it will someday, and we can have a clearer picture.

    • Chona

      Yes! Each and everyone of us have unique body chemistry and DNA. I have been taking GEM for almost 2 years now and I can tell you how I feel about it and how it helps me with my heavy bleeding due to my fibroids. I am also anemic, my blood test in 2020 was something I never seen before on my results, my OBgyn told me that my numbers show that my anemia is normal now, I still watch my iron level so I do get my blood panel every 6 months so far so good. I am not being paid for this review this is my personal experience with GEM bites and would like to share it in this thread. Based on my actual lab test I truly believe it is helping me. I just turned 50 and in the midst of peri menopausal, after almost two years of taking GEM my monthly cycle that used to be heavy is now regulated. Trust me, I have tried expensive supplements in pill form like garden life and CODE, on top of it I am taking iron supplements for my anemia, recently I have stopped taking them and only take GEM Daily Essentials or formerly labeled Immunity Essentials. If this can help you to decide if we do need supplements then that makes me feel good sharing it. It is true that we can get the nutrients that our body needs from the food we eat but it is almost impossible with our busy life and the kind of food being sold to us to get all of it. In fact all of us have some sort of vitamins deficiency and that is where I do some research on how to fill in the gap, my family eat pretty healthy and no red meat in our meal , I am a mom who check every single ingredients on the label before it goes to my basket, there are so many ingredients I do avoid , like maltodextrin, carrageenan, all types of coloring not derived from plants, all Types of syrup or artificial sweeteners, gelatin and more, most of the vitamins in capsule or pill have some trace of these. GEM seems not to have the ingredients that I am avoiding. You see, in order to produce a product there is a lot of overhead cost to manufacture certain vitamins. I always think it this way, if I want Pho Soup would I rather make it or buy it! How much it will cost me to make it (time and money) rather than buying it from the restaurant, also short list of ingredients is better than long list, and the quality of the ingredients and the source do matters. The bottom line is there is no such thing as one fits all. You need to find what works for you and in order to do that you have to try the product.

      Hope this is worth reading to anyone.

  8. Lori

    Two questions: first one, do you have a brand of probiotic that you would recommend? As a nurse I do notice that a lot of patients who start antibiotics and develop digestive problems like diarrhea do better with probiotics added–but you make some really good points about the problems with finding a good probiotic. Second question, do you think there’s an ingredient in one of these Gem vitamins that might cause appetite suppression and excessive thirst? I’ve been on them for 2 weeks or so now and over the past few days have noticed this. Also it might be specific to the immune support tumeric vitamin because I added that one this week.

    Thanks for going into detail to break down every ingredient here, in general I agree with you and will probably stop subscribing to Gem. I do feel that if you eat a healthy balanced diet you don’t really need supplements, I was just curious if I would feel any different taking them.

  9. LaTee

    Thanks for your the review, it was very enlightening.

  10. Jessica

    Yikes! I read this to see what you had to say and I’m always wanting to learn new info, but wow! Christine- you shared a lot of facts and then also shared a lot of BS. For example, many people are deficient in magnesium. Muscles cramps and tight muscles being one sign of this. Valerian has proven to be effective with helping people fall asleep. More sleep, and more soundly asleep… Improves your health. I could go on and on… Are these pricey? Yes. Are they chock full of healthy benefits? They seem to be high quality and have key beneficial supplements. Do I think they are missing a few? Yes. I don’t work for the company and I haven’t tried these, but your take on nutrition is severely outdated in certain areas.

  11. Olga Cameron

    Hi,
    I got the sample packets of GEM. My daughter and I were both disappointed in the flavor, it was pretty bad. She will try putting them in a smoothie so the taste will be more tolerable.

  12. Pat

    Actually I’ve used Gem for this past year. I don’t see anything saying you need all three. I use the Immunity bites and notice a difference in my energy. I enjoy the taste though it is unusual. I recently purchased a sample of the sleep bites and enjoy the flavor. I’ve not taken enough of those to notice a difference. I recommend Gem to others and have good feedback.

  13. Kate

    Thank you, I was really hoping these would be a good alternative, since so much of vitamins bought are worthless.

    • Jan

      In a study ( probably by accident) while cleaning out porta potties, the writing on the vitamins could still be read as none were broken down in the digestive system. That says a lot. I love Gems!

  14. Alexandra Z

    Thank you so much for this! Brilliant and helpful.

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    ago? Any positive?

  16. Allison Ford

    I was under the assumption as to why they started marketing GEM to begin with was not only for their claims about the essential vitamins and whatever else you ate getting by taking/eating GEM’s but rather that the way in which regular vitamins are metabolized vs. theirs. GEM vitamins are supposed to be better than vitamins (pill form) because it is actual food you are eating and the way it is processed is better for vitamin absorption? I also read that regular vitamins showed no significant health benefits whatsover. That was statistical data prooving that their is no actual health benefit to taking vitamins. Aren’t we better off eating a healthy well balanced meal? Again I don’t know because back when I was pregnant and was told by my doctkr I had to take prenatal vitamins (100% agree Folic Acid is needed for babies health) they did make my nails grow longer and thicker and made my hair luxurious. But, maybe that’s just what happens from being pregnant? I don’t know because of what my doctor said I was to afraid not to take the prenatal vitamins.
    GEM supposedly is a vitamin that is made by using actual food (seeds etc.) that contain the vitamins needed (some but not all) along with other natural ingredients for our health/wellness (ie: Valarian root) which will digest and get absorbed into our system in a better way than a vitamin because of the way it is produced. It’s like taking a vitamin vs. making smoothies w/ healthy foods; adding fruit, seeds, nuts , leafy greens etc. GEM is supposedly the same as that smoothie, stating that once a vitamin becomes a vitamin all of the essential vitamins that our bodies require to be absorbed into our systems are removed. The reason GEM doesn’t contain every essential vitamin a multi vitamin lists on their bottle is because just like food, in order to consume all the food needed to get every essential vitamin and mineral our bodies need would mean we would constantly be eating all day long, which just isn’t possible. The other things put in GEM, one that you listed, Valarian Root is good for calming your body so you can sleep better. It is a natural herb for sleep and relaxation. Which you wouldn’t find on any multi vitamin.
    I was wondering, how long did you take GEM for and what blood tests, stress tests etc. did you do before and after taking GEM?, to see if their was any benefit to taking GEM vs. a multivitamin? This is all scientific statistical data needed to make an educated anaysis regarding GEM vs. a multivitamin. Your review of GEM’s taste again is your own. You may not like the taste of a certain food while someone else might enjoy the taste. I’m in no way shape or form saying what you reviewed is unfounded. That is your opinion. I am just saying that you provided no real statistical data to proove what you said in your review to be 100% accurate. And as we all know, one day data will suggest that eggs are healthy, then we hear that data suggesting that eggs are not healthy and then a while later we hear that eggs are beneficial. Like margarine vs. butter. One causes may cause cancer and the other may cause heart desease. I believe every individual should try (again with their doctors approval) to try whatever they can to see what might work for them. If someone takes GEM and believes they are helping them (placebo but not hurting them) whether it actually is or isn’t doesn’t mean anything if that person believes it is. Which is one way a lot of companies can bs their way into our lives and wallets. I am NOT going against anything you wrote in your review. I am just saying that this is one review from one person (educated as you are) but it shouldn’t be the end all be all for people to make an informed decision about this product. I am sure that for every review written against this product their is a doctor, nutitionalist etc. who disagree with your review. These are just my thoughts on the matter. Mine and mine alone.

    • DR

      What I heard was there are less expensive ways to obtain these supplements.

  17. Allison Ford

    I agree with you 100%. If they work for you then keep taking them. Everyones body tequirements are different. As for multi vitamins, there is statistical data stating that they are a waste of money because they are not absorbed into our body. You are better off eating healthy foods. And, GEM is processed in a way that vitamins get absorbed into our bodies just like good healthy foods. I do not work for GEM and I am not affiliated with the GEM company in any way, shape or form. What works for one person may not work for another. I am going to try GEM and make my own informed decision. She provided no statistical data to back up what she was saying in her review. You have to do all kinds of health tests on your body before and after taking something and take it for an extended period of time before making a review about something. It isn’t like buying and reviewing a pair of shoes. And, even then, it’s one persons opinion. Somebody else might love the shoes they revewed as hating. Good for you. You do you! Thank you for your reply. I was ready to give up on GEM before reading it.

  18. Allison Ford

    All you need is to eat a yogurt each day that contains live bacterial cultures w/ probiotics to maintain a balance of your flora and fauna.
    There are several out there. Activia is being pushed through the media campaigns but it up to your taste and preference as to which one you like to eat or can have (ie: some contain added sugar etc.).
    You do not need to buy probiotics.
    Google “good healthy foods that contain probiotics.”

  19. Lisa N

    I would love to know of a daily vitamin that actually resembles real food rather than pills of any sort. As far as I know, GEM is the only one out there. I actually like the taste, I take the daily and sleep. I actually do notice a change in how my body is functioning.

    • Christine Byrne, MPH, RD, LDN

      If GEM is working for you then that’s fantastic! They certainly do contain micronutrients, and it’s encouraging to hear that some people have success with them compared to other vitamin supplements.

  20. Alyson Johnson

    I really Wish I had read your review Before I bought them. Gem supplements taste AWFUL! They are SOOO Bad! The daily chocolate is like eating a well worn gym sock – Absolutely DISGUSTING.

    I could barely choke down 1 of them. No way I’m eating the rest.

    I probably do need supplements. I know my diet is deficient plus I’m currently undergoing cancer treatment. I have trouble taking large (stinky) vitamin pills. I’ve also tried chewable vitamins & they are no easier; I still must Force myself to take them.

    I had Hoped these Gem bites would have a pleasing taste & therefore would become be a supplement I would be motivated to take regularly.
    I was aware they did not provide complete supplementation but I figured some vitamins & nutrients were better than none. Especially if taken regularly (as compared to almost Never taking a more complete supplement).

    But if you can’t choke them down, it really doesn’t matter what they have in them. The Gem supplements were expensive and Every Penny was money Completely Wasted.

    • Christine Byrne, MPH, RD, LDN

      So true that supplements are sometimes necessary to fill in nutritional gaps or to support a certain illness/health condition! Sorry to hear you’re having trouble finding one that works for you, it can definitely be tough.

  21. Chona

    Yes! Each and everyone of us have unique body chemistry and DNA. I have been taking GEM for almost 2 years now and I can tell you how I feel about it and how it helps me with my heavy bleeding due to my fibroids. I am also anemic, my blood test in 2020 was something I never seen before on my results, my OBgyn told me that my numbers show that my anemia is normal now, I still watch my iron level so I do get my blood panel every 6 months so far so good. I am not being paid for this review this is my personal experience with GEM bites and would like to share it in this thread. Based on my actual lab test I truly believe it is helping me. I just turned 50 and in the midst of peri menopausal, after almost two years of taking GEM my monthly cycle that used to be heavy is now regulated. Trust me, I have tried expensive supplements in pill form like garden life and CODE, on top of it I am taking iron supplements for my anemia, recently I have stopped taking them and only take GEM Daily Essentials or formerly labeled Immunity Essentials. If this can help you to decide if we do need supplements then that makes me feel good sharing it. It is true that we can get the nutrients that our body needs from the food we eat but it is almost impossible with our busy life and the kind of food being sold to us to get all of it. In fact all of us have some sort of vitamins deficiency and that is where I do some research on how to fill in the gap, my family eat pretty healthy and no red meat in our meal , I am a mom who check every single ingredients on the label before it goes to my basket, there are so many ingredients I do avoid , like maltodextrin, carrageenan, all types of coloring not derived from plants, all Types of syrup or artificial sweeteners, gelatin and more, most of the vitamins in capsule or pill have some trace of these. GEM seems not to have the ingredients that I am avoiding. You see, in order to produce a product there is a lot of overhead cost to manufacture certain vitamins. I always think it this way, if I want Pho Soup would I rather make it or buy it! How much it will cost me to make it (time and money) rather than buying it from the restaurant, also short list of ingredients is better than long list, and the quality of the ingredients and the source do matters. The bottom line is there is no such thing as one fits all. You need to find what works for you and in order to do that you have to try the product.

    Hope this is worth reading to anyone.

  22. Omar

    Hi!

    Short comment.

    Do you think multivitamins are beneficial? I’ve heard that they are nothing more than paying for “expensive urine.” Wouldn’t it be better to take, say, a vitamin D supplement in a solid, evidence-based dose, for example, than get it in a tiny dose with a bunch of other things that may or may not help?

    Thanks!

  23. Mary

    Thank you for the article Christine. I was going to try the free sample but got suspicious when I was about to check out and saw the subscription. I googled them and came upon your article. Well researched and written.

    I’ll stick with the ones I already have. They are from respected manufacturers.

  24. Sara Cullen

    Hi Christine – I’m Sara, the founder of GEM. I tried to contact you via email a few months ago to request a call and chat with you but haven’t heard back. I would welcome the opportunity to learn more about your feedback as well as share my own story and our philosophy in what we’re building and how we’re rethinking the way to approach supplementation altogether.

    I appreciate that you coin yourself as an anti-diet dietitian. While I recognize we may have different viewpoints, I designed GEM to be the “anti-vitamin” – it’s why we may not have the same level of nutrients compared to a standard multivitamin pill/capsule (we don’t agree with megadosing or believe that a multi should give you 100% RDA of all nutrients– it’s about filling the gaps because you should get most of your nutrients from a healthy diet!) and also why we may not stack up price-wise. Unlike traditional supplements, we’re made with an entirely different form factor that begets a different approach in how we’re built (to put it simply, GEM is built holistically with cofactors and phytonutrients from real food you may not see on a label vs. isolated synthetics).

    I would love the opportunity to learn more about your story and share mine. Most importantly, we are always looking to improve here at GEM and 15 minutes of your time would be greatly appreciated to make sure we are taking the appropriate steps. Let me know your availability – my email is sara.cullen@dailygem.co.

    And to everyone who commented saying that GEM has worked for them, I’m so thrilled to hear it! We hope that you can all find a wellness routine that works for you and makes you feel your best. If you’ve tried GEM and didn’t love the taste, just know that we are busy working on updates to our formula to create products that even more people can enjoy, so stay tuned!

  25. barbra

    hi my teacher gave me this and it tastes like crap. NEVER EVER BUY THIS!!!!

  26. Wendy Tjaden

    Thank you Christine! I saw the Gem’s ad on IG and was going to order them to try, but decided to look up the company first for more detailed information, and also other’s comments. I can appreciate the founder’s idea to provide all of the vitamin benefits in a bite vs. multiple capsules. The negative for me is the ‘RDA’ for any vitamin is soooooo prehistoric in their valuations, that if a product is using the RDA as their metric to sell the customer, I’m out. These values haven’t been updated in decades and are put out by a government agency who also promotes GMO and misleading food labeling to the public. I also would want it 3rd party verified from an INDEPENDENT lab, and know the sources of the ingredients to determine if they are actually ‘clean’ and non-gmo. So, thank you for the information you provided….it was helpful in deterring me from purchasing it.

  27. Griff

    Hello, and thank you for the review. I was looking at the Gem vitamin before I read your article. I was looking for something/supplement that can help reduce inflammation. Any suggestions? Thanks

  28. Griff

    Hello, and thank you for the review. I was looking at the Gem vitamin before I read your article. I was looking for something/supplement that can help reduce inflammation. Any suggestions? Thanks

  29. George

    Great article. Very informative. Glad I found it before wasting $165. I will definitely be subscribing to your newsletter.

  30. Maria

    I saw their ad on FB and checked out their website. Looked pretty good to me until I saw that it is an auto ship and you have no choice. If you want to change anything you need to text it.
    Warning bells galore if a company makes you buy their stuff on a monthly basis instead of giving you a choice.
    If it was so great, there is no need to do that.
    I also read the comments above and it seems to me that people from their company started “attacking” your review. If I am taking a supplement and I am happy with it, I do not go and look for reviews on it and especially if I am doing so much better, or have been on it for 2 years.
    Then of course Sara came in as well. Looks like she has a lot of time on her hands to go searching the internet to see who may not like her “gem”
    Glad I found your article confirming my inner warning bell with their forced subscription.

  31. Debra Hyson

    Thank you. This is exactly what inwas looking for. I watched and listened and almost got hooked in, but I like to get more information and after reading this – hard pass.

  32. Linnea

    I wish I read your blog before I purchased Gem Essentials. It’s the worst tasting little thing I ever ate. Gross. Seriously disgusting. I cannot fault anyone but myself for not doing more research. Don’t buy this!

  33. Tamara

    I’ve been taking the GEM bites since April and notice a difference in how I feel with my energy level and digestive by taking the lemon raspberry and citrus ginger. Before joining GEM, I took the information to my GYN and Primary Care Doctor. Both, were very impressed with the ingredients as a recommendation to fill in the gaps in where I was lacking on my full cbc lab panel. The question did come up about not showing third party testing but I still had the go ahead to use them. In my follow-up appointments, I’ve been doing better with my digestive symptoms, energy level and also my full lab panel looked great. Every individual is different in what higher body requires and why I appreciate a company like GEM that I had been searching many years for. I hope they continue to grow in a positive journey and outlook to others.

  34. Tamara

    Thank you for offering GEM bites that have bettered my health and energy level ♡

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