Supplements for Health

Supplement Solutions for Swallowing Difficulties

September 27, 2021

Adults take swallowing without difficulty as a given. Dysphagia, a condition that makes it difficult to swallow, can affect everyday life for up to 15 million adults. Dysphagia affects approximately 1 in 25 people, 22% of those over 50, and 1 in 25 adults.

Michele Kettles MD, MSPH is a Cooper Clinic preventive medicine physician. She discusses how dysphagia can affect patients’ ability to eat medication and other nutritional supplements. She also shares non-pill forms that are available to ensure they get the nutrients they need.

It can be a serious medical condition for some and is a condition that prevents them from swallowing. Anxiety can cause symptoms such as difficulty swallowing. Some people don’t like swallowing large pills. We see that people struggle to swallow medications and vitamins.

Nearly 70% of adults take at least one prescription medication, with more than 20% taking more. This makes swallowing difficult for many people. Dr Kettles says that even people who have never experienced a problem with their swallowing can make one by taking too many pills.

Consumer Attitudes Towards Swallowing

Consumers have more choices than ever when it comes to vitamin supplements these days because there are many options. especially for vitamin supplements that are notoriously expensive, such as multivitamins and fish oil capsules. Multivitamins are available in liquid or chewable forms. Gummy supplements are now available in the Cooper Complete line, which I’m excited about because I have patients who desire this option.

When I first started at Cooper Clinic I would have patients who wanted to take a multivitamin. I would hear them whisper to me that they wanted to take a multivitamin. They seemed to like it. I said, “That’s great!” It’s almost like a small treat. They were able to remember to take their multivitamins and it didn’t make them gag every day. Some people prefer chewable.

Dr Kettles has a few favourites non-pill supplement choices for her personal regimen. “I have a few favourites. Because the capsules are so large, fish oil is a popular choice. Coromega is a squeeze packet of omega-3 fish oils in gel form. It is not sweet and doesn’t taste fishy but it really is easy to digest. Magnesium is a very popular supplement. It helps with sleep, cramps, and constipation. People like magnesium gummies. The calm brand produces magnesium powder and gummies.”

Dr Kettles was asked if non-pill nutritional supplements provide better or more complete levels of nutrients. I can’t think what’s missing in non-pill forms. I find good options, no matter if they are chewable or not.

Gummies Relation

Gummies contain sugars which after swallowing can lead to diabetes. “I tell my patients to look at the dose and then look at the added sugars.” They could be consuming up to 100 calories more if they take all their supplements in gummy form. This can add up. You can also find low-sugar alternatives. People who are very strict about their diet might need to be more cautious. It’s not an issue, but it’s not enough to make it a major deal. Cooper Complete gummies contain less than 0.5 grams of sugar per gummy.

Dr. Kettles uses a highly individual approach to recommend supplements for her patients. It used to be that everyone needed a multivitamin. But, today, it is okay. Your B12 or D levels are low which requires you to take B12 and/or D.

My approach to each patient is tailored differently because each one is unique. Patients who require non-pill options can choose from the Cooper Complete liquid B12, vitamin d gummy and multivitamin Gummy.

Cooper Clinic checks every patient who comes in for preventive medicine. They are able to have their vitamin D, omega-3 and fish oil levels checked along with the same-day lab results. Dr. Kettles says that these are the most common deficiencies for supplementation. We do check for magnesium and calcium, all electrolytes, and can add any other supplements as needed.

Dr. Kettles Take On Swallowing

Dr. Kettles has difficulty swallowing pills. “I can’t take any fish oil capsule. They are just too large. They are too big for me to swallow. This is how I discovered Coromega fish oil gel packs. This was the beginning of my journey. The occasional patient who has taken their Flintstones chewable multivitamin to school can now find almost anything in the adult version of this vitamin supplement. It’s not accidental. It’s what people want. People will be more willing to take their vitamins.

Dr. Kettles replied, “I think it is spot-on.” It will be extremely popular. It will be a great option for patients.

Find out the top 10 questions about Cooper Complete Gummy Multivitamin to see how they compare with other gummy products.


Refer to 1 ASHA,2008, Bhattacharyya (2014) 2 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), 2019,