centrum: good, bad, ugly


So, you’re taking a multi-vitamin. I’m so happy that you’re interested in making sure your body has all it needs. 

But which one?

Ahhh, Centrum Vitamin Multi. Let’s have a discussion.


I’ve had this conversation too many times with my patients over 50. The answer is often “Centrum Silver” or “Centrum Women’s 50+.”  I’ve had the conversation too many times, so I’m writing about it here.


Centrum Vitamin has some great marketing, I’ll give that to them (The Good). Marketing supplements as healthy when there is a bunch of not so great stuff in there, is genius, if not downright wrong.


And I get why people buy them. It’s advertised to be this ultimate multi-vitamin with everything you could possibly need. It’s conveniently sold at your local drugstore or grocer. 


Let’s continue to be curious. Why would we trust Wyeth, the company that produced Centrum? (Wyeth was acquired by Pfizer in 2009). They are the company that came out with the multiple fabricated studies, funded by their company and signed off by paid medical professionals, in order to support their estrogen hormone replacement drugs.


That was until the Nurses Health Study and Women’s Health Initiative Study of Prempro was shut down by the FDA because women on hormone replacement were more at risk for cancer and heart disease. See link here, “The Women’s Enron.”  And here, “NIH asks women in estrogen alone study to stop study.”  And here, “Wyeth’s Use of Medical Ghostwriters Questioned.” (The Bad).


To be continued…..Pfizer has been under scrutiny for marketing fraud of its drugs and vitamins. See link here, “Pfizer Removes False Claims About Their Top Selling Vitamins.” So why do we trust them to supply our multi-vitamins? Assume it’s good marketing.


I digress, so let’s look at what’s in there that really shouldn’t be in your vitamin.

centrum vitamins

Centrum Vitamin Silver: as list of things I consider questionable. (The Ugly)

  • Corn Starch–why??? just another added sugar

  • Magnesium Oxide and Stearate = not readily absorbed by our bodies—I used to take this form from another brand and when my doctor tested me, I was actually deficient in Magnesium, despite taking a supplement daily. Look for more absorbable forms like Glycinate, Malaate, Chelate, Citrate

  • Calcium Carbonate = not readily absorbed by our body; Look for Calcium Citrate as a more readily absorbed form

  • FD&C Blue 2 Lake, unnecessary toxic coloring additive

  • Aluminum Lake, unnecessary toxic coloring additive

  • FD&C Red 40, unnecessary toxic coloring additive

  • Titanium dioxide, unnecessary pigment that could be carcinogenic, also thought to help penetrate cellular barriers for easier drug delivery. There is not enough research on food-born intake over an accumulated time frame. Read more here, “Titanium dioxide in our everyday life–Is it safe“?

  • Sucrose (sugar)–why???

  • Talc— found in baby powder and cosmetics

  • Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (B6)—why not the active form Pyridoxal 5’ phosphate?—which would be a more active, readily available form for our body to process and use; seriously check this on any of your supplements….you want to make sure it’s in the active form, otherwise your body has to send it through processes to get it to the active form. It’s inefficient and less is absorbed in the end. 

  • Folic Acid—why not 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF)? –which would be a more active form, more readily available for our body to process and use–see mys! comments about choosing the best form in any of your supplements—it matters!

    centrum vitamins

There are a variety of more reputable supplement brands out there that are safer, less toxic and actually use ingredients that your body can use, such as:

  • Douglas Laboratories
  • Integrative Therapeutics
  • Thorne Research
  • Designs for Health 

I usually suggest taking just the specific supplements that you need to address specific deficiencies. And best to get from food. A Multi Vitamin is not a substitute for healthy eating, but sometimes we just can’t get the things we need from our diet. But if that’s easier, then these are great choices. 

Check out this Multivitamin and Multimineral Product Reference Chart to find out which one is best for you. 


And be careful ordering off of Amazon. Just because it says it’s the Brand name, does not mean it’s quality controlled. Lots of knock-offs out there. It’s a good idea to get supplements from a trusted source. Here are some trusted sites that are not brand specific: These companies quality control and vet their supplies. 


I welcome your feedback and if you find this information helpful, please share with your colleagues, friends and family. I would love to hear what supplements you like.  Or maybe you don’t….maybe you like to get yours from food. Nature’s way.  Contact Tianna if you are searching for how you can create a holistic healthy life, including diet and nutrition, specifically for your needs.


Check out my favorites (for Pain, Osteoarthritis, Sleep, Immunity, Injury Healing, etc) on the SHOP page.

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centrum: good, bad, ugly

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