Centrum. The Good. The Bad. And the Ugly.

Great, you’re taking a multi-vitamin. Which one? Ahhh, Centrum. Let’s have a discussion.

I’ve had this conversation too many time 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 has some great marketing, I’ll give that to them (The Good). Marketing supplements as healthy when there is a bunch of junk 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.

And 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 Womens’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 it’s 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 lets look at what’s in there that really shouldn’t be.


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

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

  • Magnesium Oxide and Stearate = not readily absorbed

  • Calcium Carbonate = not readily absorbed

  • 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

  • Folic Acid—why not 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF)? –which would be a more active form



I like a brand called Pure Encapsulations. There are others like Douglas Laboratories, Integrative Therapeutics and Thorne Research that are very “clean,” well tested supplement brands.

Here is one Multi-Vitamin that I recommend.

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.    Contact Tianna if you are searching for how you can create an integrative program, including diet and nutrition, specifically for your needs.

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