You should never need to take a vitamin pill or any other nutritional supplement ever. But if you don't regularly eat a balanced, nutritious diet or if you are suffering from a medical disorder that leaves your body's vitamin and mineral stores depleted, you may need supplemental help. Products such as Centrum Silver are designed for and marketed to specific segments of the population. You can select a vitamin supplement that best suits your sex, age, medical condition and lifestyle. Consult with your physician for a personalized assessment of your dietary needs.
Centrum Silver Ingredients
According the product labeling, Centrum Silver does not contain any iron whatsoever. Centrum Silver does contain 13 different vitamins or vitamin-like substances, 2 antioxidants, 14 minerals -- including the trace minerals boron, nickel, silicon and vanadium -- and small amounts of 2 electrolytes. The manufacturer tailored Centrum Silver to meet the needs of older adults. Your nutritional needs change as you age. For instance, the elderly may need more B12, B6, calcium and vitamin D than do younger adults.
Why No Iron
Current product labeling for Centrum Silver does not say why the product contains no iron. An older version of the labeling for Centrum Silver Chewable on file with the U.S. National Library of Medicine states that the product is "An iron-free formula because most individuals 50+ meet their needs through diet alone." In fact, elderly adults can ingest too much iron and develop a disorder known as hemochromatosis. The symptoms of hemochromatosis include abdominal pain, fatigue, joint pain, skin darkening, lack of energy, loss of body hair, weight loss and weakness.
Age-Specific Iron Requirements
Your need for iron depends upon your age, sex and medical condition. Adult men and women over 65 are less likely to become iron deficient than are premenopausal women. Older adults tend to have more than enough iron stored in their bodies. If an iron deficiency does occur, some illness – such as chronic or acute bleeding, Crohn's disease or Celiac disease -- is likely the cause and requires medical attention.
Dietary Iron Sources
Men and women over 50 who don't suffer from iron deficiency can meet their daily requirement of iron from their diet alone. The recommended daily allowance of iron for adult males and females over 50 are 8 and 18 mg per day, respectively. One 3.5 oz. serving of chicken liver has 12.8 mg of iron -- more than the daily amount for elderly men and 71 percent of the requirement for elderly women. Beef, oysters and clams are rich in iron. Lentils, kidney beans, limas, blackstrap molasses and boiled spinach are also good sources of dietary iron.