Centrum's multivitamin for adults is packed with vitamins and minerals that can fill nutrient gaps in your diet. While flooding your body with nutrients sounds appealing, the benefits aren't as clear as you might hope. Depending on what you take your multivitamin for, it might be a waste of money.
Centrum multivitamins help prevent deficiencies in vitamins and minerals.
Types of Centrum Vitamins
Centrum is a supplement company that specializes in multivitamins. They have a few lines of supplements, mostly geared toward adults. Their standard line includes pills for men, women and adults in general. There's also a silver line for men, women and adults. Both lines offer chewable forms of the vitamin.
There's also a gummy line of vitamins that's ideal for those who can't swallow pills. It's important to be comfortable with the form of vitamin you take, because you're supposed to take it every day.
Centrum also offers a 50-plus line of multivitamins, which is geared toward older adults. These vitamins include either omega-3 fatty acids or probiotics, which can aid your digestive system.
The formula for each line of Centrum multivitamin is slightly different, but, for the most part, the formula is consistent. The vitamins and minerals included in the standard multivitamin for adults are:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Pantothenic acid
This is an impressive list, and certainly seems like it would make you healthier. Centrum, like most multivitamins, attempts to fill gaps in your diet by giving you most vitamins and minerals in copious amounts.
Read more: Potential Benefits of Multivitamins
Vitamins Most People Need
The Food and Drug Administration has the recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals for the average adult. It lists baseline numbers that you should try to hit every day. Whether or not you have a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein, it can be hard to hit all of these numbers in a day.
For that reason, many foods are fortified. Milk and some cereals, for example, contain vitamin D. Table salt often contains iodine. Even bread sometimes is enriched with vitamins and minerals. These additional vitamins and minerals in food help offset some of the natural nutrient deficiencies in the average diet.
Multivitamins like Centrum can help you get nutrients you lack. Of the 26 vitamins and minerals found in the adult multivitamin, 17 are at or above their daily recommended value. That means one serving of Centrum's multivitamin contains most of the nutrients you need in one day. It's much simpler than trying to fit all of your nutrients in through whole food sources.
Research confirms that taking a multivitamin in addition to the food you're already eating makes you less likely to have nutrient deficiencies. An August 2017 study published in the journal Nutrients showed that taking a multivitamin in addition to a normal diet filled most of the nutrient gaps that a normal diet without supplements could not. The researchers note that there were fewer deficiencies in vitamin D, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E.
Nutrient deficiencies are more common than you may think. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that the most common nutrient deficiency is in vitamin B6. It's followed by iron, particularly in women, and then vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin E and folate.
Centrum's multivitamin contains the full daily value of all those nutrients except for vitamins C and E. That means average adults would benefit from taking Centrum's multivitamin because it would eliminate many of the gaps in their diet.
Benefits of Taking Multivitamins
There should be a benefit for your health once you're consuming adequate amounts of all the required vitamins and minerals. However, this may not be the case. Studies on multivitamins aren't very promising from the perspective of overall health.
When comparing people who take multivitamins to those who don't, there's no difference in average lifespan, according to a 2013 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. A March 2019 study published in Evidence Based Practice agrees that there's no benefit to taking multivitamins in terms of reducing cardiovascular disease or cancer.
A July 2018 study published in the American Heart Association's scientific journal also shows that there's no benefit for heart health from taking a multivitamin. Even your mental function won't see much benefit from taking a multivitamin. A February 2012 study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that immediate memory recall was improved after multivitamin use, but not delayed memory recall or verbal fluency.
While major health problems don't seem to be affected by multivitamin use, there's still enough reason to buy and take them, according to an article from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The article sees multivitamins as an insurance that you're getting all the nutrients you need on a daily basis.
Chances are, you're only deficient in a few vitamins or minerals, but it can be difficult to figure out which ones. You'd have to get a blood test and see your doctor. Rather than spend time analyzing your diet to figure out which nutrients you need, you can take a multivitamin that contains all the important vitamins and minerals.
Read more: How Soon Do Multivitamins Start Working?
Centrum Side Effects
There's no inherent danger to flooding your system with vitamins and minerals, according to an April 2017 study published in the journal Nutrition. The study notes that taking a multivitamin supplement daily for more than 10 years showed no significant side effects. However, the researchers note that vitamin supplements are safe as long as they stay within the Dietary Reference Intakes.
The Dietary Reference Intakes are established by the Food and Nutrition Board at the National Academies' Institute of Medicine. They're meant to give a range for safe intake of nutrients. There's a recommended amount of each vitamin and mineral that you should take per day, and there's an upper limit.
Going over the upper limit for a vitamin or mineral puts you at risk for having too much for the day, which can eventually lead to side effects. To figure out if you're having too much, calculate the amount of each vitamin and mineral you're consuming through food, and then add the amount found in Centrum's multivitamin.
- Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academies: "Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Recommended Dietary Allowances and Adequate Intakes, Vitamins"
- Nutrition: "Multivitamin/Mineral Supplements: Rationale and Safety"
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "Nutrition Insurance Policy: A Daily Multivitamin"
- Journal of Alzheimer's Disease: "The Effects of Multivitamins on Cognitive Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis."
- American Heart Association Journals: "Association of Multivitamin and Mineral Supplementation and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease"
- Evidence-Based Practice: "In the Adult Population, Does Daily Multivitamin Intake Reduce the Risk of Mortality Compared With Those Who Do Not Take Daily Multivitamins?"
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: "Multivitamin-Multimineral Supplementation and Mortality: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "CDC’s Second Nutrition Report: A Comprehensive Biochemical Assessment of the Nutrition Status of the U.S. Population "
- Nutrients: "Impact of Frequency of Multi-Vitamin/Multi-Mineral Supplement Intake on Nutritional Adequacy and Nutrient Deficiencies in U.S. Adults"
- Food and Drug Administration: "Vitamins"
- Pfizer: "Centrum Adults"
- Centrum: "Products"