T Nation

Why does Centrum suck?

I was always during the impression that Centrum was one of the best, because it’s the most common multi and so widely used. In another post I even heard that JB himself uses Centrum? So what’s the deal here? Why is Centrum so horrible? (I did some searching around and I found a few good posts on multi’s but none specifically on Centrum)

The most convincing arguement as far as most of us in concerned is that Centrum has 100% iron in it. That alone should keep you from taking it.

Now, it’s full of the cheapest synthetic vitamins that offer very poor absorption.

It’s covered in some sort of crap that doesn’t sound too digestable. That and it’s loaded with dyes.

It has hardly any B6 in it…a very important vitamin.

Very little of a poorly absorbed calcium.

Low in phosphorus and magnesium.

It has “sodium aluminum silicate”…whatever that is. I don’t know if that’s bad, but aluminum is a neurotoxin.

To sum it up, it has iron, is all synthetic crappy vitamins with poor absorption, and has a crappy coating with indigestible ingredients and tons of dyes.

it doesn’t suck.

You couldn’t break a Centrum vitamin with a hammer.

Colin, hate to tell you…but, yeah it really does suck.

the few crappy nutrients it actually does contain are so bound up in the fillers that your body never gets most of them. Take five bucks, place it in the toilet and flush…same thing as taking Centrum!

First person account – when I was in college, I used to take Centrum. I had to have some x-rays done (for irrelevant reasons) and for some reason, the lower torso was inthe x-ray (bastards didn’t even use a gonad shield). Well, showing up perfectly on the x-ray was the Centrum multivitamin that I took THREE HOURS earlier, completely intact. Hadn’t broken down at all. How’s THAT for bio-available?

I wish those T-mag bastards would write something about this topic!

Oh wait, we did, in the current online issue in fact.

Tablets seem to suck. I found the Mega Men from GNC to be good way back in the day.

The best vitamin/mineral supplement that I have come across so far is All in One powder. Its awesome. My piss is day-glow a couple of hours after taking it so I know the B is in there. If you read the supplement listing, the vitamin mineral complex is fantastic and it is also an amino supplement. The downside is it tastes like shit so you need to mix it in with a shake of some kind (or flavored liquid I suppose). I take it with my post workout malto/dex/hydro shake in the mornings. One cannister is about 30 days worth and it isn’t really cheap (its about $30 for a cannister). You might find it online a little cheaper, I haven’t looked but I’m going to.

It mixes really well (it will dissolve in warm water, or in the blender) and it seems to be extremely bioavailable. No more tablets into the sewer system.

I take Standard Process vitamins, and those are tablets. If I leave them in my mouth for more than a little bit, they fall apart. I seriously doubt there are any issues with absorption with these.

I don’t take multivitamins. Multivitamins are for sissies. I’m a REAL man, all I need is my mom’s mutton curry and I’m sorted. heheheh!

I worked in a vitamin shoppe for 5 years and it’s common knowledge that centrum sucks. Without being redundant I’ll just say morg summed it up well.

Morg: Aluminum metal is a neurotoxin. Sodium Aliminum Silicate is a mineral (common name Albite). The beauty of chemistry is that the smallest changes in chemical compounds can mean a world of difference.

I really dislike that people become afraid of products because it is “one molecule away from plastic”…or the like. Each compound is different. Are we going to stop breathing oxygen (O2) because it’s similar to ozone (O3) or superoxide (O2 radical)?

Sorry, incomplete post…

That said, Morg, I do agree with your other reasons for Centrum not being a very good multivitamin. The rest of your post was very informative.

Maybe there’s a difference depending where they are manufactured?? The ones made here in Thailand disolve in your mouth in 3 - 4 minutes! I tried, just to see if they were as bad as everybody on the forum say.

This thread got me wondering, so I tested my One-a-Day Men’s Health by dropping one in an ounce of luke warm water. It started dissolving immediately and within two minutes was just a pasty blob.

I used to take Centrum Performance when I didn’t eat much meat, but after I added it back into my diet I didn’t want the extra iron.


Thanks for the clarification.

ND: I like your point about the “one molecule away.”

Example: Chlorine is very toxic. Sodium explodes when it comes into contact with moisture. Put them together and what do you get? Salt.

morg: no problem

Mike: I’m glad you like the point…you can thank my formal training as a chemist heheh

(Here’s some more smart ass clarification: Chlorine gas (Cl2) is a molecule, Sodium (in the form mike described) is an element (not a molecule)…and salt (NaCl) is not a molecule either…it’s an ionic solid (no covalent bonds)).

Ok, now I’m just teasing…but I’m glad you can appreciate that molecules can have vastly different properties, even though appearing to be very similar…just ask the makers of Thalidimide.

I used to take Centrum, but it really hurt my tummy. One morning I had to run to the bathroom to vomit, and about all that came up was the vitamin. That can’t be good. :slight_smile:


Well, what if I chew it a little first, or let it dissolve in my mouth?

Or what if I take 2 a day? Or 3?

That should solve the absorption problem and the low levels of some vitamins, right?

  • The thing is that I bought Centrum in bulk a while back, enough to last me a couple of years (yes, literally!). And I don’t just want to throw them out, regardless of how bad they really are.

Ah, what to do?..