“One multivitamin pill a day, keeps the doctor away! “
Many people take multivitamins very seriously and they are a part of their every-day life. Multivitamins are said to give you 100% of the important supplement needs of your body on a daily basis.
Clearly, they have become very popular in the last decade. But, in fact, there are only certain groups of people who absolutely need multivitamins. These include: women who are pregnant, trying to conceive, or are breastfeeding; people with a condition that depletes nutrients (diabetes, cancer, colitis, or pancreatitis); and people who are on restricted diets.
Other than that, there is no real scientific proof that multivitamins have benefits for you. In fact, you cannot know whether taking multivitamins really improves your health when you don’t have the necessary nutrients in your body. However, multivitamins are extremely popular among the American population.
In 2008, Americans spent astonishing $4.7 billion on multivitamins, compared to $3.7 billion in 2003, even though science doesn’t say they improve an average person’s health. Moreover, clinical trials have shown that if people take vitamins or minerals supplements, they aren’t at a lower risk of developing a disease.
Despite some popular multivitamins, choosing the right one is a hard job nowadays. Shopping for a single multivitamin containing all the necessary supplements you need has become a grocery shopping. One CVS store in New York offers as much as 50 adult multivitamin/multimineral supplements.We might not get everything our body needs through our current diet, but multivitamins aren’t proven to replace that.
Centrum is a multivitamin made by the most famous pharmaceutical company in the world – Pfizer.
This company’s profit in 2015 was exactly 48 billion. Doctors are progressively recommending it because they get tons of boxes with samples. This is how marketing works and this multivitamin is taken by millions of people. But is it worth it?
What’s inside a Centrum multivitamin?
In order for us to understand what is wrong with Centrum, we need a little bit of chemistry. You may think that all multivitamins are made in the same way, but you’re far from the truth. They don’t carry the same quality of nutrients. Also, vitamins and minerals in their singular form can come in different forms (example: magnesium can come as oxide). These are some of the vitamins/minerals found in Centrum:
Magnesium as Magnesium Oxide: It is the cheapest and least absorbable form of magnesium;
Vitamin E as DL-Alpha Toccopherol: The D from of Vitamin E is natural, and the L form is synthetic;
Calcium as Calcium Carbonate: this is the least absorbable form of calcium;
Nickelous Sulfate and Tin: these are absolutely unnecessary for the human body;
B vitamins: they come from 1.1 mg to 15 mg per vitamin, which is a very low concentration;
Iron in the form of Ferrous Fumarate: a constipating form of iron.
Which are the non-active ingredients found in this supplement?
Evidence shows that the non-active ingredients in the multivitamin can actually cause more harm than the active ones. These are also joined by the binding agents and colorants used in the process of making the pill. Here are some of them:
Talc: talc has been implicated with a higher risk of getting cancer;
Yellow 6 Lake: This is food coloring, also not necessary at all for a health supplement. This chemical known as tartrazine or FD&C Yellow#6 is banned along European countries. Its side effects of indigestion can include vomiting, nettle rash (urticaria), diarrhea, gastric upset, migraines, angioedema (swelling of the skin). It is also linked to the state of hyperactivity in young children.
Red 40 Lake: This one contains some chemical compounds including 4-aminobiphenyl and benzidine, which are linked to cancer;
BHT: BHT is butylated hydroxyanisole, shown to be harmful to the thyroid, kidney, lungs, liver, and also affecting blood coagulation. It can also be a tumor promoter.
Hydrogenated Palm Oil: This oil converts the fat into a structure that is not natural. This structure has been shown to be toxic for the body, increasing the risk of getting cancer and heart disease.
Pregelatinized Corn Starch: This is a binder in the form of a genetically modified corn, causing issues for sensitive people.
Sodium Aluminosilicate: It is used as a food additive.
Sodium Benzoate: This one is particularly dangerous because it destructs the DNA by attacking its mitochondria, causing harm in future generations as well.
Crospovidone: It causes allergic reactions to many people.
Maltodextrin: Its consumption is linked with suppression of “good bacteria” in the digestive system. This causes risk of gastro symptoms and intestinal inflammation.
From all of the above, we can definitely see what we are taking on a daily basis thinking that’s actual vitamins and minerals. The non-active components may cause serious harm.
That’s why we should choose multivitamins very wisely. Pay attention to the following things:
1.Don’t believe the marketing one-a-day multivitamin myth
Some vitamins such as C and the B’s only last for 4 hours in the body. Therefore, we should always choose a dosage of at least 2-3 times a day when choosing multivitamins.
2. Don’t get fooled by sales
You get what you paid for. The cheapest versions of multivitamins are the worst quality ones and you’re causing more harm than good by doing that.
3. Pick a multivitamin with no additives of artificial colors
4. Buy form a checked health food store, not a popular pharmacy
Try some of these brands:
- Douglas Labs
- Garden of Life
Willow Tohi. Centrum vitamins are owned by Pfizer. http://www.naturalnews.com/036459_Centrum_vitamins_Pfizer.html Published: July 13, 2012.
Statista Leading multivitamin brands in the United States in 2015, based on sales (in million U.S. dollars) https://www.statista.com/statistics/195561/leading-us-vitamin-brands-in-2010-and-2011-based-on-sales/
S.D. Wellis.Children’s medicines coated with brain-damaging aluminum. http://www.naturalnews.com/034813_childrens_medicines_aluminum_pills.html Published: January 30, 2012.
MayoClinic. Vitamin deficiency anemia http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vitamin-deficiency-anemia/basics/symptoms/con-20019550 Accessed: October 14, 2016.DrugWatch. Pfizer. https://www.drugwatch.com/manufacturer/pfizer/ Last ModifiedL May 26, 2016.
Constipation Remedies For All. Iron supplements constipation: A common side effect
Of anemia prescriptions. http://www.constipation-remedies-for-all.com/iron-supplements-constipation.html
Jack Challem. Natural vs. Synthetic Vitamin E. http://www.chiro.org/nutrition/FULL/Natural_vs_Synthetic_Vitamin_E.shtml Accessed:
American Cancer Society. Talcum Powder and Cancer. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/talcum-powder-and-cancer
Science Lab. Material Safety Data Sheet
Sodium aluminosilicate MSDS. http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9924957
Colby Vorland. Multivitamins: Is the Debate Over? http://www.nutrition.org/asn-blog/2014/01/multivitamins-is-the-debate-over/
Josh Gitalis. Chemical Cocktail or Health Product? http://www.joshgitalis.com/chemical-cocktail-or-health-product/