As we age, our ability to absorb vitamin B12 through food decreases. People older than 50 need more B12 in a multivitamin, and Centrum Silver Adults 50+ contains 25 mcg. It lacks iron because experts say it isn't needed in supplement form for this age group, and has less vitamin A than most multis because it's easy to ingest too much, which can pose serious health risks. However, this Centrum formula's 220 mg of calcium falls short of current recommendations of 1,200 mg per day for women over 50. Post-menopausal women in particular may be at greater risk of osteoporosis, and should talk to their doctors about appropriate calcium supplementation. This multi also contains vitamin K, which can interfere with blood-thinning medications, so people who take those should consult their physicians.
Centrum Silver Adults 50+ is approved in two recent independent tests and user reviews are positive. Posters at Amazon.com say the tablets are easy to swallow and cause no stomach upset. If you're on a budget, we found great reviews for Costco's Kirkland Signature Mature Adults 50+ Multi (*Est. $12 for 400 tablets). It's inexpensive and also fares well in independent tests.
We found the best information on Centrum Silver Adults 50+ from ConsumerLab.com and ConsumerReports.org, which do extensive testing of multivitamins for dosage accuracy, dissolvability and contaminants, but you'll need to subscribe to see both reports. Pharmacy Times discusses the multis most often recommended by pharmacists.
1. Consumer Lab
Manufacturers pay this lab to test their products, and subscribers to the site can view the results. In the case of multivitamins, dosage accuracy, dissolvability and possible contaminants are examined, and the product is rated as either approved or not approved. Centrum Silver is among the brands tested here.
Review: Multivitamin and Multimineral Supplements Review, Editors of ConsumerLab.com, June 28, 2011
This respected consumer products group tests 21 multivitamins, including four designed for seniors. Each multi is evaluated for claimed nutrients, and contaminants like lead and arsenic.
Review: Multivitamins, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Sept. 2010
3. Pharmacy Times
This survey of thousands of pharmacists entails no product testing; rather, this is a yearly list of over-the-counter products that pharmacists recommend in dozens of categories. Centrum multivitamins are recommended by 72 percent of the pharmacists surveyed.
Review: Vitamins and Supplements, Editors of Pharmacy Times, 2011
In fewer than 20 reviews, consumers give Centrum Silver average ratings. At least one user says nausea is a problem, but most complaints involve the particular vendor selling on Amazon.com.
Review: Centrum Silver Multivitamin Multimineral, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of Feb. 2012
Several users give Centrum Silver a very high average score. Most say the multi is easy to swallow, although one claims the need to chew them instead.
Review: Centrum Silver Multivitamin/Multimineral Supplement, Contributors to Walgreens.com, As of Feb. 2012