Centrum Silver Men 50+ (*Est. $9 for 100 tablets) doesn't contain iron -- which men and seniors don't need -- and is recommended by at least one respected men's health source for the 15 other antioxidants it does contain, such as lycopene, lutein and selenium. Unlike most men's vitamins tested, Centrum Silver doesn't exceed the upper limit for niacin. It contains less vitamin A than most multis since it's easy to consume too much, which can pose serious health risks. These combined factors are why Centrum Silver Men 50+ is recommended for men of any age.
Centrum Silver 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. However, the multi's 220 mg of calcium falls short of current recommendations -- 1,000 mg per day for men ages 51 to 70 and 1,200 mg per day for men over 70. Centrum Silver also contains vitamin K, which can interfere with blood-thinning medications, so people taking those should consult their doctors.
We found the best information at ConsumerLab.com and ConsumerReports.org, which extensively test multivitamins for dosage accuracy, dissolvability and contaminants, but you'll need to subscribe to see both. Pharmacy Times reports on the multis most often recommended by pharmacists.
1. Consumer Lab
ConsumerLab.com tests a variety of multivitamins for dosage accuracy, dissolvability and contaminants, and gives each brand a rating of approved or not approved. Centrum Silver is among those evaluated.
Review: Multivitamin and Multimineral Supplements Review, Editors of ConsumerLab.com, June 28, 2011
This consumer testing organization evaluates 21 multivitamins. Each is assessed for claimed nutrients and contaminants like lead and arsenic.
Review: Multivitamins, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Sept. 13, 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
4. Men's Health
The online version of Men's Health magazine lists the top 10 supplements men should consume for specific health needs. Among them are multivitamins, with Centrum Silver being named a favorite because of its extra nutrients and lack of iron.
Review: The Top 10 Supplements for Men, Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, Not dated
In fewer than 20 reviews, consumers give Centrum Silver average ratings. At least one user says nausea is a problem, but most complaints seem to involve the particular vendor selling on Amazon.com.
Review: Centrum Silver Multivitamin Multimineral, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of Feb. 2012
The several consumer reviews found here give Centrum Silver a very high average score. Most say it's easy to swallow, although one user claims the need to chew them instead.
Review: Centrum Silver Multivitamin/Multimineral Supplement Tablets, Contributors to Walgreens.com, As of Feb. 2012