Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about Centrum? The list of questions below may have the answer.

  1. Are the non‑medicinal ingredients and dyes used in Centrum products safe to consume?
    Yes, the non‑medicinal ingredients, including dyes, present in Centrum are safe and are approved by Health Canada. It is very challenging to formulate vitamins and minerals without the use of non-medicinal ingredients which serve to keep the product stable and to prevent the various ingredients from interacting. It is our policy to declare all ingredients on the label, including inactive ingredients.
  2. Is Centrum gluten‑free and is it safe for people with celiac disease to take?
    Yes, Centrum is gluten‑free and suitable for individuals with celiac disease.
  3. Are Centrum multivitamins derived from a natural or synthetic source? Which source is more easily absorbed by the body?
    The majority of Centrum vitamins are derived from synthetic source ingredients. Vitamin and mineral supplements can be "synthetic," derived through chemical processes or "natural," derived directly from plants or other materials. There is no evidence that the body absorbs vitamins and minerals derived from natural sources more effectively than synthetic vitamins and minerals. In fact, the synthetic form of folate, known as folic acid, is actually better absorbed by the body than its natural counterpart.
  4. Does Centrum contain lutein and if so, how much?
    Yes, lutein is in all adult Centrum products except for Centrum Performance and Centrum Cardio. Lutein is one of the carotenoids. Studies indicate that a diet rich in lutein is able to reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
  5. What is the difference between Centrum Select and Centrum Silver?
    Centrum Select is a Canadian multivitamin product specifically formulated for individuals over 50 years of age. Centrum Silver is a similar product sold in the US.
  6. I am having difficulty swallowing my Centrum tablets. What can I do?
    You can crush the tablet and then mix the powder in a drink. A pill crusher can be purchased from a local pharmacy. Alternatively, you can cut the tablet in half along the bisecting line. Try to cut the tablet evenly, as sharp ends may be difficult to swallow.
  7. I heard that Centrum tablets do not disintegrate and go right through the body. Is this true?
    No. All Centrum products meet the disintegration standards recognized by Health Canada. Independent researchers in the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Alberta tested a number of multivitamin and multimineral tablets and capsules to determine if they met disintegration standards (USP), and Centrum did. (Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 9(1):40‑49, 2006) You can be assured that Centrum products meet or exceed the highest Health Canada standards.
  8. Is it true that the body does not absorb the nutrients in Centrum?
    An independent study confirmed that taking Centrum significantly elevated blood serum levels for a number of vitamins and minerals. This study published in the Journal of American College of Nutrition, (2003; 22(2):124‑132) showed that after taking Centrum, the participants showed significantly elevated micronutrient levels in their blood. In other words, the vitamins and minerals in the Centrum tablet were absorbed; hence, it showed up in the blood of the participant. Furthermore, Centrum is the most widely used multivitamin in scientific research. This is a testament to how widely Centrum products are respected by the scientific community.
  9. What makes Centrum Advantage more expensive than Centrum Forte and Select?
    Ingredients such as lutein and lycopene are very expensive. Higher levels of these nutrients, as well as others, add to the cost of the product. In addition, we only use top‑quality ingredients from reputable suppliers. These ingredients undergo rigorous testing throughout the manufacturing process meeting or exceeding Health Canada requirements to ensure a top quality product.
  10. Why is Centrum Advantage a two‑tablet-a-day dose?
    With higher levels of key nutrients in Centrum Advantage, the pill would be very large and difficult to swallow in a one‑tablet-a-day dose.
  11. I eat well, so do I really need to take a multivitamin?
    We should always strive to eat a healthy diet and follow Canada's Food Guide. Taking Centrum everyday ensures that you are bridging any nutritional shortfall in your diet.
  12. Are there enough vitamins and minerals in Centrum to be beneficial?
    All Centrum products have been developed to complement the diet. In our formulations, we review the average Canadian diet by age group, and supplement where necessary to bring your vitamin and mineral intake to an optimal level. Centrum Advantage goes a step further with higher levels of key nutrients to help maintain long term health.
  13. Who should be taking Centrum Advantage?
    Centrum Advantage will appeal to vitamin users who take other nutritional supplements to complement their multivitamin, as it contains higher levels of key nutrients.
  14. Should I take a Centrum tablet that has expired?
    The expiry date on the product reflects the stability of the active ingredients in the Centrum. Although not a health risk, we are unable to recommend continued use of an expired product.
  15. Is Centrum packaged in child‑resistant containers?
    All Centrum products, except Centrum Select Chewables, are packaged in child‑resistant containers.
  16. Is Centrum safe for breast‑feeding mothers?
    Yes, and in fact Centrum may be beneficial for breastfeeding mothers.
  17. Is it safe to consume Centrum on a long‑term basis?
    Centrum products are safe to consume on a long‑term basis. Centrum is a multivitamin product intended to be an adjunct to the diet. All ingredient levels are well below the Tolerable Upper Level (UL) as recommended by Health Canada.
  18. Do Centrum products contain MSG?
    No, Centrum products do not contain MSG.
  19. Is the calcium in Centrum from oyster shells or shellfish?
    No, the calcium in Centrum products is not derived from oyster shells or shellfish.
  20. Does Centrum contain peanut oil?
    No, Centrum products do not contain peanut oil.
  21. Why is there gelatin in the Canadian Centrum line, and what is the gelatin source?

    The gelatin in the Canadian Centrum product line is a processing aid and stabilizing agent used in the production of some of the active ingredients, such as vitamins A, D and E, beta‑carotene, lutein and lycopene. This agent results in stable active ingredients, which can be then manufactured into solid dosage forms such as tablets. We have been working with our suppliers to find alternate sources of our raw materials that do not require gelatin in their production. However it is not an easy task to find stable replacements for all ingredients.

    The animal source of gelatin used varies and may include porcine, poultry or bovine gelatin. Gelatin is not added to Centrum during the manufacturing process. However in keeping with our policy to declare all active, non‑medicinal, and raw materials ingredients, we have declared gelatin as a component of Centrum.

    There are only a few suppliers of the active ingredients. Furthermore, not all manufacturers include all non‑medicinal ingredients or raw materials on their labels. Don't assume that there is no gelatin in another product simply by reading the label. If you are concerned about the presence of gelatin, you may wish to contact the manufacturer to ensure that gelatin is not included as a component of any ingredient.

  22. Does Centrum contain eggs?
    No, Centrum does not contain eggs.
  23. Does Centrum contain latex?
    No, Centrum products and containers do not contain latex.
  24. Does Centrum contain sodium aluminum silicate and is it safe to consume?
    Yes, sodium aluminum silicate (SAS) is a salt approved by Health Canada and it is safe. It is used in Centrum products to minimize any potential for stomach upset. Consumers sometimes confuse it with the industrial toxicity of aluminum.

  25. Is there any aluminum in any Centrum products?
    There is no aluminum in any Centrum products. Consumers sometimes confuse sodium aluminum silicate (SAS) with the mineral, aluminum. SAS is used in pharmaceutical preparations to minimize the potential of stomach irritation from some of the minerals.
  26. What is hydrolyzed protein?
    Hydrolyzed protein is a raw ingredient added to the vitamin E that is found in some Centrum products. The hydrolyzed protein is derived from corn.
  27. I am a competitive athlete and have to be very careful about the products I take. Are there any banned substances in Centrum?
    All active and non‑medicinal ingredients are listed on the label. To our knowledge, there is no reason for any of the ingredients to be prohibited. However, you should ask your doctor to be sure that none of the ingredients have been banned from your sport.
  28. What is the carbohydrate content in Centrum?
    The carbohydrate content is almost negligible. The carbohydrate content should not be an issue for low carbohydrate diets, weight management or for diabetes. There is no added sugar, but there might be traces of sugar in the raw material of one of the vitamins.
  29. How many calories does a Centrum tablet contain?
    Centrum tablets contain less than one calorie per tablet.
  30. Is it safe to take Centrum if I am lactose intolerant?
    There is an insignificant amount of lactose in Centrum derived from the raw materials. It is not added separately to the product therefore it is safe to take Centrum if you are lactose intolerant. Consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.