Americans started taking multivitamins and mineral supplements in the 1940s. Nowadays, diet supplements are commonly consumed by millions of Americans who rely on supplements to improve their health and immunity. One of the most popular American brands of supplements is Centrum.
Statistically speaking, in 2014, multivitamins accounted for 40% of all supplement purchases or 5.7 billion dollars from the 37 billion dollars in sale of supplements. Centrum is owned by Pfizer, the largest pharmaceutical company in the world which deals with the manufacturing of chemicals. Pfizer is a company known for controversy, fraud, and legal battles.
For example, in 2012, the drug company was threatened to be sued by the consumer watchdog group known as Center for Science in the Public Interest due to false claims about their vitamins. This resulted in the company settling and pulling the claims about breast and colon health, however they did nothing about the controversial language concerning the health benefits listed on their bottles.
To make matters worse, another problem with multivitamins is that there is no set of standards or levels established and any blend of supplements is considered a multivitamin. So, the question which arises is whether multivitamins are really helpful or are they causing more harm than good?
Unfortunately, a lot of vitamins contain whacky fillers like shower scum and, what’s more; the same chemicals are used for the production of coal, line tin cans, and propel jets. When it comes to the Centrum vitamins, they contain at least 3 preservatives; few color additives, and various chemicals. Here’s a list of some of the most harmful ingredients found in the Centrum vitamins:
GMO corn starch– genetically modified corn has a lot of negative effects and it’s particularly damaging to the liver, kidneys, heart, spleen, and adrenal gland. GMO foods can lead to kidney failure which is usually fatal.
Calcium carbonate- this compound is found in shells, rocks, and pearls and it can sometimes increase the levels of calcium in the body, however, it has been linked with heart disease and stroke in elder people. Numerous studies have established a connection between this compound and heart problems and myocardial infarction.
Hydrogenated oils- when processed under extreme heat, pressure or when injected with metal, hydrogenated oils become toxic. When consumed, these oils clog the arteries and can cause serious heart and arterial problems. The brain also becomes negatively affected which may further causes ADHD and Alzheimer’s.
Food dye yellow 6- this food dye is toxic and carcinogenic, thus, it can cause allergies, tumors on the kidneys and testicles, as well as chromosomal damage. Other side effects are restlessness, hyperactivity, and ADHD.
Titanium dioxide– this naturally-occurring mineral is added to a lot of products in order to increase the whiteness, for example, to paints, ink, paper, toothpastes, etc. However, it has been found to have a carcinogenic effect on humans. Recent studies done with mice have shown that exposure to dust fragments of titanium dioxide caused lung cancer.
Polyethylene glycol- this additive is added during the manufacturing of coal-burning plants, rocket fuels, and over-the-counter laxatives. Unfortunately, it can cause kidney damage, allergic reactions, hives, and esophageal bleeding. To make matters worse, it has also been associated with autism.
The children vitamins manufactured by Centrum are believed to be even more harmful that the ones for adults as they have even more dangerous ingredients. Let’s take a look:
Aspartame- this carcinogenic sweetener converts to methanol, a toxic chemical, and once digested, it can cause cancer, lupus, ADD, birth defects, multiple sclerosis, etc.
Food dye blue 2– this dye, which is banned in Norway, has been associated with brain tumors, general malaise, and learning disorders.
Cupric oxide- this copper mineral is listed as a hazardous material in Europe and it can lead to kidney disease and childhood cirrhosis.
Zinc oxide- it’s also classified as harmful in Europe and it is what makes the SPF in sunscreens and this is why most of them are toxic. Zinc oxide can cause constipation, diarrhea, stomach problems, etc.
Sugar- sucrose, the extraction of cane or beets, also known as table sugar, has around 100 adverse side effects like cancer, obesity, anxiety, diabetes, suppression of mineral and vitamin absorption, etc.
Lactose– it can cause lactose intolerance as well as bloating, cramps, upset, stomach, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
After reading the serious and harmful side effects of both the children and adult multivitamins, you’re probably wondering how to get the daily amount of vitamins and minerals? The answer is very simple and it’s right in front of you- through daily consumption of whole foods. The list below shows the foods which are rich in nutrients:
Veggies are loaded with vitamins and minerals and some of the most nutritious veggies are leafy green veggies like broccoli, spinach, cabbage, avocados, as well as sweet potatoes and watercress.
They have nutrients, antioxidants, phytosterols, and essential oils that are great for the health. Namely, curcumin, an antioxidant found in turmeric, has the power to fight off cancer and brain diseases. The volatile oils present in a lot of herbs can fight off cancer, encourage weight loss, treat anxiety and poor digestion, etc. The most potent herbs are turmeric, garlic, parsley, basil, ginger, and oregano.
They’re the biggest source of folate, vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. Fruits are very powerful when it comes to lowering the blood pressure and decreasing the chance of heart disease. Pomegranates, acai berries, goji berries, red grapes, and maqui berries have the biggest amount of antioxidants.
Sprouts- sprouting is the process of germination of seeds, whether they are grains, nuts, beans, etc. They’re easy for digestion and sprouting is known to unlock potent enzymes; they also increase the levels of beneficial flora in the gut which results in reduced autoimmune reaction to consumption of these foods.
Organic and grass-fed meat and wild game- grass-fed meat is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are vital for the body as they’re healthy fats. Wild game and grass-fed meat is also richer in nutrients and low on calories and fat. Grass-fed meat also has CLA, a healthy fat that fights off cancer.
Eggs and free-range poultry– they have more nutrients and good fats than the caged variety. They also have more vitamin E and A, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids. Free range eggs also have vitamin D.
Wild-caught fish– they supply the body with the needed fatty acids and, unlike farmed fish, wild-caught fish are free of coloring, toxins, and hormones. They make a great source of protein and they can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s when consumed at least twice per week.
Raw dairy– it’s rich in minerals, acids, and fat-soluble vitamins and it can also strengthen the immunity, improve the health of the skin, nail, and hair, and to fight off cancer and other digestive issues.
If your diet still doesn’t supply you with the needed amount of vitamins and minerals, and you need to opt for multivitamins, make sure you buy real food multivitamins. When choosing a multivitamin, make sure you read the label and avoid the ones which contain soy, gluten, corn, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, GMOs, colorings, dyes. Instead, opt for multivitamins that are 100% organic and whole food-based.