Centrum Extra Strength Vitamins, what's up with that?

Okay here is a question for you dopers.

I take 2 Extra Strength Centrum vitamins every day, but my girlfriend is concerned with the dosage and when I take them.

I take them as soon as I wake up. She says I should only take 1, and they should be taken with food so they are more effective.

Now since I have been taking them (3 years), I’ve only been sick 2-3 times, so I think the vitamins are doing the trick.

So my questions are, should I be taking a vitamin(s) with food? Is it the end of the world that I am taking 2 at a time?


In my experience, taking vitamins without food makes me vomit. Perhaps you’re stomach is stronger than mine.

Secondly, be careful how much you take of multi-vitamins. They also contain stuff you don’t want too much of (like Iron). I’ve heard fo people getting admitted to hospital for vitamin ODs.

I’d suggest take 1 multi, and if you feel the need to bulk it up, buy some other single vitamin pills (Vitamin C, for example) instead of doubling up your multis.

Your not going to get any responsible professional on this board to unequivocally say that it would be safe to take two. There are reported toxicity cases in many vitamins/minerals that are far below even the RDA which is probably considered conservative even by the RDA board. I looked at the doses for Centrum Advanced High Potency because I couldnt’ find one that included your phrasing and the serving size had nothing over 100% of the RDA. Most high potency brands that are sold in health food stores (as opposed to grocery stores) will often have many ingredients that are over 20 times the RDA - with the important exception of iron. Many doctors/nutritionists would question the wisdom of taking 36mg of iron a day. OTOH some would say that the equivalent amount per kg of bodyweight might be dangerous. It depends on too many factors. Most vitamin supplements today have versions that contain no iron.
Doubling the amount of the serving size of that supplement is still far below the generally accepted levels for toxicity for those ingredients that have know toxicity levels. In general, most nutrionists would probably tell you that you could take less iron and a lot more of everything else. Some doctors will tell you that all you’ll end up with is expensive pee. I’m trying to be conservative here but rather than pay ridiculous prices for these brands sold in grocery stores go to www.iherb.com and check around. They are the cheapest and have high volume turnover so the stuff doesn’t sit on the shelves.
Taking vitamins with food certainly makes intuitive sense since they only act as catalysts but I can’t say for sure. It’s virtually always recommended that you do, and I certainly do (except for certain other nutrients that are best absorbed alone). Like NoGoodNamesLeft I also find taking vitamins on an empty stomach nauseating (notably B).