A recent study reported that a daily multivitamin supplement slows cognitive decline and improves memory; this was the third major study to report similar results, after the NIH reported its results in 2022 and 2023. But are all multivitamins the same? They are most certainly not. We want you to use choose a product with all of the nutrients you need, in 100% bioavailable forms, with no artificial colors, flavors, or harmful ingredients. As we like to say, you want to take more of the good stuff in and keep the bad stuff out. So why would you choose a multivitamin product that has bad stuff mixed in with the good?!
I’m sure it’s no surprise that we recommend Dr. Jaffe’s line of PERQUE supplements that you can get through your healthcare practitioner. The PERQUE multivitamins use a novel, more bioavailable delivery system known as tabsules (tablet with the efficacy of a capsule). The super multivitamin comes in different strengths to meet individual needs. Both PERQUE Life Guard™ and PERQUE Life Guard™ Mini tabsules contain all active ingredients, and nothing that interferes with bioavailability. Benefits were documented in real world, 6 month community based outcome research trials.
In this article, we will look at three other leading multivitamin brands. Centrum Silver® was the brand used in at least one of the studies cited above, so we chose it, as well as One-a-Day® and NatureMade®. Since all brands have a variety of different formulations targeted at different age groups, genders, and functional areas, we chose a women’s 50+ multi from each of the manufacturers. Note that the men’s (or generic adult, if available) versions had similar ingredients. Let’s look at some of our shocking discoveries.
Centrum Silver Women’s 50+ (and Centrum Silver Adult 50+)
Centrum Silver and Centrum Silver Women 50+ are similar formulations, with slightly differing amounts of 27 vitamins and minerals. The women’s version has iron, whereas the adult version has no iron, but adds lycopene. Supplement Facts panel for this product is below.
Some notable concerns about Centrum Silver ingredients:
- It uses the cheap “cyano” form of cobalamin rather than more bioavailable “hydroxo” cobalamin. Hydroxocobalamin is the better-tolerated natural form of vitamin B12 that is used by the body to make DNA.
- It contains the artificial colors Blue 2 Lake and Red 40 Lake. Blue 2 Lake has been found to cause an increase in brain gliomas (tumors) in rats, and has been suggested to be not safe for human consumption. Red 40 Lake is one of the more controversial food colorants on the market, and has been linked to ADHD, migraines, mental disorders, and allergies in children. All synthetic food colorants are banned in Europe due to links to hyperactivity and inattention in children.
- It contains titanium dioxide, the compound you might recognize as a “physical” sun blocker found in sunscreens. Some studies have suggested it may have carcinogenic properties, and it is banned as a food additive in Europe.
- It contains talc. Although generally recognized as safe, a large study in Taiwan has indicated a potential correlation with the development of stomach cancer.
- It contains the preservative BHT, which has been linked to tumor growth, impaired blood clotting, and lung toxicity. It is banned in Europe.
- It contains the pro-oxidants iron and copper that compete with and degrade antioxidants when they are mixed and stored together in a bottle. With the PERQUE® line of supplements, these minerals are provided in complementary products to the PERQUE Life Guard tabsules multivitamin formulation.
- It contains cornstarch and modified corn starch which may cause immune reactions, autoimmunity and may increase blood sugar and adversely impact cardiovascular health.
One-A-Day® Women’s 50+ Complete
One-a-Day Women’s 50+ Vitamins contain 21 vitamins and mineral nutrients in Daily Value amounts to prevent deficiency and not meet 21st Century health needs. The supplement Facts panel is provided below.
Some notable concerns about One-a-Day ingredients:
- Like Centrum Silver above, it uses the cost-effective “cyano” form of cobalamin rather than more bioavailable “hydroxo” cobalamin.
- It contains an unspecified “artificial flavor.” Artificial flavors are typically chemical mixtures produced in a lab and derived from petroleum products (yuck!). They are made from proprietary top-secret chemical formulas owned by the various flavor companies. Many artificial flavors are known to cause headaches, allergic reactions, fatigue, chest pain, depression, seizures, brain damage, and more.
- It contains artificial colors FD&C Yellow #5 (tartrazine) Aluminum Lake and FD&C Yellow #6 Aluminum Lake. Tartrazine has been implicated in severe allergies and asthma, and is banned in several countries including Sweden, Switzerland, and Norway. Yellow #6 has been implicated inpossible adrenal and testicular tumors as well as hypersensitivity. Both Yellow #5 and #6 are often contaminated with carcinogenic compounds.
- It contains polyethylene glycol. In high doses, polyethylene glycol is used as a laxative, or bowel cleanse preparation prior to colonoscopies. In the amounts used in foods and supplements, side effects might include GI upset, dehydration, diarrhea, and electrolyte imbalances.
- It contains the pro-oxidant copper sulfate, which can counteract some of the antioxidant activity of other vitamins.
Nature Made® Multi For Her 50+
Nature Made Women’s multis provide 22 vitamin and mineral nutrients. The Supplement Facts panel is provided below. Some notable concerns about Nature Made ingredients:
- The first ingredient on the list is soybean oil, a widely consumed edible oil that has many negative effects on the body and has been linked to obesity, diabetes, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, anxiety, and most recently, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Soybean oil contains linolenic acid, and in the quantities ingested in the American diet, we are getting 5-10x the needed amount daily. This leads to an overgrowth of coli in the gut, and a die-off of healthy bacteria, leading to inflammation and IBD.
- It contains the artificial colors Red 40, Yellow 6, and Blue 1. We have already discussed the health issues associated with Red 40 and Yellow 6 above. Blue 1 has been found to be carcinogenic in rats, and is currently banned in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
- As noted above, the pro-oxidant copper is found in this formulation.
Nature Made Multi for Her 50+:
The PERQUE line of supplements was specifically formulated by Dr. Jaffe in 1987 to provide 100% bioavailable forms of key nutrients with no inactive colors or fillers. The PERQUE adult multivitamin products, PERQUE Life Guard® tabsules and PERQUE Life Guard® Mini tabsules contain 40 essential nutrients in needed amounts, providing 4 products in one:
- Super potency B complex plus (14 vitamins)
- Minerals (10 fully available elemental forms)
- Mixed vitamins E, selenomethionine, and tocotrienols (enough to lower cardiovascular risk by 60+%)*
- Cell alkalinizers (to soak up metabolic acids) and energizers (16 for complete effect).
What’s more important about what these products contain, is what they do NOT contain, ever.
- No artificial colors or flavors. The PERQUE Life Guard multivitamins get their coloration from riboflavin, a B vitamin.
- No cyanocobalamin. PERQUE products contain the natural, bioavailable form of Vitamin B12, known as hydroxocobalamin.
- No talc.
- No preservatives.
- No pro-oxidant compounds to degrade the antioxidants in the multivitamin. Use PERQUE Hematin Anemia Guard™ (for iron and other anemia-protecting nutrients) and PERQUE Bone Guard Forté™(for copper and other bone/body- building minerals).
- No soy. In addition, PERQUE products are free from citrus, MSG, wheat/gluten, corn/zein/starch, dairy/casein/whey/milk derivatives, yeast, sulfate, and phosphates (other than coenzymes).
- No polyethylene glycol.
- No hidden ingredients, all PERQUE labels are full disclosure.
PERQUE products have more of what you need and avoid what you don’t need. If you are wondering about some of the ingredient amounts, we have found that due to toxin exposure from foods and the environment, and dietary depletions, we need more of certain nutrients than the recommended daily value (which is a minimum) in order to thrive in the 21st century. Take enough to keep your urine sunshine yellow and keep well hydrated to confirm you are getting the amounts of vital nutrients you need, and enough antioxidants to protect your kidneys and bladder.
PERQUE Life Guard® (60 or 180 count)
PERQUE Life Guard® Mini (60 or 180 count)