* Prices may differ from that shown
For the health conscious, finding ways of boosting our intake of vitamins and goodness from our diet and lifestyle is something we tend to consider. Although I do my best to eat a balanced diet (helped if I'm at home and Mum cooks vegetables with practically everything), I still felt I would benefit from taking a regular vitamin supplement, especially now I am at uni and don't always get my 5 a day, and can sometimes feel a bit lethargic etc. I also have suffered from a few issues I have considered may be down to a lack of key vitamins. Firstly, in my first year of uni I noticed my hair was starting to fall out at an alarming rate. Even taking out my bobble would result in a clump of hair. Although this may have also been attributed to me bleaching my hair (which I have now stopped doing), I was also keen to boost my intake of vitamin B12 which is linked to hair/nail growth. As well as feeling better within myself, I also wanted to take vitamins to boost the appearance of my skin, so vitamin E was a must, not to mention a general boost of vitamins to enhance my general wellbeing. I hadn't really bought multivitamins before myself, but I knew I was looking for a general overall vitamins, instead of just buying vitamin C tablets. Centrum Advance, claims to be a complete "A to Zinc" multivitamin food supplement, which should be taken once day. Looking at the side of the bottle, it is pretty impressive what vitamins it includes, containing between 33.3% and 250% of the RDA. Vitamin A 100% Vitamin E 150% Vitamin C 167% Vitamin B1 100% Vitamin B2 109% Vitamin B6 100% Vitamin B12 250% Vitamin D 100% Biotin 42% Folic Acid 100% Niacin 111% Pantothenic Acid 125% Calcium 20% Phosphorus 16% Magnesium 33.3% Iron 36% Iodine 67.7% Zinc 33.3% There are also a number of other supplements Centrum includes, but as they don't specify the RDA percentage, due to their not being one set by the EU, I haven't included them in the list. It is recommend you take these tablets with water, preferably with food, and one tablet a day. I have tried many different vitamins and medicine pills over the years and so the taking of the tablet aspect, somewhat fills me with dread. Thankfully, Centrum pills don't taste too awful, and most of the time I am lucky and don't taste them at all if I have them with a drink or some food. The tablets are pink, and about 2cm in length so are certainly easier to swallow than large liquid capsule tablets, which I hate! I have been taking these tablets periodically over the last year or so, but in the last couple of weeks I have started taking them everyday. Although I can't exactly knock on my ribcage and ask if the calcium has helped my bones, or ask if my heart has noticed a reduction in the levels of amino acid homocysteine, I can tell you what I have noticed from a general perspective. When I take a tablet, one of the most noticeable things is my nails seem to grow noticeably longer the next morning when I wake up, more so than if I haven't taken a tablet. I recall reading somewhere that the hair and nails is the last thing to get any nutrients from what your body is given, so surely it must be having an impact. As for the hair problem, my hair has stopped falling out at the level it was. Although I have stopped bleaching my hair, I also think this is down to good conditioning products and of course multivitamin intake, which has no doubt boosted key areas of nutrition relating to hair and skin. Also, 9 times out of 10 after taking Centrum, I tend to sleep better, in terms of getting a deeper more rejuvenating sleep. This in term helps the body to rest and repair anyway, so the benefits are almost like a domino effect. Although it is not possible to feel the effect of every vitamin these tablets include, I feel better in myself for knowing I am helping my body to stay healthy from the inside. Of course no tablet could or should ever replace a healthy lifestyle, and indeed this is stated on the container, that is has to be part of an overall healthy approach to living and diet. Having said that, there's certainly no harm in boosting your bodies defenses, and my English teacher at college often recommend multivitamin tablets before exams to ensure we didn't catch the lurgy and were feeling our best for the big day. Interesting, the Centrum website says that "Water-soluble vitamins (B vitamins and vitamin C) can't be stored in the body and must be taken daily to ensure your body has enough to perform essential functions and prevent deficiency." This is a fact I certainly didn't know, which makes me believe that taking vitamin supplements is an important part of my health regime. Thankfully, Centrum contains 167% RDA of vitamin C intake. The best thing about Centrum Advance, is they really are your complete A to Zinc intake of vitamins, therefore give you everything your body requires to run the deck, rather than just the masts (i.e, vitamin C or B12). I certainly feel better for taking them, and know I am helping my body by doing so. As for the packaging, you will find Centrum in a silver cardbox outer packaging, where as the container itself is plain white with a label listing all the ingredients, and general information. It should also be noted that the screw-top lid does not have any child safety mechanisms, and is very easy to open. Although these tablets aren't exactly harmful, they aren't recommended for children under 11 so should probably be kept out of reach to be on the safe side. Price wise is perhaps the only sting in the tail, as 60 capsules cost £8.69 from Lloyds pharmacy, and retail at similar prices elsewhere (cheapest I have found is about £7). Having said that, given they are A-Z tablets it is probably much cheaper than buying individual vitamin tablets. Even though I am a student on a budget, I have no problem spending money on anything which will benefit my general wellbeing. If you are looking to try multivitamins, they I really would recommend Centrum Advanced A-Zinc. N.B: This product is not suitable for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or for children under 11.