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If you make supplements or vitamins that taste like candy, well, color me first in line to check them out. Make them taste really good and you’ve got a supplemented fan for life.

For me, it’s much more pleasant to take vitamins if I can pretend that I’m eating a little handful of candy. Sorry, it’s true. I love sugar, but have pretty much sworn off the stuff, so it’s a bit of a thrill to sit down and chew through my gummy multivitamins, fiber and calcium. Tastes good and good for you. Right?

A while back, I reviewed some fiber gummies here. So far, these are my favorite supplements. They’re basically fiber-fortified gumdrops. Sweet.

So, while I’m happy with my current gummy multivitamins, I did get a little giddy when I found out that Centrum was introducing Flavor Burst adult chews. These multivitamin/multimineral supplements come as a fruity chew surrounded by a candy shell. I have to say, that for a reformed Skittles and Starburst junkie, this was, indeed, good news.

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My candy obsession aside, vitamins are serious business. I recently got a sneak peek at an upcoming Nutrition Alert newsletter written by nutritionist and author Elizabeth Somer for Metabolic Maintenance, which develops and manufactures supplemental nutritional products. Her article outlines what to look for in a multivitamin, but it starts out with some interesting findings from the Journal of the American Medical Association. Take a look:

Multis Lower Cancer Risk

Taking a multi-vitamin every day lowers a man’s risk for cancer, according to a study from Harvard Medical School. Researchers compared supplement use with cancer rates in this large-scale, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 14,641 men followed since 1997. Results showed that compared to the placebo takers, men who took a daily multi-vitamin showed a modest, but significant, reduction in the incidence of total cancer.
Gaziano J, Sesso H, Christen W, et al: Multivitamins in the prevention of cancer in men. Journal of the American Medical Association 2012; October 17th.

And if you want more recent information on the benefits of taking multivitamins, check out this ABC News report. Keep in mind that there’s so much pro and con information going back and forth that reading too many of these reports will probably make you dizzy.

Here’s what Somer has to say about what you should and shouldn’t find in your daily multivitamin:

Select a broad-range multiple vitamin and mineral supplement.

Choose one that contains vitamins A, D, E, and K, all of the B vitamins (vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, niacin, and folic acid), and the trace minerals (chromium, copper, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc). Ignore chloride, pantothenic acid, biotin, potassium, choline, and phosphorus since the diet either already supplies optimal levels of these compounds or supplements contain too little to be useful. Also ignore nickel, iodine, vanadium, and tin, since it’s not clear whether or not they’re essential for humans. Read the column titled “Daily Value” on the back label. Look for a multiple that provides approximately 100%, but no more than 300% of the Daily Value for all nutrients provided. You want a “balanced” supplement, not one that supplies 2% of one nutrient, 50% of another, and 600% of another.Supplement your multi. All one-pill-a-day multiples are short on calcium and magnesium,so consider taking a calcium-magnesium supplement if you consume daily less than 3 glasses of milk and few servings of magnesium-rich soybeans, wheat germ, and dark green leafy vegetables. Look for one that supplies these two minerals in a two to one ratio, such as 500 milligrams calcium to 250 milligrams magnesium. You also may need extra supplements of vitamin D and the omega-3 fat, DHA.

How did Centrum Flavor Burst Adult Chews Multivitamin stack up? My review follows:    

Centrum Flavor Burst Adult Chews Multivitamins, about $7.50 for a bottle of 60 (also comes in bottles of 120) mixed fruit chews at Walmart, but also available online and at most drugstores and mass merchandisers.

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First look: You can’t help but notice that Centrum Flavor Burst adult chews resemble small gum balls found in candy dispensers. They come in mixed fruit flavors: cherry, berry and grape – red, blue and purple. Centrum also offers the multis in the single flavor, wild grape. Note that these are intended for adults, not children. As far as supplemental facts are concerned, Centrum Flavor Burst are on a par with other drugstore candy type multis.

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Here’s the ingredient list for Centrum Flavor Burst.

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Note that these vitamins contain soy, in case that’s an issue for you.

Good news: Each serving delivers much of the required daily value. And if you’re the type who doesn’t like swallowing a lot of pills, then chewing these sweet supplements might help to keep you on track. They’re slightly sour, so if that’s a taste you like, you might be happy with Centrum Flavor Burst.

Bad news: I was disappointed to see the small bottle of only 60 Centrum Flavor Burst chews when I read that four chews equal a single serving.

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That’s only 15 servings per bottle for almost $8. Pretty pricy when you consider that my regular multis, Vitafusion MultiVites gummy vitamins, cost $13.99 for 250 at Costco. And the serving size is two gummies. OK, so they don’t taste as if they came from Willy Wonka, but they’re just fine. Also, Centrum aren’t sugar-free and contain 6 carb grams. Not earth shattering, but still about twice the amount of some other sweet multiples.

Last words: I’ll be eschewing Centrum Flavor Burst Adult Chews. There’s just not enough to keep me coming back.