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A person’s nutritional needs will vary depending on age, sex, and overall health. Some multivitamins are targeted toward females specifically to meet their unique nutritional needs. Multivitamins can benefit pregnancy and overall health, though they may not contain the daily amount of each vitamin or mineral recommended.

A quick look at the best multivitamins for women

When researching multivitamins to try, a person may wish to look for independent tests of the product they are interested in taking. These test standards include the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), which tests products for purity. This is because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not evaluate the safety of multivitamin products before they become available for sale.

This article explains why a person may need to take multivitamins, what ingredients they typically include, and some multivitamin brands to try.

When a person talks about multivitamins, they may be referring to those that people typically take once daily. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), these multivitamins often include all the essential nutrients an individual needs daily.

Experts have linked vitamin deficiencies to several chronic conditions, including:

A 2017 study states that vitamin D deficiency may lead to chronic disorders, such as bone metabolic disorder, tumors, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) notes that multivitamins may help reduce a person’s risk of developing eye disease and type 2 diabetes. However, it is important to note that the studies it references are around 15 years old.

More recent studies do not confirm the benefits of taking multivitamins. For example, in a 2020 study, the researchers stated that although participants self-reported improvements in their health after using multivitamins, there were no measurable health changes.

The authors conclude that the participants’ positive expectations and views on their health contributes to use of multivitamins.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for traceable ingredients: Ritual Essential for Women: Multivitamin 18+

  • Suitable for: 18–49 years
  • Type: capsule
  • Dosage: 2 per day
  • Active ingredients: nine ingredients, including folate, vitamin B12, and iron
  • Certifications: USP verified
  • Allergens and dietary information: vegan, gluten-free
  • Pros: recyclable packaging and traceable ingredients
  • Cons: many vitamins are below the recommended daily value (DV)
  • Cost: $30 per month

Ritual provides a wide variety of vitamins and multivitamins. It claims that its Essential for Women: Multivitamin 18+ product supports female health, including bone, brain, and blood health.

Ritual offers this product to women aged between 18–49 years.

The USP has verified the vitamins for purity and content.

Ritual claims this vitamin uses traceable ingredients. This means a person will know which manufacturing partners and scientific teams have provided the ingredients in Ritual’s multivitamin.

Some ingredients include:

Additionally, Ritual writes the product does not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and artificial colorants or fillers.

According to the company, each serving size equates to two delayed-release capsules. The multivitamins do not dissolve immediately after consumption, allowing the body to absorb the nutrients.

Individuals opt for the subscription option should benefit from free shipping and a money-back guarantee. They can cancel any time they want.

A person can get the Ritual Essential for Women Multivitamin for $30 a month.

Best personalized: Care/of Multivitamins

  • Suitable for: females
  • Type: capsules and tablets
  • Dosage: 4 per day
  • Active ingredients: calcium, probiotic blend, and vitamin C
  • Certifications: no information available
  • Allergens and dietary information: gluten-free
  • Pros: Care/of personalizes vitamins to a person’s requirements
  • Cons: this product is only available through a subscription
  • Cost: $15 per month

Care/of offers multivitamins containing a range of 10 vitamins and minerals. These include:

The company claims its products contain no GMOs.

The company provides a breakdown of its ingredients and links to research, although many of the studies Care/of references are over 7 years old.

A person can personalize their Care/of vitamins to their needs. Some examples of packages the company offers include help with the immune system and stress. The Care/of pack includes:

  • Calcium Plus: Contains vitamin B and K2 for a high absorption rate and is free from fish, eggs, milk, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, soy, and shellfish. The supplements support bone and muscle movement, and the company recommends people take 2 tablets per day. A person can also buy this separately for $10.
  • Probiotic Blend: Contains Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis, two strains of bacteria that help regulate the digestive system. A person should take 1 capsule daily with their breakfast or lunch. People can also buy this Probiotic Blend separately for $11.
  • Vitamin C: Acts as an antioxidant and maintains a healthy immune system. The manufacturers have fermented it with organic yeast for better absorption. According to the Care/of website, a person should take 1 tablet per day with meals. It is available on its own for $7.

The Care/of Multivitamin costs $15 a month.

Best sustainable: Persona

  • Suitable for: females
  • Type: capsules
  • Dosage: 5 capsules per day
  • Active ingredients: range of multivitamins and minerals
  • Certifications: each product comes with a Certificate of Analysis (COA)
  • Allergens and dietary information: vegan, gluten-free, wheat-free, tree nut free
  • Pros: this service uses eco-friendly packaging and is suitable for vegans
  • Cons: this product is one of the more expensive options available
  • Cost: $67.99 for 28 days

Persona offers a free online assessment to help people match their dietary needs with the right vitamins. It offers programs geared toward females, including prenatal formulations.

Its Women’s Ultra Multi pack contains 100% of a person’s daily vitamin C, vitamin K2, and niacin. Some nutrients are significantly over a person’s recommended daily intake. For instance, it contains 300 micrograms (mcg) of biotin. The recommended daily allowance for biotin is 30 mcg for females over 19.

Persona’s assessment may help match a person’s needs with the right vitamins.

It claims that some benefits include:

  • hair and skin health
  • recovery and fitness
  • sleep
  • aging

Furthermore, Persona claims its vitamins are suitable for people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. They are also free from:

  • gluten
  • lactose
  • shellfish
  • tree nuts
  • dairy
  • wheat

Persona has not currently undergone USP testing. However, it provides a COA with each purchase to show that the listed ingredients are accurate.

Persona claims that the vitamins have doctor and nutritionist approval. Additionally, the packaging is planet-friendly, as the supplements come in biodegradable pouches, eliminating the use of bottles.

The company recommends taking 1 pouch of these gelatin capsules with breakfast.

Best low cost: Nature Made Women’s Multivitamin 50+ Softgels

  • Suitable for: ages 50 and over
  • Type: softgel
  • Dosage: 1 per day
  • Active ingredients: several ingredients, including vitamins A, C, D, and E
  • Certifications: USP verified
  • Allergens and dietary information: gluten-free
  • Pros: this product is one of the more affordable options available
  • Cons: not suitable for vegetarians or vegans
  • Cost: $12.59 for 60

These supplements are marketed for females over the age of 50 years. Similar to many of the company’s other products, this multivitamin has USP approval.

It contains several ingredients and nutrients, including vitamins A, C, D, and E.

The company claims that the vitamins support eye, bone, teeth, and muscle health and provide antioxidants.

These vitamins may be a good purchase for people working with a smaller budget.

Other ingredients include:

  • soybean oil
  • glycerin
  • yellow beeswax
  • gelatin

These soft gels contain no artificial flavors.

The company recommends that people take 1 soft gel daily and seek medical advice before purchasing this product if they take any prescription medications.

A bottle of 60 soft gels costs $12.59.

Best organic: Garden of Life mykind Organics Women’s Multi Tablets

  • Suitable for: females
  • Type: tablets
  • Dosage: 2 per day
  • Active ingredients: a mixture of vitamins, minerals, and organic food
  • Certifications: USDA Organic, non-GMO Project verified, gluten-free, vegan
  • Allergens and dietary information: vegan, organic, dairy- and soy-free
  • Pros: this product is organic, does not use GMO ingredients, and is kosher
  • Cons: the tablets are large, which some people may find difficult to swallow
  • Cost: around $47.59 for 120

These vegan tablets are USDA-certified organic and are non-GMO Project verified. Additionally, Carbonfund.org has certified Garden of Life as carbon-free.

This product contains:

  • a mixture of powdered organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs
  • iron
  • vitamin B12
  • vitamin D3

The company claims these vitamins can help support a person’s health, energy, and skin. According to the product labeling, people should take 2 tablets per day.

A bottle of 120 servings costs $47.59.

Best for older adults: Thorne Women’s Multi 50+

  • Suitable for: ages 50 and over, athletes
  • Type: capsules
  • Dosage: 6 per day
  • Active ingredients: several vitamins and minerals, including biotin, magnesium, and vitamin D
  • Certifications: National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Certified for Sport
  • Allergens and dietary information: gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free
  • Pros: free from major allergens
  • Cons: people who purchase these vitamins will need to take several per day
  • Cost: $46 for 180

According to this 2018 study, adults 50+ need 1,200 milligrams (mg) of calcium daily due to muscle and bone loss that occurs as a person ages.

This product claims that it contains the optimal amount of calcium and magnesium in a highly absorbable form. Ingredients of the multivitamin include:

  • calcium
  • biotin
  • zinc
  • vitamin A, B, C, D, and E
  • magnesium

Additionally, the company writes this product is free from gluten, dairy, soy, and artificial colors and flavors. The company recommends people take 6 capsules daily.

It also has certification from the NSF stating it is safe for sport. This means it does not contain banned substances and is suitable for athletes.

A bottle of 30 servings costs $46.

Best prenatal and nursing: Rainbow Light Prenatal One Multivitamin

  • Suitable for: those who are pregnant or lactating
  • Type: tablets
  • Dosage: 1 per day
  • Active ingredients: a range of vitamins and minerals, including folate, iron, and calcium
  • Certifications: information unavailable
  • Allergens and dietary information: free from eggs, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, colors, flavors, or sweeteners
  • Pros: this product claims it provides nutrients to both the parent and the infant
  • Cons: the calcium content in this multivitamin is lower than some other products
  • Cost: $19–$59.99

These tablets are suitable for those who are pregnant and lactating. The company claims that these vitamins can help fill common nutritional gaps throughout pregnancy, supporting the health of both the parent and the infant.

It contains the recommended amount of folate and iron needed to help with fetal development. It is also clinically proven absorption of seven key nutrients needed to support a person’s health during pregnancy.

These multivitamins contain the following active ingredients:

The product labeling states this multivitamin meets 100% of a person’s daily allowance of niacin, folate, biotin, iron, iodine, zinc, and vitamin D and K.

It also shows that the Prenatal One Vitamin is vegetarian and free from GMO ingredients.

Rainbow Light recommends people take 1 tablet per day.

People can subscribe to automatic deliveries and save up to 25%.

Prices vary depending on the supply a person chooses. A one-time, 45-day supply costs $12, 90 days cost $19.59, and a 150-day supply costs $59.99.

Best for athletes: Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women Multivitamin

  • Suitable for: all ages
  • Type: capsules
  • Dosage: 2 per day
  • Active ingredients: 2 per day
  • Certifications: 40 active ingredients, including calcium, magnesium, and iron
  • Allergens and dietary information: vegetarian
  • Pros: this product is suitable for females of all ages
  • Cons: people cannot take this multivitamin on an empty stomach
  • Cost: $32.99

Optimum Nutrition states that this multivitamin is suitable for active people, aiming to support exercise programs and healthy diets. Among other minerals and vitamins, it contains iron, calcium, and folate.

A 2019 study found that iron deficiency can be common in athletes, particularly females. This suggests a connection between sports performance and iron regulation.

The company claims that these capsules can also support bone and cellular health and the immune system and metabolism.

This product contains 40 active ingredients, including:

  • calcium
  • biotin
  • magnesium
  • iron
  • folate
  • zinc
  • copper

These multivitamins are suitable for vegetarians. The company recommends people take 2 capsules per day with food.

A 60-serving bottle costs $32.99.

Best chewable: OLLY The Perfect Women’s Multi

  • Suitable for: adult females
  • Type: chewable gummies
  • Dosage: 2 per day
  • Active ingredients: a range of vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamins A and C
  • Certifications: NSF-certified
  • Allergens and dietary information: contains gelatin and berry flavoring
  • Pros: may suit those who experience difficulty swallowing tablets
  • Cons: unsuitable for vegetarians or vegans
  • Cost: starting from around $14 for 45

OLLY states that these chewable gummies are suitable for adult females. The company claims that these vitamins can help support general health and energy.

This product contains at least 100% of the recommended DV of many of the following ingredients:

  • vitamins A, C, D, E, and Bs
  • biotin
  • folic acid
  • calcium
  • zinc
  • iodine

OLLY recommends people take 2 gummies per day. This product is third-party tested for purity and carries NSF certification.

These can be preferable for those who have difficulty swallowing tablets and capsules.

People can subscribe to automatic refills and save up to 15%.

A bottle of 45 servings costs $13.99.

This table compares each multivitamin in this article for price, dosage, certifications, and more.

Some features that females may wish to consider when choosing multivitamins include:

  • Age: Products target different ages — some are suitable for those up to 49 years of age, and others are suitable for individuals ages 50 and older. Others are specifically designed for children.
  • Dose: Some multivitamins contain high amounts of certain vitamins and minerals, which may exceed the recommended upper limits. A person should check the recommended intake of vitamins and minerals before buying a multivitamin.
  • Ingredients: Individuals can find ingredients on product labels and company websites. A person can also check if the supplements are gluten-free and vegan. People should avoid buying multivitamins from companies that do not clearly state the ingredients in their products.
  • Certifications: Some companies have certifications listed on their website indicating that the products’ dosage and ingredients are correct. Other certifications state multivitamins are suitable for particular diets and do not contain banned sports substances.
  • Personalization: Some vitamins adhere to particular needs, such as pregnancy or bone health. A person should consider their unique health needs before buying a multivitamin, and speak with a doctor for guidance. Some companies tailor a person’s vitamins to their answers to an online health assessment.
  • Packaging: Some brands do not offer supplements in bottles but ship products in pouches with the correct daily dosage. A person should consider the type of packaging they prefer, for instance, opting for pouches if they find opening bottles difficult.
  • Price: A wide range of affordable multivitamins is available online and in stores. A person should consider their budget before buying a multivitamin, especially if it comes from a subscription service.

A person should always consult a doctor before taking a new vitamin or supplement.

According to the NIH, there are no standard multivitamin ingredients. There is also no federal regulation for the amount or potency of each ingredient.

The NIH notes that the term multivitamin could apply to supplements with only a few ingredients or supplements containing a wide array of vitamins and minerals.

According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), a multivitamin should contain the following vitamins:

NASM states multivitamins should also contain the following minerals:

  • chromium: 35 mcg or more
  • copper: 0.5–10 mg
  • folic acid: no more than 400 mcg
  • iron: 18 mg for premenopausal females or 10 mg for all others
  • magnesium: 50­–350 mg
  • selenium: 20­–110 mcg
  • zinc: no more than 30 mg

The NIH writes that the calcium and magnesium content of multivitamins can be low. The NIH advises that a person gets these nutrients from their diet.

The range of vitamins and minerals a person should look for in their multivitamin depends on their needs. For example, pregnant females may need folic acid to support fetal health.

A person should contact a doctor before taking a multivitamin.

The Office on Women’s Health (OASH) lists some vitamins and minerals that may benefit women’s health. These include:

Folic acid

Doctors may recommend taking between 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid per day if a person is pregnant or planning to have children. This is available as a dietary supplement and in various food sources, such as liver, black-eyed peas, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts.

Folic acid helps prevent premature births and congenital anomalies.

Learn more about folic acid.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps strengthen the immune system so that it can fight illnesses. It also helps the body to absorb calcium, keep the bones strong, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Women who may need it include those who have:

Learn more about vitamin D here.

Vitamin B12

This vitamin helps the body produce healthy red blood cells.

According to the NIH, vegetarians, older adults, and people with celiac or Crohn’s disease may be at risk of developing a B12 deficiency.

Foods that contain this vitamin include beef liver, clams, and tuna, among others.

Learn more about vitamin B12 here.

Iron

Pregnant females and those with heavy periods may find iron supplementation useful. This is because blood production increases significantly during pregnancy, and blood loss from heavy periods can lead to iron deficiency anemia.

Other people who may need iron supplements include frequent blood donors, those with cancer, and people with ulcerative colitis.

A person can get iron from meat and seafood, lentils, spinach, and tofu, among a wide variety of other foods.

Learn more about iron here.

The CDC states that folate benefits people of reproductive age and that they need 400 mcg of folic acid each day in addition to dietary folic acid. Folic acid helps prevent major birth abnormalities affecting the infant’s brain or spine.

The NIH says that adult females ages 19–50 need at least 1,000 mg of calcium per day and that calcium can help keep the bones and teeth strong. Females over the age of 50 should have 1,200 mg.

Potassium helps promote basic cell functioning. The NIH states that adult females need at least 2,600 mg of potassium daily. This amount may increase during pregnancy.

A person could replace a multivitamin with a specific vitamin they need.

However, the NIH states that individuals may not need to take any vitamins, as those who use multivitamins may already get most of their micronutrients from their diet.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025 strongly recommend that people meet their nutritional needs by eating a balanced diet.

This can include consuming:

  • whole grains
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • legumes and beans
  • lean proteins
  • fruits
  • vegetables

However, research from 2019 suggests that some groups of people have a higher risk of vitamin deficiency. These groups include:

  • older adults
  • pregnant females
  • individuals with lower incomes
  • people with unbalanced diets
  • young children
  • adolescents

People with a higher risk of vitamin deficiency may wish to consider supplementing their diet with vitamins and minerals or changing their diet to meet their nutritional needs.

A person may also wish to consider speaking with a doctor for advice on what vitamins they may need, how much and how many they should take, and beneficial sources for each vitamin.

Below are some common questions about multivitamins for women.

Do women’s multivitamins really work?

Multivitamins can help fill nutrient gaps in otherwise healthy diets.

However, people should not use multivitamins to substitute for a balanced diet. People should aim to meet their vitamin and mineral needs through diet, where possible.

What vitamins should women take daily?

As a general rule, a person should take vitamin supplements if they do not consume the recommended daily intake from other sources, such as food.

For example, a person who does not consume enough iron-rich foods may need to also take iron supplements.

A healthcare professional can advise a person on which vitamins they need to take and may recommend certain brands with the correct amount of vitamins for each person’s requirements.

When is the best time to take a multivitamin?

There is no scientific evidence on the best time to take a multivitamin. People should follow the instructions on the label of the product they have purchased.

Most companies recommend taking a multivitamin in the morning with or without food.

Can multivitamins help with body pains?

There is very little research to suggest that multivitamins can benefit pain.

The Arthritis Foundation notes that vitamins A, C, and E have been studied in relation to arthritis, but no studies indicate whether vitamins can relieve arthritis symptoms.

Do multivitamins have side effects?

Multivitamins are generally safe to take. However, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) write that some people can experience gastrointestinal side effects from taking a multivitamin. Some side effects can develop quickly — and stop when a person stops taking the vitamin — while others can develop more slowly.

For instance, according to the American Cancer Society, vitamin K may reduce warfarin’s effectiveness, increasing a person’s risk of developing blood clots. The NIH also writes that smokers or people who used to smoke should avoid vitamin A and beta-carotene, as it may increase their risk of lung cancer. Excess vitamin A during pregnancy can cause congenital disabilities.

A person should be careful not to consume more than the recommended daily intake for each vitamin or mineral in their multivitamin and stop taking it if they experience side effects.

They should always speak with a doctor before taking multivitamins to discuss their ingredients and how much of each vitamin and mineral they will get from them.

Multivitamins can help fill nutritional deficiencies for some people at different points in their life. For instance, many health authorities suggest that individuals take folic acid supplements to support fetal health during pregnancy.

However, the FDA does not regulate multivitamins, and there is mixed research on their benefits.

A person may wish to consider getting their daily intake of vitamins and minerals directly from their diet if they do not want to take multivitamins. If a person wishes to take multivitamins, they should speak with a doctor first.


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