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Multivitamins for women aim to meet their unique nutritional needs. Multivitamins can benefit pregnancy and overall health, though they may not contain the recommended daily amount of each vitamin or mineral.

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. For the purposes of this article, we use “male” and “female” to refer to a person’s sex assigned at birth. Learn more.

A quick look at the best multivitamins for women

It is important to note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not evaluate the safety of multivitamin products before they become available for sale. People may wish to look for products with independent tests from organizations such as the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), which tests products for purity.

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

Males and females often benefit from differing vitamin and mineral types, quantities, and combinations. With this in mind, some pharmaceutical companies develop specific formulas of supplements, vitamins, shakes, and health bars to benefit either male or female biology. A person should discuss their options with a doctor or healthcare professional who can help them decide, and choose the product they feel works best for them and their needs.

Multivitamins are typically capsules or gummies taken once per day. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), these multivitamins often include all the daily essential nutrients an individual needs.

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 contribute to the use of multivitamins.

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products containing safe and high quality ingredients that are clearly labeled. They also confirm they are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: MNT chooses products that must clearly state the supplement dosage.
  • Serving size: MNT selects products in which manufacturers recommend a safe dosage.
  • Third-party testing: MNT chooses products that must undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis: MNT chooses companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s certificate of analysis (COA) after receiving its third-party lab results.

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+

  • Cost: around $30 per month
  • Suitable for: 18–49 years
  • Type: capsules
  • Dosage: 2 per day
  • Active ingredients: nine ingredients, including folate, vitamin B12, and iron

Ritual claims that its Essential for Women Multivitamin 18+ product supports female health, including bone, brain, and blood health.

Ritual offers this product to those aged 18–49 years. It is suitable for vegans and is gluten-free.

The USP has verified the vitamins for purity and content.

Some ingredients include:

According to the company, each serving size equates to 2 delayed-release capsules. The multivitamins do not dissolve immediately after consumption, allowing the body to absorb the nutrients.

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

Pros

  • uses traceable ingredients
  • does not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs), artificial colorants, or fillers

Cons

  • many vitamins are below the recommended daily value (DV)
  • requires a monthly subscription

Best personalized: Care/of Multivitamin

  • Cost: around $15 per month
  • Suitable for: all females
  • Type: capsules and tablets
  • Dosage: 4 per day
  • Active ingredients: calcium, probiotic blend, and vitamin C

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

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 Care/of vitamins to their needs. Some examples of packages the company offers include help with the immune system and stress.

Pros

  • contain no GMOs and are gluten-free
  • can personalize vitamins to individual needs

Cons

  • requires a monthly subscription
  • no information on any certifications

Best sustainable: Persona

  • Cost: around $67.99 for 28 days
  • Suitable for: all females
  • Type: capsules
  • Dosage: 5 per day
  • Active ingredients: various multivitamins and minerals

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.

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 most common allergens, such as gluten, lactose, tree nuts, dairy, and wheat.

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

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

Pros

  • claims the vitamins have doctor and nutritionist approval
  • planet-friendly, biodegradable packaging
  • suitable for vegans

Cons

  • some nutrients are significantly over a person’s DV, such as the biotin
  • one of the more expensive options available

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

  • Cost: around $13 for 60
  • Suitable for: ages 50 and over
  • Type: softgels
  • Dosage: 1 per day
  • Active ingredients: several ingredients, including vitamins A, C, D, and E

These USP-approved supplements are marketed for females over the age of 50 years.

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

Other ingredients include:

  • soybean oil
  • glycerin
  • yellow beeswax
  • gelatin

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

Pros

  • contain no artificial flavors
  • gluten-free
  • may help support eye, bone, teeth, and muscle health
  • one of the most affordable options available

Cons

  • not suitable for vegetarians or vegans

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

  • Cost: around $40 for 60
  • Suitable for: all females
  • Type: tablets
  • Dosage: 2 per day
  • Active ingredients: a mixture of vitamins, minerals, and organic food

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.

Pros

  • USDA-certified, non-GMO Project verified, and Carbonfund-certified carbon-free
  • vegan
  • kosher
  • free from gluten, dairy, and soy

Cons

  • large tablets, which some people may find difficult to swallow

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

  • Cost: around $42 for 180
  • 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

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

The company recommends people take 6 capsules daily.

Pros

Cons

  • people need to take several capsules per day

Best prenatal and nursing: Rainbow Light Prenatal One

  • Cost: around $60
  • 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

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 also features clinically proven absorption of seven key nutrients needed to support a person’s health during pregnancy.

These multivitamins contain the following active ingredients:

There is no information regarding certifications.

Pros

  • meets 100% of DV of niacin, folate, biotin, iron, iodine, zinc, and vitamin D and K
  • vegetarian
  • free from GMOs and common allergens
  • does not contain colors, flavors, or sweeteners

Cons

  • lower calcium content than some other products
  • no information regarding certifications

Best for athletes: Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women Multivitamin

  • Cost: around $30 for 120
  • Suitable for: all ages
  • Type: capsules
  • Dosage: 2 per day
  • Active ingredients: 40 active ingredients, including calcium, magnesium, and iron

Optimum Nutrition states that this multivitamin is suitable for active people, aiming to support exercise programs and healthy diets.

This product contains 40 active ingredients, including:

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

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 recommends people take 2 capsules per day with food.

Pros

  • may help support bone and cellular health, immune system, and metabolism
  • vegetarian
  • suitable for all ages

Cons

  • cannot take on an empty stomach

Best chewable: OLLY The Perfect Women’s Multi

  • Cost: around $14 for 45 days
  • Suitable for: adults
  • Type: chewable gummies
  • Dosage: 2 per day
  • Active ingredients: a range of vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamins A and C

OLLY 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.

Pros

  • gummies may be preferable for people who have difficulty swallowing tablets and capsules
  • third-party tested for purity and carries NSF certification.
  • berry flavoring

Cons

  • contains gelatin, so is unsuitable for vegetarians and vegans

Best for women over 40: Pure Encapsulations Women’s Nutrients

  • Cost: around $68 for 180 capsules
  • Suitable for: those over age 40
  • Type: capsules
  • Dosage: 3–6 capsules per day
  • Active ingredients: a range of vitamins and minerals including calcium and vitamin D3

This product contains various vitamins and minerals including:

  • calcium
  • vitamins C, D3, E K
  • biotin
  • green tea

The manufacturers claim this multivitamin will help with hot flashes, moderate stress, breast health, and more.

The manufacturer recommends people take 3 capsules one to two times per day with meals.

Pros

  • vegetarian
  • hypoallergenic
  • free from gluten and GMOs

Cons

  • people have to consume more tablets than some other products
  • more expensive than some other products

Best small tablet: One A Day Women’s Petites

  • Cost: around $10 for 160
  • Suitable for: all females
  • Type: tablets
  • Dosage: 2 tablets per day
  • Active ingredients: key nutrients including folate, zinc, and vitamin B6

These tablets are smaller than comparable products and may be best for individuals who find it difficult to swallow tablets.

Some of the key nutrients include:

  • vitamin B12
  • folate
  • vitamin B6
  • biotin
  • vitamin D
  • vitamin A
  • zinc

One A Day recommends women take 2 tablets daily.

Pros

  • claims the multivitamins go through over 100 rigorous quality checks
  • free from dairy, shellfish, egg, and soy
  • free from high fructose corn syrup
  • free from artificial colors, flavorings, and sweeteners

Cons

  • contains gelatin, so is not suitable for vegans or vegetarians

Best non-GMO gummies: SmartyPants Women’s Formula

  • Cost: around $25 for 180
  • Suitable for: adults
  • Type: vegetarian gummies
  • Dosage: 4 per day
  • Active ingredients: 17 essential nutrients

These gummies do not contain any GMO ingredients

They contain omega-3 as well as 13 nutrients, including:

  • folate
  • vitamin D
  • vitamin B12
  • zinc

The manufacturer claims these multivitamin gummies can help to support digestive, bone, energy, and immune health.

SmartyPants recommends people take 4 gummies daily.

Pros

  • non-GMO ingredients
  • no synthetic colors or artificial flavors

Cons

  • requires people to take six gummies daily

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

Price Suitable for Type DosageAllergens and dietary informationCertifications
Ritual$30those ages 18–49capsules2 per dayvegan, gluten-freeUSP verified
Care/of$15femalescapsules and tablets4 per daygluten-freeno information available
Persona$67.99femalescapsules5 per dayvegan, wheat-, gluten-, and tree nut-freeCOA with each product
Nature Made$13ages 50 and oversoftgels1 per daygluten-free, unsuitable for vegans and vegetariansUSP verified
Garden of Life$40femalestablets2 per dayvegan, organic• USDA organic
• Non-GMO Project verified
Thorne$42ages 50 and over, athletescapsule6 per daygluten-, dairy-, and soy-freeNSF Certified for Sport
Rainbow Light$60pregnant or lactating
people
tablets1 per dayfree from eggs, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, colors, flavors, and sweetenersno information available
Optimum$30all agescapsules2 per dayvegetarianno information available
OLLY$14adultsgummies2 per daycontains gelatin and berry flavoringNSF certified
Pure
Encapsulations
$68those over age 40capsules3–6 per dayvegetarian, gluten-free, and hypoallergenicno information available
One A Day$10femalestablets2 per daycontains gelatin, free from dairy, egg, shellfish, and soyno information available
SmartyPants$25adultsgummies4 per dayvegetarian, not vegan• USDA organic
• Non-GMO Project verified
• American Vegetarian Association certified

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

  • Age: Products target different ages. People should purchase the one that fits their needs.
  • Dose: Some multivitamins contain high amounts of certain vitamins and minerals, which may exceed the recommended 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. People should avoid buying multivitamins from companies that do not clearly state the ingredients in their products.
  • Certifications: Some companies have certifications 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: A person should consider their 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 daily dosage. A person should consider the type of packaging they prefer, such as 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 speak with 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 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 those who are premenopausal or 10 mg for 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, those who are pregnant may need folic acid to support fetal health.

A person should contact a doctor before taking a multivitamin.

The following table compares the percentage of daily value of each mineral in the products in this article.

RitualCare/ofPersonaNature MadeGarden of LifeThorneRainbow LightOptimumOLLYPure EncapsulationsOne A DaySmartyPants
Calcium8%15%18%4%12%8%15%31%
Chromium172%343%200%571%343%50%286%71%
Iron44%50%100%100%100%
Magnesium7%21%24%43%13%18%12%
Manganese174%35%261%77%217%43%78%
Niacin100%125%115%1,000%100%125%50%234%100%20%
Potassium2%2%1%
Riboflavin
(vitamin B2)
384%131%150%846%500%1,538%10%1,335%100%20%
Thiamin
(vitamin B1)
1,250%125%130%3,333%571%1,667%10%1,042%100%9%
Vitamin A28%66%83%130%292%200%167%50%125%78%30%
Vitamin B647%294%353%550%588%500%1,176%100%612%100%88%
Vitamin B9
(folate)
250%282%167%100%425%100%255%100%167%166%100%
Vitamin B12333%100%834%1,042%500%18,750%321%4,167%250%10,417%250%125%
Vitamin C
(L-ascorbic acid)
22%100%67%111%944%54%278%50%139%93%50%
Vitamin D250%125%124%125%125%125%100%75%100%63%125%250%
Vitamin E45%27%30%180%130%1,787%50%447%100%223%50%80%
Vitamin K100%67%100%100%67%42%21%
Zinc45-46%136%50%136%100%136%23%68%73%30%

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 400–800 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 to manage illnesses. It also helps the body to absorb calcium, keep the bones strong, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

People 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

Those who are pregnant or have 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:

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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state 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 adults ages 19–50 need at least 1,000 mg of calcium per day to help keep 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 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
  • those who are pregnant
  • 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 and may recommend certain brands with the correct amount 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 NIH writes 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 the effectiveness of warfarin (a blood thinner), increasing a person’s risk of developing blood clots. The NIH also writes that people who currently or 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.

What is the highest rated women’s multivitamin?

There is not one highest rated women’s multivitamin.

All people have different needs and preferences. For example, those over 50 may not need extra iron, whereas those having periods may benefit from an extra iron intake.

Additionally, some may prefer to take gummies, and others may prefer to swallow pills.

Which multivitamins are most effective?

Again, this varies. Some may find one brand works best for them whereas others may experience different results.

People may wish to try one brand for a few months before switching to another to find the best product for their needs.

Are women’s multivitamins good for you?

There are mixed research conclusions about whether multivitamins have health benefits.

A 2018 review notes that studies are limited because of inconsistent definitions of multivitamins, ranging from products with as few as three vitamins to more than two dozen.

There is also a risk that people will consume too much of certain nutrients, leading to symptoms of vitamin toxicity.

However, there is some evidence that multivitamins may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer and cardiovascular disease. More research is necessary to determine if and how these vitamins have an effect on chronic conditions.

Multivitamins can help fill nutritional deficiencies for some people at different points. 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 someone wishes to take multivitamins, they should speak with a doctor first.