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

A person may wish to look for independent tests of the product that they would like to try, such as 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, covers what ingredients multivitamins typically include, and lists some multivitamins a person may wish to try.

When a person talks about multivitamins, they may be referring to the multivitamins that people typically take once per day. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), these one-a-day multivitamins often include all of the essential nutrients that a person needs each day.

In one 2002 study, researchers linked vitamin deficiencies to several chronic conditions, including:

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

However, for many groups of people, the benefits of multivitamins do not have full scientific proof. Also, the 2002 study states that taking supplements can cause a person to consume too much of any given vitamin.

More recent studies do not confirm the benefits of taking multivitamins clearly. In a 2020 study, for example, the researchers state that although participants self-reported improvements in their health after using multivitamins, measurable health changes did not occur.

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

In a 2013 review of three studies, the researchers write that multivitamins do not help prevent or reduce the risk of conditions such as:

They also note that high levels of vitamin E and beta carotene may be harmful for some people.

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

According to the NASM, a multivitamin should contain the following vitamins:

The NASM states multivitamins should also contain the following minerals:

It is important to note that a person needs more calcium per day than a multivitamin can provide. A person may also need additional supplements to get the recommended amount of potassium.

With iron, premenopausal women need 18 mg per day. Most other adults need 10 mg per day.

The range of vitamins and minerals that a person should look for in their multivitamin may depend on their individual needs. For example, people who are pregnant may need folic acid to support the fetus’s health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Before taking a multivitamin, a person may wish to contact a doctor to discuss which type may be best for them.

The CDC states that folate is beneficial for people of reproductive age and that they need 400 mcg of folic acid each day in addition to dietary folic acid. According to the CDC, folic acid helps prevent major birth irregularities affecting the infant’s brain or spine.

The NIH states that adult women need at least 1,000 mg of calcium per day and that calcium can help keep the bones and teeth strong.

Potassium helps promote basic cell functioning. The NIH states that adult women need at least 2,300 mg of potassium per day. This amount may increase during pregnancy.

Please note that the writer has not tested these products. All information is research-based.

Ritual Essential for Women: Multivitamin 18+

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

The USP has verified the vitamins for purity and content.

In addition to being gluten- and allergen-free, Ritual claims that this vitamin is vegan and made with traceable ingredients.

Some ingredients include:

Care/of Multivitamins

Care/of offers multivitamins with iron aimed at people who menstruate.

The company claims that its products are vegan, gluten-free, and not genetically modified.

Each listing provides a breakdown of the ingredients included in the product, as well as links to research on women’s health, such as how oral birth control can deplete mineral stores in the body.

Persona

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

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

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

Nature Made Women’s Multivitamin 50+ Softgels

These supplements are designed for women 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 that they provide antioxidants.

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

However, the NIH states that a person may not need to take any vitamins at all, as people who use multivitamins may already get most of their micronutrients from their diet.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 strongly recommend that a person meets their nutritional needs through eating a balanced diet.

This can include consuming:

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

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

  • older adults
  • people who are pregnant
  • people 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 wish to consider contacting a doctor to get advice on what vitamins they may need, how much and how many they should take, and sources for each vitamin.

Multivitamins can help fill nutritional deficiencies for some people, and they can also help people meet specific needs at particular points in their life. For instance, many health authorities suggest that people take folic acid supplements for fetal health during pregnancy.

The FDA does not regulate multivitamins, and research debates the benefits of taking them.

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 a multivitamin.