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Shopping for the best multivitamin requires careful research on ingredients, cost, and effectiveness. We worked with registered dietitians to test the best products for every age and budget.

Many products are available that cater to the needs of women at every stage in their lives, including prenatal vitamins and those designed specifically for athletes and older women.

All the products tested below were tried by Healthline writers or editors, who received the products for free. All opinions are their own.

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

DoseBest forPrice
Ritual2 capsules per daywomen over 18$33
Care/of2 tablets per daypersonalized subscription$15
Nature Made 50+1 tablet per daylow cost$19
Garden of Life2 tablets per dayorganic$64.39
Thorne3–6 capsules per daywomen over 50$50
Rainbow Light1 tablet per dayprenatal and nursing$41.90
Optimum Nutrition2 capsules per dayathletes$18.99
OLLY2 gummies per daychewable$12.99
Pure Encapsulations3 capsules per daywomen over 40$72.70
One A Day2 tablets per daysmall tablet$8.49
SmartyPants6 gummies per daynon-GMO gummies$17.80
New Chapter1 tablet per daynatural ingredients$49.93
Nature Made for Her1 tablet per dayall ages$36.98

Males and females often benefit from differing vitamin and mineral types, quantities, and combinations. With this in mind, some companies develop specific formulas of supplements, vitamins, shakes, and health bars. 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.

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Some features that people may wish to consider when choosing multivitamins for females 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.

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.

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 coronary heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis

According to the National Institutes of Health, adequate vitamin D intake is essential for bone health. Additionally, researchers are exploring vitamin D’s potential role in combating cancer, 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.

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 multivitamins’ calcium and magnesium content 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.

Each product in this article has differing percentages of the daily value of vitamins.

Vitamin AVitamin B1Vitamin B2Vitamin B6Vitamin B9Vitamin B12Vitamin CVitamin DVitamin EVitamin K
Persona33%NA 192%NA%145%417%50%63%15%50%
Pure Encapsulations125%1,042%1,335%612%167%10,417%139%63%223%42%
One A Day78%100%100%100%166%250%93%125%50%21%

New Chapter

Eating a well-balanced diet can provide most of the vitamins and minerals a person needs to maintain their health. However, multivitamins can be helpful for people who have gaps in their diet.

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

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.

Who should not take a multivitamin?

While multivitamins are popular supplements, they may not be suitable for use by everyone.

There is always a possibility that vitamins or minerals in multivitamins may interact with medications, making them less effective or increasing the risk of experiencing side effects. People should always consult with a healthcare professional if they are already taking medication.

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

There is not one highest-rated women’s multivitamin. People have different needs and preferences, such as their age and feelings about swallowing pills.

Multivitamins can help fill nutrient gaps in otherwise healthy diets. However, people should aim to meet the bulk of their vitamin and mineral needs through diet.

The best multivitamin for women depends on their age and preference. People who are over 50 may need more of certain nutrients than people under this age, for example.

Good quality multivitamins contain all the nutrients a person may not get from their diet. People may wish to try one brand for a few months before switching to another to find the best product for their needs.

As a general rule, a person should consider taking vitamin supplements if they do not consume the recommended daily intake from food. 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.

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.

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 always speak with a doctor before taking multivitamins to learn how much of each vitamin and mineral they need and review their options. They should not consume more than the recommended daily intake for each vitamin or mineral and stop using supplements if they experience side effects.

Research results concerning the health benefits of multivitamins are mixed. A 2018 review notes that studies are limited due to inconsistent definitions of multivitamins, ranging from products with as few as three vitamins to more than 24.

There is some evidence that multivitamins may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer and cardiovascular disease, but more research is necessary.

However, taking too much of certain nutrients is also risky, leading to vitamin toxicity.

When a person has the MTHFR mutation, they have trouble making the protein the body uses to digest folate.

The U.S. Public Health Service recommends that persons able to get pregnant consume 400 mcg of folic acid, or folate, each day to prevent birth defects, causing significant concern for persons with the MTHFR mutation.

However, the CDC states that persons with the MTHFR mutation can still process folate. Additionally, the CDC states that folic acid is the only type of folate to prevent neural tube defects. This means the best multivitamin for a person with the MTHFR mutation contains folic acid.

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.