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A person’s nutritional needs will vary depending on their 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 for them.

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 multivitamins an individual may wish 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.

Quick links

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

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 also 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 own health contribute to their use of multivitamins.

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 aged 50 years and older. Others are specifically designed for the use of children.
  • Certifications: Some companies have certifications listed on their website indicating that the products’ dosage and ingredients are correct.
  • Packaging: Some brands do not offer supplements in bottles, but they ship products in pouches with the correct daily dosage.
  • Ingredients: Individuals can find ingredients on product labels and company websites. A person can also check if the supplements are gluten-free and vegan.
  • Personification: some vitamins adhere to particular needs, such as a poor immune system or pregnancy.

A person may also wish to consult their doctor to confirm which multivitamins are most suitable for them.

The following section explores some of the best multivitamins for females in more detail.

How we choose products

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Price: Products are available for a wide variety of budgets.
  • Ingredients: Products list all ingredients clearly on their label and company website.
  • Diet: Products are gluten-free, and most are suitable for people who follow a vegan diet.
  • Health conditions: Products target various conditions, as they support bone, brain, blood, menstrual, and prenatal health, among others.

Below is a selection of multivitamins a person can purchase online.

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 free shipping: Ritual Essential for Women: Multivitamin 18+

Suitable for18–49 years
Typecapsule
Dosage2 per day
Active ingredientsnine ingredients, including folate, vitamin B12, and iron
CertificationsUSP verified
Prorecyclable packaging and traceable ingredients
Conmany vitamins are below the recommended daily value (DV)
Allergens and dietary informationvegan, gluten free
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.

The USP has verified the vitamins for purity and content.

Ritual claims this vitamin uses traceable ingredients. Some ingredients include:

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

According to the company, each serving size is equivalent to two delayed-release capsules. The multivitamins do not dissolve immediately after consumption, so they allow the body to absorb the nutrients.

The product comes with free shipping and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Best personalized packaging: Care/of Multivitamins

Suitable forfemales
Typecapsules and tablets
Dosage4 per day
Active ingredientscalcium, probiotic blend, and vitamin C
Certificationsno information available
ProCare/of personalizes vitamins to a person’s requirements
Conthis product is only available through a subscription
Allergens and dietary informationgluten free
Cost$26 per month

Care/of offers multivitamins with iron for people who menstruate.

The company claims its products contain no GMOs.

The company also provides a breakdown of its ingredients, plus links to research on female health, such as how oral birth control can deplete mineral stores in the body.

A person can personalize their vitamins to their needs. Some examples of packages they have 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 per day with their breakfast or lunch. People can also buy this Probiotic Blend separately for $9.
  • 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.

Best eco-conscious packaging: Persona

Suitable fornot specified
Typecapsules
Dosage6 per day
Active ingredientsrange of multivitamins and minerals
Certificationseach product comes with a Certificate of Analysis (COA)
Prothis service uses eco-friendly packaging and is suitable for vegans
Conthis product is one of the more expensive options available
Allergens and dietary informationvegan, gluten free, wheat free, tree nut free
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.

Persona has not currently undergone USP testing. However, it provides a COA 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

Furthermore, the 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 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 for lower budgets: Nature Made Women’s Multivitamin 50+ Softgels

Suitable forages 50 and over
Typesoftgel
Dosage1 per day
Active ingredientsseveral ingredients, including vitamins A, C, D, and E
CertificationsUSP verified
Prothis product is one of the more affordable options available
Conpeople taking prescription medications should contact a medical professional before purchasing
Allergens and dietary informationgluten free
Costaround $13 for 60

These supplements are 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 that they provide antioxidants.

Other ingredients include:

  • soybean oil
  • glycerin
  • yellow beeswax
  • gelatin

These softgels contain no artificial flavors.

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

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

Suitable fornot specified
Typetablets
Dosage2 per day
Active ingredientsa mixture of vitamins, minerals, and organic food
CertificationsUSDA Organic non-GMO Project verified
Prothis product is organic, does not use GMO ingredients, and is kosher
Conthe tablets are large, which some people may find difficult to swallow
Allergens and dietary informationvegan, organic
Costaround $54 for 60

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

This product contains:

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

The company claims that these vitamins can help support a person’s health, energy, and skin. People should take 2 tablets per day.

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

Suitable forages 50 and over
Typecapsules
Dosage6 per day
Active ingredientsseveral vitamins and minerals, including biotin, magnesium, and vitamin D
Certificationsinformation unavailable
Prothis product is gluten, dairy, and soy free
Conpeople who purchase these vitamins will need to take several per day
Allergens and dietary informationgluten free, soy free, dairy free
Cost$46 for 180

According to this 2018 study, adults 50+ need 1200 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, this product is free from gluten, dairy, soy, and artificial colors and flavors. The company recommends people take 6 capsules daily.

Best for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding: Rainbow Light Prenatal One Multivitamin

Suitable forthose who are pregnant or lactating
Typetablets
Dosage1 per day
Active ingredientsa range of vitamins and minerals, including folate, iron, and calcium
Certificationsinformation unavailable
Prothis product claims it provides nutrients to both the parent and the infant
Conthe calcium content in this multivitamin is lower than some other products
Allergens and dietary informationfree from eggs, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, colors, flavors, or sweeteners
Costaround $12 for 45

These tablets are suitable for those who are pregnant and lactating. The company claims that these vitamins can help fill nutritional gaps that are common throughout pregnancy, to support the health of both the parent and the infant. It contains the recommended amount of folate and iron needed to help with a baby’s development. It also has clinically proven absorption of seven key nutrients needed to ensure the person’s good health during pregnancy.

These multivitamins contain the following active ingredients:

Prenatal One Vitamin is vegetarian and free from GMO ingredients. Rainbow Light recommends people take 1 tablet per day.

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

Best for active people of any age: Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women Multivitamin

Suitable forall ages
Typecapsules
Dosage2 per day
Active ingredients40 active ingredients, including calcium, magnesium, and iron
Certificationsinformation unavailable
Prothis product is one of the more affordable options available
Conpeople cannot take this multivitamin on an empty stomach
Allergens and dietary informationvegetarian
Costaround $33 for 120

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.

Best for a chewable vitamin: OLLY The Perfect Women’s Multi

Suitable forall ages
Typechewable gummies
Dosage2 per day
Active ingredientsa range of vitamins, minerals, including vitamins A and C and calcium
CertificationsNSF-certified
Promay suit those who experience difficulty swallowing tablets
Concontains gelatin so unsuitable for vegans or vegetarians
Allergens and dietary informationcontains gelatin and berry flavoring
Coststarting from around $14 for 45

OLLY states that these chewable gummies are suitable for every adult woman. 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%.

PriceSuitable forTypeDosageAllergens and dietary
Ritual Essential for Women: Multivitamin 18+$30 per monthages 18–49capsules2 per dayvegan, gluten free
Care/of Multivitamins$26 per monthfemalescapsules and tablets4 per daygluten free
Persona$67.99 per 28 daysnot specifiedcapsules6 per dayvegan, wheat, gluten, and tree nut free
Nature Made Women’s Multivitamin 50+ Softgelsaround $13 for 60ages 50 and oversoftgels1 per daygluten free
Garden of Life mykind Organics Women’s Multi Tabletsaround $54 for 60not specifiedtablets2 per dayvegan, organic
Thorne Women’s Multi 50+around $46 for 180ages 50 and overcapsule6 per daygluten, dairy, and soy free
Rainbow Light Prenatal One Multivitaminaround $12 for 45those who are pregnant or producing milk tablets1 per dayfree from eggs, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, colors, flavors or sweeteners
Optimumaround $33 for 120 capsulesany agecapsules2 per dayvegetarian
OLLY The Perfect Women’s Multiaround $14 for 45any agechewable gummies2 per daycontains gelatin and berry flavoring

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 to 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:

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

With iron, premenopausal females need 18 mg per day, while most other adults need 10 mg per day.

The range of vitamins and minerals that a person should look for in their multivitamin depends on their needs. For example, pregnant females may need folic acid to support fetal 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 the best type 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. Folic acid helps prevent major birth abnormalities affecting the infant’s brain or spine.

The NIH says that adult females aged 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 per day. 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 at all, 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 as a 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 that have 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.

Multivitamins can help fill nutritional deficiencies for some people, and they can also help them meet specific needs at particular 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 multivatmins, it is recommended they seek the advice of their doctor first.