The 6 Best Multivitamins for Women Over 50, According To A Dietitian

How to choose a multivitamin for women over 50 that is right for you

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Best Multivitamins for Women

Verywell / Sabrina Jiang

Taking multivitamins is a great way to ensure you’re meeting your body's daily needs for essential vitamins and minerals. While focusing on a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle is key, a multivitamin can work as a tool to bridge the gap between nutrient needs and consumption. Women over the age of 50 have higher needs than younger women for specific nutrients related to optimal bone health, including calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. With menopause, they also require less iron, as they are no longer losing iron through menstrual bleeding.

Registered Dietitian, Rachel Silverman, MS, RD, LC notes, "For women over 50, it is important to maintain adequate bone health to prevent diseases like osteoporosis. I recommend choosing a multivitamin that contains vitamin D, which enhances calcium absorption and helps protect bones against demineralization. Another ingredient to look for is CoQ10, which may help to replete energy levels if you are taking a medication to lower your cholesterol."

However, "Do be mindful that there can be 'too much of a good thing' when it comes to supplements, and that taking much more than the recommended doses can lead to toxicities and is not recommended," says Adelaide Hearst McClintock, M.D., an instructor in the internal medicine department and doctor at Women's Health Care Center at UWMC-Roosevelt. For example, some studies have shown that high intakes of calcium supplements among older adults can lead to cardiovascular disease, specifically coronary artery calcification (CAC). A specialized multivitamin formula that does not exceed the UL (Tolerable Upper Intake Level) for vitamins and minerals, can help to support healthy aging, and there are many great options on the market.

What to Look for in a Multivitamin for Women Over 50

Calcium and Vitamin D:

Calcium and vitamin D are critical nutrients to protect bone health. Your physician may have specific recommendations for calcium supplementation; however, if a multivitamin will suffice, ensure that the supplement has at least 1200 milligrams of calcium (100 percent RDA for females over 50). Vitamin D works in tandem with calcium. Ensure your multi has at least 600 IU of vitamin D, preferably in the form of vitamin D3.

Vitamin B12:

B vitamins, especially vitamin B12, are important for energy and neurological function. Absorption of this key nutrient can decrease as you age, so look for at least 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 in your multivitamin.

What to Leave Out:

With menopause, the iron requirements for women decrease. Many multis for women over 55 do not include iron for this reason but always check with your physician to ensure that your multivitamin meets your individual needs.

Additional Ingredients:

Always check the ingredient list of your supplement to know exactly what is in the multivitamin. Some formulations contain extra herbal or "natural" ingredients that may interfere with the medication you take or may not be appropriate for your individual health concerns. Speak with your health care provider about your individual needs.

Dosage for Multivitamins for Women Over 50

Always speak with a healthcare professional before adding a supplement to your routine to ensure that the supplement is appropriate for your individual needs and which dosage to take.

There is no specific regulatory definition or standard of what nutrients a multivitamin must contain and at what levels. Therefore there are no RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) guidelines established for multivitamins. However, there are RDAs and ULs (Tolerable Upper Intake Level) for the individual vitamins and minerals they contain, outlined by the National Institutes of Health.

You may notice that some supplements have vitamin and mineral contents that exceed the RDAs, but it's important to remember that many factors influence nutrient bioavailability, meaning your body's ability to absorb and utilize the nutrient, so your body might not actually be absorbing the amount listed on the bottle. For that reason, supplement companies often add more than the RDA. Excess consumption of water-soluble vitamins is filtered through the kidneys and excreted, but fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) can be stored in your body (primarily in fatty tissue and the liver). Be sure not to exceed the UL (Tolerable Upper Intake Level) for vitamins and minerals, particularly for supplemental fat-soluble vitamins.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do women over 50 need iron in their multivitamins?

    The short answer to this question is no; however, there are always exceptions. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for women 51 years and older is 8 milligrams of iron per day. This is lower than the RDA for adolescent and adult women of childbearing age.

    Eight milligrams of iron can be obtained fairly easily as long as animal proteins and a variety of plants are included in your diet. Taking a multivitamin with iron may be necessary for women following a vegetarian or vegan diet. In addition, supplemental iron may be necessary for those with a diagnosed deficiency and for women who are highly active.

  • Do multivitamins work?

    Taking a multivitamin can help people meet the recommended intake of vitamins and minerals when they cannot meet these needs from food alone. Everyone's individual nutritional needs very, dependent on age, gender, lifestyle and overall health status. Aging can effect nutrient bioavailability, meaning your body's ability to absorb and utilize nutrients, so multivitamins may help to meet increased needs of certain vitamins and minerals. Whether or not a multivitamin with work for you also depends on the product and level of compliance in taking it.

  • What is the best time to take a multivitamin?

    There is not enough research to give a definitive answer to the best time of day, so choose a time that works best with your daily routine. Consider taking your multivitamin with a meal, which may enhance absorption of some vitamins, increase compliance, and reduce stomach upset and nausea in comparison to taking them on an empty stomach. For example, fat-soluble vitamins, including A,D,E,K, are best absorbed with a meal incorporating dietary fat.

  • Do I need to take a multivitamin every day for it to be effective?

    In general, if you are taking a multivitamin, you want to be consistent with your regimen. However, whether or not you need to take a multivitamin daily depends on your diet and individual nutrient needs. Those with vitamin or mineral deficiencies may require increased dosage and daily maintenance of certain vitamins and minerals to build your levels to within normal range, so it's important to discuss your specific needs with your physician.

How We Select Supplements

Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain supplements; you can read more about our dietary supplement methodology here

We support supplements that are evidence-based and rooted in science, as well as clinically tested and approved for use in humans. We value certain product attributes that we find to be associated with the highest quality products. These attributes include non-GMO, Organic, and allergy-friendly products that are free of most artificial ingredients including colors, flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners. When possible, we recommend products that are third-party tested and certified.

It's important to note that the FDA does not review dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they go to market. Our team of experts has created a detailed, science-backed methodology to choose the supplements we recommend.

Here, the best multivitamins for women over 50:

Best Overall: New Chapter Every Woman's One Daily Multivitamin

New Chapter Every Woman's One Daily Multivitamin
Pros
  • Fermented for improved bioavailability

  • Can be taken with or without food

  • Formulated for GI tolerance

Cons
  • Contains herbal blend that may not be suitable for all

This multivitamin is expertly formulated for women ages 55 and up to support overall health needs, especially regarding immune function, eye and bone health, brain function, and mood.

The holistic brand offers a non-GMO, once-daily vitamin made from organic vegetables and herbs. The high-quality, vegetarian vitamin is fermented using probiotics for better absorption. It’s also formulated to prevent stomach upset, so you can take the tablet at any time, with or without food. The unique blend provides digestive support through plant-based ingredients such as aloe, peppermint, and coriander.

Servings per container: 72 | Vegan: No | Gluten-free: Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | Organic: Yes

Best Budget: One A Day Women’s 50+ Healthy Advantage Multivitamins

One A Day Women’s 50+ Healthy Advantage Multivitamins
Pros
  • Inexpensive

  • Allergen friendly

Cons
  • Contains artificial flavorings and additives

One A Day is an easy go-to for multivitamins, as it is widely available and a highly trusted brand. With 100 once-daily tablets per bottle, the multivitamin is a great way to support bone, joint, heart, eye, and immune health without breaking the bank.

The Women’s 50+ formulation contains calcium and vitamin D for bone health, as well as B vitamins to support healthy brain function. The age-specific formula is free of gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, and artificial sweeteners. 

Servings per container: 120 | Vegan: No | Gluten-free: Yes | Non-GMO: No | Organic: No

Best Gummy: SmartyPants Women's Masters 50+ Multivitamin

SmartyPants-Vitamins-Masters-Women-s-50-Formula
Pros
  • Includes Omega-3 fish oil

  • Comes in yummy flavors

Cons
  • Contains 6 grams of added sugar

  • Serving size is four gummies

High-quality gummy vitamins for women over 50 are hard to find, but SmartyPants makes a specialized Masters formula featuring key nutrients such as essential fatty acids (omega-3 EPA and DHA), lutein, and zeaxanthin, CoQ10, and B12.

Omega-3s offer brain and heart support, whereas lutein and zeaxanthin support aging eyesight. CoQ10 supports cardiovascular health, while B12 can boost immune function and energy.

The mix contains biotin to support hair and nail health but lacks critical calcium, which you may need to supplement. The blend tastes great, but those with diabetes or who watch their sugar should note that one serving (equal to four gummies) contains 6 grams of sugar.

Servings per container: 30 | Vegan: No | Gluten-free: Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | Organic: No

Best Subscription Service: Ritual Essential for Women 50+

ritual-essential-multivitamin-for-women-over-50
Pros
  • Contains Omega-3

  • Traceable ingredients

  • Delayed release capsule

Cons
  • Subscription only

  • Not a complete multivitamin

Make taking your supplement easier with Ritual’s Essential for Women 50+ capsules. This high-quality, subscription-based supplement is delivered to your door monthly, with the ability to cancel at any time.

The premium nutrients sourced for these capsules are only included in their most bioavailable form so that your body can easily absorb them. The 50+ formula has a special capsule design that uses delayed-release technology so that it dissolves further along your digestive tract, making it less likely to cause nausea. The pill uses a 2-in-1 design to separate oil-based and dry ingredients so that you can take everything together in one pill.

Ritual Essential for Women 50+ does not contain calcium but rather includes “helper nutrients” to support bone health and complement dietary intake of calcium.

Servings per container: 30 | Vegan: Yes | Gluten-free: Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | Organic: No

Best with Probiotic: Garden of Life Multivitamin for Women 50 & Over

garden-life-multivitamin-women-supplement
Pros
  • Contains probiotic blend

  • Includes fruit and veggie blend

Cons
  • Digestive enzyme blend may not be necessary for all

Made from raw whole food ingredients, this multivitamin contains gut-healthy live probiotics and enzymes to promote optimal digestion. The vegetarian, gluten-free, non-GMO product is free of binders and fillers, so you know you’re getting a pure, easily assimilated product.

The clean supplement fully supports breast, bone, digestive, and heart health through a blend of vitamins A, D, E, C, calcium, and magnesium. Each four-capsule daily serving contains 40 milligrams of Garden of Life’s raw probiotic and enzyme blend, which includes digestive enzymes such as lactase, bromelain, and papain, as well as 500 million CFU of lactobacillus.

Servings per container: 60 | Vegan: No | Gluten-free: Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | Organic: No

Best for Sensitive Stomachs: MegaFood Multivitamin for Women Over 55

megafood-multivitamin-for-women-over-55
Pros
  • Can be taken on an empty stomach

  • Made with real whole-food ingredients

Cons
  • Contains caffeine from green tea extract

MegaFood’s Multivitamin for Women Over 55 checks all the boxes for an awesome multivitamin to support aging women. Specifically, it contains 1000 IU vitamin D to promote optimal bone health and mood, as well as B vitamins and zinc to boost brainpower.

The supplement is made with real, whole-food ingredients to promote optimal digestion for a sensitive stomach. They’re also gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and certified Glyphosate Residue-Free. The two-tablet serving may be taken any time of day, even on an empty stomach, and users report that the vitamins were gentle and caused no stomach upset.

Note that this formulation does not contain calcium and magnesium. 

Servings per container: 60 | Vegan: No | Gluten-free: Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | Organic: Yes

Final Verdict

For an excellent whole food-based multivitamin formulated especially for women, consider New Chapter Every Woman's One Daily Multivitamin 55+ (view at Amazon.) If you are looking for a subscription service for your vitamins, try Ritual’s Essential for Women 50+ capsules (view at Ritual.)

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