The Best Multivitamins for Women Over 50, According to a Dietitian

Garden of Life mykind Organics Women 55+ is our top pick

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Best Multivitamins for Women

Verywell / Sabrina Jiang

On average, women are going through “the change of life” called menopause around age 51, and with the hormonal shifts come changes to the body’s nutrition needs. While we advocate for a balanced diet at all stages of life into older adulthood, a multivitamin can help fill in nutrient gaps that our diets simply aren’t meeting.

Multivitamins specially formulated for women over 50 can help women meet their needs and move through the next phase of life with strength and vitality. These supplements often contain adequate levels, or even higher amounts, of nutrients needed for bone, nerve, and heart health. Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, says, “ There are so many supplements on the market that are suited for women over 50. Just check labels to see what you’re really getting, don’t fall for claims on mega-supplements providing way more than what you need.”

When choosing a multivitamin, take into account your dietary patterns, look for supplements that do not exceed tolerable upper intake levels, and consult with a healthcare provider if you are taking any medications.

Verywell Fit Approved 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.

Why Women Over 50 May Benefit from a Multivitamin

We encourage you to consume a varied diet filled with fruits, vegetables, dairy, legumes, fish, lean meats, whole grains, and healthy oils. However, multivitamins can be just the thing to ensure you are obtaining enough micronutrients

We see a decrease in the hormone estrogen during menopause, and these falling estrogen levels can have wide-reaching effects on the body. Apart from this specific hormonal shift, we experience other body changes as we age that impact nutrient needs.

Health considerations and related nutrient needs include:

Bone health

Estrogen helps our bodies absorb calcium and deposit it in bone and teeth, so when estrogen levels fall, women are at greater risk for osteoporosis, fractures, falls, and poor dental health. While there are studies that do not show a great impact of calcium on bone health, there are numerous randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses (two types of high-quality studies) that do show an improvement in bone mineral density and a decrease in fractures with calcium supplementation.

Many of these same studies also highlight that calcium is not the only mineral important for bone health. “Vitamin D enhances the absorption of calcium,” says Taub-Dix, and so do magnesium and vitamin K. As you age, your body is less able to make vitamin D from the sun. As we get older, we also tend to eat fewer magnesium-rich foods, so to support bone health, we recommend looking for a multivitamin that includes vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin K.

Blood and nerve health

In the older adult population, it is estimated that 3-43% have a vitamin B12 deficiency. As we age, our bodies produce less stomach acid and less of an enzyme called intrinsic factor, both of which are crucial for absorbing B12. When a B12 deficiency develops, you may experience signs of anemia, low white blood cell count, weight loss, dementia, and impacts on your nerves, such as tingling and numbness in the hands and feet. Multivitamins that contain B12 can help maintain blood and nerve health.

Heart health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women, so as you advance through life, you will want to pay close attention to nutrients for heart health. Focusing on adequate omega-3 fatty acid intake (which can be obtained in a multivitamin supplement) may mildly decrease your risk of heart disease and cardiovascular events.

Who May Not Benefit from a Multivitamin

Most multivitamins are safe to take, and most people will likely benefit from the boost in nutrients. However, if you take medications, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider about any supplements you plan to take because supplements and medications may interact with one another.

Most multivitamins contain vitamin K, which is involved in blood clotting and could potentially decrease the effectiveness of blood thinning medications, such as warfarin. If you are taking a blood thinner, it is important to talk to a healthcare provider about the best multivitamin option for you.

Best Overall: Garden of Life mykind Organics Women 55+

Garden of Life mykind Organics Women 55+

Source: Garden of Life

Pros
  • NSF Certified

  • USDA Organic ingredients

  • Provides highly absorbable forms of vitamins

Cons
  • Expensive

Garden of Life’s mykind Organics Women 55+ is a pleasant, whole-food-based supplement that is easy to tolerate and specifically formulated to meet the needs of women over 55. The vitamins and minerals are sourced from a unique organic food blend, with ingredients ranging from organic berries to brussels sprouts. You will also find herbal ingredients like moringa and holy basil leaf, which have anti-inflammatory and cognitive benefits, respectively, which are helpful properties to consider as we age.

This non-GMO, vegan multivitamin contains an extensive nutrient list, including vitamin D3, vitamin K, and 200% of the daily value for vitamin B12. The form of vitamin B12 is methylcobalamin, which is a highly absorbable form of the nutrient and could be helpful in overcoming the decreased production of stomach acid as women age. It does not contain calcium, but as mentioned, it does provide other bone-building nutrients.

We like that mykind Organics is NSF certified, made of organic ingredients, gluten-free, and easy to find. It is slightly more expensive than other once-daily supplements, but the quality truly speaks for itself.

Serving size: 1 tablet | Organic: Yes | Gluten-free: Yes | Non-GMO: Yes

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

One A Day Women’s 50+ Healthy Advantage Multivitamins

Source: One A Day

Pros
  • ConsumerLab Approved

  • Inexpensive

  • Free of allergens and artificial sugars

Cons
  • Contains artificial colorings

Bayer’s One a Day Women’s 50+ delivers a quality multivitamin at a comfortable price point. You can rest assured that it is safe and contains the amount of nutrients listed on the bottle because it is ConsumerLab approved.

In terms of nutrients, this multi contains all four nutrients important for bone health (calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, and magnesium), as well as more than adequate levels of B vitamins for nerve health. This vitamin also supports immunity and heart health. While it is free of allergens and artificial sugars, it does contain artificial colorings.

Serving size: 1 tablet | Organic: No | Vegan: Yes | Gluten-free: Yes

Best Gummy: SmartyPants Women's Masters 50+ Multivitamin

SmartyPants Women's Masters 50+ Multivitamin

Source: SmartyPants

Pros
  • NSF certified

  • Delicious gummy

  • Contains Co-Q10

Cons
  • Does not contain calcium

Smarty Pants makes taking multivitamins fun with a gummy vitamin that comes in three delicious flavors—blueberry, orange creme, and strawberry banana. The trade off is that the gummies contain 6 grams of added sugars, so if you have a condition such as diabetes or need to monitor your blood sugars, please take this into consideration.

In four tasty, easy-to-take gummies, you’ll find methylated vitamin B12 and folate for nerve health, choline for cognitive function, Co-Q10 for overall cell health and vitality, and omega-3 fish oils from small fish. Of note, it does not include calcium, but it does provide the other bone helper nutrients like vitamins D and K.

Serving size: 4 gummies | Organic: No | Vegan: Yes | Gluten-free: Yes

Best Subscription: Ritual Essential for Women 50+

Ritual Essential for Women 50+

Source: Ritual Essential for Women 50+

Pros
  • Convenient subscription model

  • Pleasant mint flavor

  • Delayed release capsule

Cons
  • Not a complete multi

Taking your multivitamin couldn’t get easier, thanks to the delivery service brought to you by Ritual. Each month, this multivitamin will arrive at your door, so it’s convenient and fast. We like Ritual vitamins because they prioritize a clean product free of artificial colorants and synthetic fillers.

They are also non-GMO verified and are made with “traceable” ingredients, meaning you know exactly where the nutrients are sourced from. Their two capsule dose is easy to swallow, leaves a minty fresh taste in your mouth, and the delayed-release design allows for optimal absorption of nutrients while being gentle on the stomach.

One thing you may notice, however, is that the ingredient list is quite short. Ritual prioritizes folate, B12, vitamin E, and omega-3 alongside bone “helper” nutrients. They have left out calcium, so we suggest speaking with a healthcare provider to see if you need a separate calcium supplement.

Serving size: 2 capsules | Organic: No | Vegan: Yes | Gluten-free: Yes

Best with Omega-3s: Centrum Multi + Omega-3 Women 50+

Centrum Multi + Omega-3 Women 50+

Source: Centrum

Pros
  • Includes omega-3 fatty acids

  • One capsule

  • Trusted brand

Cons
  • Not third party certified

Centrum is a known name in the supplement world, and they have developed an easy-to-take multivitamin. Not only does it meet the needs of women over 50, but it includes omega-3 fatty acids for heart, nerve, and cognitive health as you age. In just one capsule, you will find top nutrients for bone health, B vitamins for brain health and energy, vitamin A and lutein for eye health, and 200mg of omega-3s sourced from Alaskan pollock. 

While this supplement does not have an NSF or USP third party testing seal, Centrum products go through 150 product checks. To top it off, the company has been manufacturing trusted supplements since the 1970s.

Serving size: 1 Softgel | Organic: no | Vegan: Yes | Gluten-free: Yes

Final Verdict

What each woman over 50 needs to supplement with will depend on a variety of factors. Garden of Life mykind Organics Women 55+ is an excellent option that is NSF certified and made from organic whole foods. For a more affordable option, consider One a Day Women’s 50+ Healthy Advantage Multivitamins, which is also third-party certified and meets major nutrient needs.

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. We value certain product attributes that we find to be associated with the highest quality products. We prioritize products that are third-party tested and certified by one of three independent, third party certifiers: USP, NSF, or ConsumerLab. 

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.

Multivitamins and Chronic Disease

You may have heard that multivitamins can be taken to improve health or prevent chronic disease. However, these claims are not necessarily true. 

Multivitamins have been studied to see if they decrease the risk of or help with treatment of cancer, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary diseases, psychiatric conditions, and mortality. There does not seem to be a clear benefit or consensus for use regarding these conditions, though some research shows potential benefits. However, the benefits might simply be because people who take multivitamins are more likely to have healthier diets and lifestyles.

What to Look for in a Multivitamin for Women Over 50

Third-Party Testing

Supplements that are third-party tested are sent to a lab where they are tested to ensure they contain what they say they contain and are not contaminated with specific high-risk, common contaminants. However, it’s important to note:

  1. Third-party testing does not test to see if a product is effective or safe for everyone, and it does not ensure the supplement will not interact with other supplements or medications.
  2. Not all third-party testing is created equal. It is not uncommon for supplement companies to pay labs for certificates after conducting minimal to no testing. 
  3. The third-party certifications we can trust are: ConsumerLab, NSF, and USP. However, these certifications are difficult to obtain and/or expensive for manufacturers, so many companies choose not to get their products tested by one of these three organizations. 
  4. Sometimes products tested by these three companies are more expensive to try to offset the cost they pay for certification.
  5. Just because a supplement is not tested by one of these three companies, does not mean it’s a bad product. We recommend doing some research on the reputability of the manufacturer and calling up the manufacturer and their testing lab to determine their protocols and decide if you feel comfortable consuming the supplement.

Like any other mineral or herbal product, there is a risk that a multivitamin could be contaminated with lead or other toxins.

Again, Tab-Dix cautions against “mega supplements” that may be providing nutrients in excessive amounts, and she also recommends checking the sugar content if you are choosing a gummy multivitamin.

Form

Multivitamins contain an extensive list of nutrients. Here are some important ones to pay attention to on the supplement facts label.

  • Calcium: Calcium carbonate is generally the most common form and is the least expensive; however, it can also cause gastrointestinal upset, such as bloating, gas, and constipation. The malate and citrate forms are more effective at raising calcium levels compared to carbonate, but it’s important to consume these two forms with a meal as they do require stomach acid to be best absorbed.
  • Vitamin D: Cholecalciferol, also known as vitamin D3, is the form you will want to prioritize in your supplement. It is shown to help increase vitamin D levels more effectively than its sister, vitamin D2.
  • Vitamin B12: This vitamin can be found as methylcobalamin or cyanocobalamin, with the former being the natural form found in food and the latter being synthetic. Yet no evidence shows that absorption of one form is truly better than the other.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium is available in three main forms—oxide, citrate, and chloride. Research shows that the citrate form is likely best absorbed.
  • Vitamin K: There are two main forms of vitamin K: K1 as phylloquinone and K2 as MK-7. MK-7 is better absorbed and has more heart and bone protective properties.
  • Omega-3s: The three most common types of omega-3 fatty acids are ALA, EPA, and DHA. Most of the research on heart health and cognitive function focuses on EPA and DHA. 

Ingredients & Potential Interactions

It is essential to carefully read the ingredient list and nutrition facts panel of a supplement to know which ingredients and how much of each ingredient is included relative to the recommended daily value of that ingredient. Please bring the supplement label to a healthcare provider to review the different ingredients contained in the supplement and any potential interactions between these ingredients and other supplements and medications you are taking.

Herbal blends & “natural” ingredients: Some supplements contain herbal blends or other “natural” ingredients or additives that may interfere with certain medications. For example, women over 50 may be more likely to take cholesterol lowering medication or hormone replacement therapies. Both of these classes of drugs interact with grapefruit or other citrus, so a multi that contains these ingredients may not be wise. Always speak with your healthcare provider regarding your unique needs.

Iron: Another ingredient to pay attention to is iron. While women who are still menstruating should stick with a regular multivitamin that includes iron, women over 50 who have stopped menstruating usually do not need to supplement with iron. Therefore, make sure the supplement you are choosing is geared towards your life stage.

Multivitamin Dosage 

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 to understand which dosage to take.

There is no standard formulation that all multivitamins must follow. It is up to the individual manufacturer as to why certain nutrients will be included or left out, the nutrient forms, and how much or little will be included. However, for each vitamin or mineral, there is an established recommended daily allowance (RDA) or adequate intake level (AI) and a tolerable upper intake level (UL), which can be found through the National Institutes of Health. Since we are highlighting multivitamins for women over 50, this is the age group we focused on for dosage and product evaluation.

How much is too much?

If you are browsing multivitamin labels and notice that some nutrients exceed 100% of the recommended percent daily value, don’t stress. We all have unique bodies and absorb vitamins and minerals differently. To account for this, companies often add slightly higher amounts to ensure you are getting the minimal, if not optimal, effect.

One exception would be for fat-soluble vitamins, which are vitamins A, D, E, and K. The body stores these vitamins in fat tissues and the liver. This means that you can start to accumulate them in quite high amounts that could reach near toxic levels and have detrimental health consequences. It is wise to discuss the dosage of these nutrients with a healthcare provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do women over 50 need iron in their multivitamin?

    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.

    If your diet includes animal proteins and a variety of plants, eight milligrams of iron can be obtained fairly easily. Women following a vegetarian or vegan diet might find it necessary to take a multivitamin with some iron. In addition, women diagnosed with an iron deficiency or who are highly active may need supplemental iron.

  • Do multivitamins work?

    Everyone's individual nutritional needs vary depending on age, gender, dietary intake, lifestyle, and overall health status. A multivitamin may be an effective tool for filling in nutrient gaps and maintaining good overall health if your diet lacks diversity or you have a decreased ability to consume food in amounts that will meet your nutrient needs.

    Aging can decrease your body's ability to absorb and utilize nutrients, so multivitamins may help to provide needed vitamins and minerals. Ultimately, whether or not a multivitamin will work for you also depends on the product and how regularly you take 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. For example, fat-soluble vitamins, including A, D, E, and K, are best absorbed with a meal that includes 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 a healthcare provider.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Casey Seiden, MS, RDN, CDN, CDCES is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes care and education specialist based out of New York City. Casey works at Maternal Fetal Medicine Associates, the premier maternal fetal medicine practice in Manhattan, where she provides nutrition therapy and counseling to women with high-risk pregnancies. She is also the founder of Casey Seiden Nutrition, a virtual private practice specializing in a non-diet approach to diabetes care and women’s health.

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Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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