What Is the Best Multivitamin for Women?
At a glance, here are our top picks for best multivitamin for women:
If you’re a woman, it’s a big mistake to skip taking your daily multivitamin.
In a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was discovered that 90% of women in the U.S. between their 20s and 40s don't meet their daily nutritional requirements due to the fact that they rely exclusively on the food they eat for their vitamins.
Furthermore, women have higher vitamin and mineral requirements during workouts, while menstruating, when pregnant, and when they hit their 40s. Taking the right multivitamin ensures that women are not missing out on the essential nutrition their bodies need at any given milestone in their lives.
In this post, we’ve reviewed five of the best multivitamins for women, categorized according to the products we highly recommend for specific age groups.
Before we introduce the best products in all categories, let’s discuss the details of why you need a multivitamin, and what things you need to consider when looking for the right multivitamin.
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If you're a busy person who doesn't have time to read this entire review, then we've simplified everything. Here is a table to provide you with a quick rating of the best multivitamins for women.
Why Women Need a Multivitamin
The truth is that even women who spend their lives eating balanced and nutritious diets still benefit from taking multivitamins. As women age, the daily vitamins and minerals they need will differ, so the multivitamins they use should change over time as well.
If you don't know if you’re getting all of the necessary micronutrients for optimal health, taking a multivitamin is crucial. Most women who consume the recommended amount of macronutrients are still deficient in key micronutrients in their diets.
The most common micronutrient deficiencies include iron, folic acid, iodine, and vitamin B1. But women with dietary restrictions may be deficient in many other micronutrients, and therefore need supplementation to fulfill their nutritional needs and give their bodies enough vitamins such as Vitamin B12.
Women in their 30s are beginning the pre-menopausal stage of life and will notice hormonal changes. Also at this age, the effects of deficiencies in iron, vitamin D, and calcium become more pronounced.
When women hit their 30s, they're often concerned about the effects that aging will have on their appearance. So whether you want to reduce wrinkles or simply maintain a healthy complexion, maintaining healthy skin requires women to consume adequate amounts of a variety of nutrients that aid in tissue repair and help maintain healthy collagen.
The risk of osteoporosis is higher for women, and measures to safeguard against the condition should begin while they are in their 30s. One of the most common vitamin deficiencies in women is vitamin D, especially for women living in colder areas. Vitamin D is a vital nutrient to increase and maintain the strength of bones. People often overlook vitamin D for bone health, assuming that calcium is the only nutrient they need. But it is important to note that vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, and it helps transport calcium throughout the body.
Nutritional deficits in woman, especially during menstruation or pregnancy, can lead to fatigue, anemia, and hair loss. Taking a multivitamin benefits hormonal health (as seen in studies suggesting that taking a multivitamin that includes both zinc and vitamin B6 is of utmost importance to maintain a healthy menstrual cycle and pregnancy).
Taking a specific multivitamin for women can help prevent or minimize these issues in the following ways:
- Preventing illnesses by boosting the immune system (especially vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, E, and K).
- Helping keep bones strong (especially vitamin D and calcium).
- Boosting the metabolism for better weight control (especially vitamin B-complex).
- Regulating menstruation (especially zinc and vitamin B6).
- Protecting unborn babies against birth defects (especially folic acid).
- Lowering the risk of breast cancer (especially vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin D, beta-carotene, and vitamin C).
- Preventing anemia (especially iron).
Now that you know why you need to take a multivitamin, how do you narrow down your choices with so many options available on the market? There are some specific things you want to look for in the multivitamin that you take. The truth is, mixing and dosing a high-quality and effective multivitamin is extremely difficult, given how they are absorbed by the body, so you want to choose your multivitamin cautiously.
How to Choose the Best Multivitamin for Women
When it comes to vitamins and minerals, "more" is not necessarily better. Vitamins and minerals must be properly and precisely dosed, as some can be harmful if they are taken in excess. Additionally, some minerals prohibit the absorption of other minerals if they are taken simultaneously, especially if the ratios are incorrectly calibrated.
As previously stated, the amount of vitamins that your body needs will depend on your age. Ensure that you get the multivitamin supplement that is best suited for your age range, while also considering which facet of your life you want to benefit by taking your multivitamin.
For example, do you want to strengthen your bones? Keep your skin healthy? Stay healthy while you're pregnant? Lose some weight by boosting your metabolism? Keep your goals in mind so you know which specific nutrients you are looking for.
Finally, you want to make sure to get a product that has high-quality ingredients. Vitamins and minerals exist in several different forms. Some are extremely cheap, which is why you can find them for only a few dollars at the grocery store. But oftentimes, you have to consider that you are getting what you pay for.
What to Look for When Choosing the Best Multivitamin for Women
Make sure that your multivitamin contains natural folic acid. To ensure that you’re getting the right stuff, check that 5-MTHF, folacin, or folate is listed in the nutrition info because these terms suggest that the ingredient in the multivitamin is the activated form of this nutrient.
You want to avoid synthetic folic acid because some people have a genetic mutation that prevents them from being able to convert folic acid to its active form (5-MTHF). You are likely unaware if you have this genetic defect, so it’s always best to choose natural folate rather than folic acid.
The best nutrients are in their activated and natural forms because they are better absorbed by the body. Some of the best multivitamins available contain nutrients that have been converted to their active forms, which allows your body to bypass a step to allow the nutrient to be absorbed and effective. Supplements from whole-food and raw sources are usually better because they ensure that you are getting non-synthetic formulations.
There are a few things you should consider when you are looking into different vitamins. First, ask your pharmacist for advice about your specific nutritional needs and let them know about any medications you are currently taking. Always take the recommended dose of your supplement each day (according to the manufacturer).
You will also want to take the multivitamin with food unless the bottle indicates otherwise. Finally, remember that taking a multivitamin does not substitute for eating a healthy and balanced diet.
Finally, you want to keep an eye out for additives and fillers. Make sure your multivitamin isn't made with added synthetic colors, fillers, and ingredients that are unrecognizable. Manufacturers add these compounds to make their products last longer, to make them taste better, or to make them inexpensive to manufacture. Try to find clean, natural products—especially multivitamins that are created from whole-food sources.
A reminder about iron–calcium interaction: Choose a multivitamin that does not contain both iron and calcium. These two minerals are best taken separately, considering that calcium can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb iron. You may have to take iron as a separate supplement, as it is better absorbed when taken on an empty stomach.
Frequently Asked Questions About Multivitamins for Women
What is the role of vitamins?
Vitamins play several roles that are essential to your overall well-being. Your body needs vitamins to maintain normal bodily functions such as good eyesight, healthy energy levels, proper cell growth, proper bone health, immunity, blood coagulation, etc. The human body needs enough vitamins to properly function.
How are minerals different from vitamins?
Minerals are also essential for healthy body function. Similar to vitamins, minerals play a critical role in keeping the human body functioning properly. Minerals help with thyroid gland function, immunity, muscle function, red blood cell production, and bone health maintenance. The primary minerals the body needs are calcium, zinc, iron, selenium, copper, potassium, iodine, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese.
When should I take my vitamin?
Try to take your multivitamin with your largest meal of the day. You should take your multivitamins with food to help with absorption and digestion of the nutrients. That being said, some supplements will specify that they should not be taken with food, such as vitamins that include SAM-e, which is used to help support a healthy mood. Check the label on the container to be sure.
Can I take vitamins after they expire?
Once a multivitamin expires, it won't necessarily hurt you to take it, but the active ingredients may not be as potent as the label claims them to be. It is best to throw away expired products and buy a new bottle. When you are buying your multivitamins, make sure to check the expiration date that is on the label because some products expire within a year of the manufacture date.
How should I store my supplements?
You can typically find specific storage directions on the label of your product. In general, you want to find a cool, dry place to store your multivitamins, and make sure the lid remains tightly sealed. Some products could require special conditions, so make sure to look. Also, remember to always keep your multivitamins out of reach of your children and pets.
If the vitamins are large, can I cut them in half?
Most multivitamins can be cut in half or even crushed and chewed if you are unable to swallow them. If you have a soft gel that is too big to comfortably swallow, you can drain it or cut it in half to release the formula onto food or a spoon. The only products that cannot be cut in half are timed-release or enteric-coated multivitamins. These need to be swallowed whole in order for you to get the optimal product effectiveness.
I eat a very healthy diet. Do I really need to take multivitamins?
It is great to consume a healthy diet overall, but it will not guarantee that you are getting every critical nutrient at its optimal amount. Taking a multivitamin every day will help you bridge any nutritional gaps in your diet. These gaps are often caused by eating too many foods that are rich in some nutrients but not enough foods that have other vital nutrients.
With these factors in mind, let's look at five products that are on the market today that can benefit your health.
What Is the Best Multivitamin for Women?
This is the best overall food-based multivitamin that provides good value for your money. This multivitamin is designed to be taken once a day to give you a boost of nutrition. The ingredients in this multivitamin will benefit your heart health, support your breast health, improve bone health, help decrease stress, and increase your energy. Its all-natural status sets this product apart from others in its class.
This product has a variety of vitamins, including B-complex, D3, B12, and iron. It also includes a variety of herbs such as dong quai, spirulina, and red clover to help reduce stress and balance hormones.
The most beneficial part of this multivitamin may be the vegetable juice complex it contains that includes kale, spinach, dandelion, and beet products. This multivitamin is free from gluten, fish, dairy, peanuts, soy, wheat, shellfish, and tree nuts.
This is the best product for women in their 30s because of its complete nutrition and natural folic acid source, which is essential for women who are in their childbearing years. This is a budget-friendly option that will cover your basic needs for vitamins and minerals.
It includes beta carotene from the superior source of D. salina, which offers full-spectrum carotenoids, vitamin E as d-alpha tocopherol, K2 from B-licheniformis,
B6 as P-5-P, natural folate, and B12 as methylcobalamin. It also has the correct ratio of magnesium to calcium (300 mg to 125 mg, respectively).
This multivitamin is great for a wider population of people because it includes the correct dosing and use of mineral chelates such as zinc (12 mg), selenium (70 mcg), manganese (2.3 mg), and copper (0.9 mg).
This is the best option for women in their 40s, with its high levels of essential vitamins needed at this age. The manufacturers of this product pay particular attention to the complex functions of women's bodies.
This multivitamin provides women with select nutrients that are specific for breast health (such as vitamins D and E), the reproductive system (with vitamins like folate, calcium, magnesium, and zinc), and bone support (with vitamins A, C, D3, calcium, magnesium, and zinc).
These capsules can either be swallowed whole or opened up and mixed with juice. They can also be taken either with or without food.
This is the best food-based multivitamin for women in their 50s. With a high potency B-complex, this vitamin helps convert food into energy. It also has 1,000 IUs of vitamin D3, plant-based calcium, citrus bioflavonoids, a blend of vitamins for mind and body support, and flax lignan.
With 21 vitamins and minerals and 12 digestive enzymes, this multivitamin helps support bone and eye health as well as urinary health and energy. It also contains 14 greens and 12 organically grown mushrooms, which provide you with food-based nutritional support. Users also love the orchard fruits & garden veggies blend that comes in each tablet.
This is the best multivitamin with bioavailable nutrients for women in their 60s and beyond. This product is full of vitamins, including vitamins C, B6, and B12, and a wide range of minerals that work together to reduce environmental stress, support your immune and digestive systems, protect your cardiovascular health, maintain the strength of your bones, and keep your nervous and hormone systems in check.
Each capsule contains a strong dose of critical antioxidants that help prevent damage that is caused to the body by free radicals. The antioxidants can also boost your collagen production to benefit your skin health and help you maintain a more youthful appearance.
Unlike some other multivitamin supplements, this multivitamin has a proprietary blend that includes 42 various types of fruits and vegetables that have each been shown to support overall health.
All of the multivitamin supplements reviewed in this list would be top picks in the age groups for which they are intended. But the ultimate winner in today’s roundup is Rainbow Light Women’s One. It provides you with great value for your money, and takes care of the needs of women at any age in a convenient, one-tablet form.