The 6 Best Multivitamins for Women Over 50

Women typically experience menopause at around age 52, and during this hormonal shift (and in the years leading up to it), your body’s nutritional needs change. Multivitamins specially formulated for women over 50 can help you meet these needs, promoting strength and vitality in this next phase of life. 

A recent large study and meta-analysis found that daily multivitamin supplementation can improve cognition and episodic memory (learning, storing, and retrieving everyday knowledge), which can be helpful in preventing cognitive decline. However, with so many supplements on the market, choosing the right one can be confusing. Our picks focus on essential nutrients and avoid multivitamins with excessive doses. While we advocate for a balanced diet at every stage of life, a multivitamin can help fill any nutrient gaps that diet alone might not meet.

When choosing a multivitamin, consider your dietary patterns, and look for supplements that do not exceed tolerable upper limits. In selecting our top multivitamins for women over 50, we prioritized third-party tested supplements to ensure purity and potency. We also evaluated the price, dosage, complete nutrition profile, and added ingredients. Additionally, we recommend consulting with a healthcare provider if you are taking any medications.

Garden of Life mykind Organics Women 55+

Walmart


Key Specs:

Servings per container: 30 | Serving size: 4 capsules | Form: Capsule | Type: Multivitamin | Other Ingredients: Raw Organic Fruit & Veggie blend, Raw Protiobic & Enzyme blend, Raw Antioxidant & Immune Support Complex | Third-Party Tested: No

Why We Recommend It

Garden of Life’s Vitamin Code 50 & Wiser Women is a whole-food-based supplement that is easy to tolerate and specifically formulated to meet the needs of women over 50. We like that the contents of this supplement are Certified NSF Gluten-free, USDA Organic, and non-GMO.

The vitamins and minerals in this vegan multivitamin are sourced from a unique, organic food blend, with ingredients ranging from organic berries to Brussels sprouts. It contains key nutrients, including vitamins A, C, D3, E, K, and B vitamins (including 200% of the daily value for vitamin B12), along with minerals like iodine, zinc, selenium, manganese, and chromium. The vitamin B12 is in the form of methylcobalamin, a highly absorbable form that can help counter the decreased production of stomach acid, which makes it difficult for women to absorb this vitamin as they age. Additionally, it includes bone-building nutrients, such as vitamin D and K.

Things To Consider

Take note this supplement includes a probiotic and enzyme blend. Digestive enzyme levels tend to decline with age, and an imbalance of gut bacteria can exacerbate this issue. The research is not strong enough to tell us which probiotics are best, but evidence suggests supplementation can help counteract the changes in our gut bacteria due to aging. 

It is important to note that herbal supplements can interact with certain medications, so be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking this supplement if you are on any medications. For example, holy basil may interact with blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and immune support medications as well as blood thinners.

One A Day Women’s 50+ Healthy Advantage Multivitamins

Amazon


Key Specs:

Servings per container: 30 | Serving size: 1 tablet | Form: Tablet | Type: Multivitamin | Other Ingredients: Many | Third-Party Tested: Yes

Why We Recommend It

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 third-party tested for both potency and purity, including heavy metal testing. We found the tablets to be mostly tasteless, and while most people find them easy to swallow, some people do find them to be on the larger side.

We appreciate that this multi contains nutrients important for bone health, including vitamin D, vitamin K, and magnesium. If you aren’t spending much time outside in the sun, the vitamin D in this supplement becomes even more important. This is because it’s difficult to get vitamin D from food, but our bodies make it when our skin is exposed to UV light from the sun. Vitamin D is also protective against certain types of cancer, such as colon, breast, and pancreatic cancer, and has promising benefits for women in menopause against osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and more. 

This supplement also includes adequate levels of B vitamins, including plenty of B12. This is beneficial if you consume fewer foods high in B12, such as chicken and beef. Additionally, our body’s ability to absorb Vitamin B12 from food decreases with age, making a supplement helpful in preventing deficiency.

Things To Consider

Take note, while we typically think of calcium as the most important for bone health, recent research indicates that 700-1000 mg of calcium a day, or 1000 mg through supplementation, may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, specifically in postmenopausal women. This supplement only includes 300 mg of calcium, and we recommend otherwise sticking to calcium-rich foods to meet your daily needs. 

This option is free of allergens and artificial sugars, but it does contain artificial colorings.

SmartyPants Women's Masters 50+ Multivitamin

Amazon


Pros

  • NSF Contents Certified

  • Delicious gummy form

  • Contains Co-Q10

Key Specs:

Servings per container: 30 | Serving size: 4 gummies | Form: Gummies | Type: Multivitamin | Other Ingredients: Omega-3 EPA and DHA essential fatty acids, CoQ10, and lutein & zeaxanthin| Third-Party Tested: Yes

Why We Recommend It

Smarty Pants Masters 50+ Multivitamin Gummies make taking multivitamins more enjoyable with three delicious flavors: blueberry, orange creme, and strawberry banana. If you don’t like swallowing capsules, this is a great option to consider. 

In four tasty, easy-to-take vegan gummies, you’ll find methylated vitamin B12 and folate, as well as vitamin D and choline. Choline is the building block for acetylcholine, an essential neurotransmitter involved in several bodily functions, especially for brain and muscle function. These gummies also include Co-Q10, an antioxidant that helps with overall cell health and vitality as we age. 

The omega-3 fish oil in this supplement is sourced from small fish to limit mercury exposure, and there are no synthetic colors or flavors added either. This supplement is also free of the eight most common allergens, third-party tested and Clean Label Project verified. 

Things To Consider

The trade-off is that these gummies contain 6 grams of added sugar, so if you have a condition such as diabetes or are watching your sugar intake, please take this into consideration.

Ritual Essential for Women 50+

Amazon


Pros

  • Clean Label Project Verified

  • Fully traceable ingredient sourcing transparency

  • Mint flavored delayed release capsule

Key Specs:

Servings per container:  | Serving size: 2 Capsules | Form: Capsules | Type: Multivitamin | Other Ingredients: Omega-3 fatty acids | Third-Party Tested: Yes

Why We Recommend It

We like Ritual Essential For Women 50+ because they prioritize quality ingredients and use third-party testing for microbes, heavy metals, allergens, and other contaminants. They are also non-GMO verified and are made with traceable ingredients, meaning you know exactly where the nutrients are sourced from.

The two-capsule dose is easy to swallow and leaves a minty, fresh taste in your mouth. The delayed-release capsule design allows for optimal absorption of nutrients while being gentle on the stomach.

We also appreciate that the omega-3 in this supplement comes from algae, making this approporaite if you are following a vegan diet. 

Things To Consider

One thing you may notice, however, is that the ingredient list is shorter than other multivitamins, as they aim to target the specific nutrients for women over 50 that are typically lacking in the diet. Ritual prioritizes folate, B12, vitamin E, and omega-3 alongside bone “helper” nutrients, including vitamins D3 and K2, and magnesium. Because calcium supplements should only be added as needed, they have left it out of their multivitamins for women.

Amazon MegaFood Multivitamin for Women Over 55

Amazon


Key Specs:

Servings per container: 30 | Serving size: 2 Tablets | Form: Tablet | Type: Multivitamin | Other Ingredients: Green Tea Leaf Extract, Food Blend | Third-Party Tested: Yes

Why We Recommend It

MegaFoods is a trusted name in the supplement world, and we recommend their Women’s 55+ Advanced Multivitamin for its balanced inclusion of important vitamins and minerals. The minerals are fermented, potentially making them easier to digest and increasing nutrient absorption.

Similar to some of our other picks, this supplement includes Vitamin C, an essential nutrient we can’t make ourselves and rely on food for instead. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, which can help boost our immune system and lower inflammation. Other nutrients to note are methylated B vitamins, vitamins, and choline.

This multivitamin also contains a blend of whole foods, including organic brown rice, orange, carrot, and broccoli. 

The green tea extract in this formulation also stands out. Green tea extract is packed with antioxidants, and some research shows it can help reduce blood pressure in the short term. The antioxidant EGCG in green tea also has some evidence that it can protect against mental decline. However, you will want to check with your healthcare provider if green tea extract is right for you.

Things To Consider

While this supplement does not have an NSF or USP third-party testing seal, MegaFoods has an NSF Certified internal quality management system, and it’s a brand we trust.  It is also free of gluten, milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, shellfish, and sesame.

Keep in mind that this supplement does not include iron, calcium, or magnesium.

Thorne Research Women's Multi 50+

Amazon


Pros

  • Does not contain copper or iron

  • Researched-backed, trusted brand

  • Contains highly absorbable forms of nutrients

Key Specs:

Servings per container: 30 | Serving size: 3-6 capsules | Form: Capsule | Type: Multivitamin | Third-Party Tested: No

Why We Recommend It

If you’re looking for a multivitamin without copper or iron, the Thorne Research Multi for women 50+ is for you. Some research shows that excess copper is associated with people with Alzheimer’s disease, so it is not recommended in a multivitamin as we age.

Also, higher levels of iron can interfere with the absorption of other micronutrients, and many older adults have excess iron. According to Shushy Setrakian, MS, RD, “If you need an iron supplement, consider taking it a few hours before or after you take your multivitamin to avoid absorption competition.”

Things To Consider

The directions suggest 3 capsules daily, or 6 capsules for those looking for extra nutrient support. We recommend speaking to a healthcare provider to discuss the appropriate dosage for your individual needs. While this supplement is not certified third-party tested, the company screens for contaminants, and it is a trusted brand that we feel comfortable recommending.

Why Women Over 50 May Benefit from a Multivitamin

We encourage you to consume a varied diet rich in fruits, vegetables, dairy, legumes, fish, lean meats, whole grains, and healthy oils. However, multivitamins can help ensure you obtain enough micronutrients. 

During menopause, estrogen levels decrease, which can have wide-reaching effects on the body. Additionally, other age-related changes can 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 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, recent reviews are more controversial. Research now indicates an increased risk for cardiovascular disease with the use of calcium supplements, so be sure to consult with your healthcare provider before deciding to take a calcium supplement. 

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 registered dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RDN, CDN, 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.

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 the 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.

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. 

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.

What to Look for in a Multivitamin for Women Over 50


Multivitamins don’t cater to our unique nutrient needs, which can vary based on health status, age, genetics, and activity level. Therefore, they should be used to fill in the gaps in your diet.

Since multivitamins vary in the type and amounts of vitamins and minerals they contain, we recommend consulting with a healthcare provider to determine if you need supplementation and, if so, what specific nutrients you require. 

Third-Party Testing

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established good manufacturing practices for dietary supplements to ensure products contain their listed ingredients in the amounts claimed and are free of contaminants, companies are responsible for meeting these requirements independently. Therefore, the FDA will only investigate a multivitamin if someone reports it has caused harm.

Supplements that are third-party tested are sent to a lab where they are tested for purity and potency to ensure they contain what they say and do not contain any potential contaminants. Trusted third-party certifications include ConsumerLab.com, NSF, USP, Clean Label Project, and Informed Choice, among others. However, these certifications can be difficult to obtain and expensive for manufacturers, so many companies choose not to get their products tested. If you are selecting a supplement that does not have third-party testing, we recommend choosing a trusted brand that does rigorous internal testing.

Form

Multivitamins can contain an extensive list of nutrients and come in different forms. 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 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 many forms although the three main forms are 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. Women diagnosed with an iron deficiency or who are highly active may, however, need supplemental iron. Therefore, make sure the supplement you are choosing is geared toward 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 is fat-soluble vitamins, such as 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, which could reach near-toxic levels and have detrimental health consequences. It is wise to discuss the dosage of these nutrients with a healthcare provider.

Our Experts

We consulted dietitians to help curate this list:

  • Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RDN, CDN, registered dietitian and author of Read It Before You Eat It.
  • Shushy Setrakian, MS, RD, a registered dietitian who works with patients to meet their health goals, and educates patients on the appropriate usage of supplements to optimize their nutritional status and overall health. She also specializes in supplement research and analysis.

Frequently Asked Questions


  • 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 their levels to within normal range, so it’s important to discuss your specific needs with a healthcare provider.

Why Trust Verywell Health

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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