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As women age, their nutrient needs change, and they become more likely to have deficiencies in vitamins D, B6, and B12. Thorne Women’s Multi 50+ is our dietitian’s pick as the best comprehensive multivitamin for women over 50.
Nutrient needs change throughout a woman’s lifetime.
Women between the ages of 15 and 49 have greater iron needs due to menstruation, while women ages 50 and over need less iron but more of certain other nutrients, including vitamin B6 and calcium (1, 2, 3).
Women over 50 also have a higher risk of deficiencies in some nutrients, including vitamins B12 and D (4).
Additionally, many older adults’ ability to absorb B12 from food declines as a result of lower stomach acid secretion, thereby raising the risk of severe vitamin B12 deficiency. Therefore, it’s advisable for adults over 50 to supplement with vitamin B12 (5).
Although it’s possible to meet most nutrient needs through food, it may be difficult for women over 50 to get all the necessary nutrients from their diet alone.
Many excellent multivitamins are made specifically for women over 50 and contain nutrients that women in this age group are at risk of deficiency in. Keep reading for our picks of the 10 best.
A complete multivitamin for women over 50 should include a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals.
Specific nutrients and doses should be considered on an individual basis. Nutrient needs change with age, and some people may have different needs than others. For this reason, it’s important to meet with a healthcare professional to discuss your best options.
When shopping for a multivitamin, it’s important to choose a product that contains the types and amounts of nutrients that women over 50 are more likely to have a deficiency in or have increased needs for.
Keep in mind that women who have suboptimal vitamin D levels or a vitamin D deficiency may need much higher doses to reach and maintain optimal levels. Women over 50 should have their vitamin D levels tested to determine an appropriate, effective dose.
Additional nutrients that may have health benefits for women over 50
Also consider looking for a multivitamin that contains the following nutrients:
Omega-3 fatty acids: These essential fats are associated with lower rates of mental decline with age due to conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Omega-3s are also important for heart and skin health (6, 7, 8).
Potassium: This mineral plays a crucial role in bone health. Adequate potassium intake has also been associated with a reduced risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke (9, 10).
Magnesium: This mineral becomes more difficult to absorb as you age. Magnesium plays a key role in heart and bone health (11).
Boron: Boron is necessary for bone health and may be particularly important for women at high risk for osteoporosis (12).
Lutein and zeaxanthin: These antioxidants are beneficial for eye health (13, 14).
Nutrients that might not be necessary
Conversely, some nutrients may not be necessary or appropriate for women over 50 to take in supplement form:
Iron: Look for a supplement that contains little or no iron. Women’s iron needs are lower after menopause, and taking more iron than you need can lead to side effects such as stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, and fainting (1, 15).
Calcium: While calcium needs increase after age 50, some research suggests that calcium supplements may increase the risk of heart disease, as excess calcium may damage the heart and vascular system. Calcium from food does not raise this risk (16, 17).
Always consult a healthcare professional before taking supplements to ensure that the ingredients and doses are appropriate for you.
Healthline used the following criteria to choose these multivitamins:
Quality standards: We prioritized products that are third-party tested for purity and potency and included supplements that are manufactured according to the Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Nutrient quality: We considered the types and amounts of ingredients included, as well as the bioavailability of the nutrient forms used.
Ingredients: We chose products that are free of unnecessary ingredients such as fillers and artificial sweeteners and colors.
Brand reputation: The brands on our list are trusted by healthcare professionals, including doctors and dietitians.
Price: We included supplements to suit a range of budgets.
Vetting: The products on our list have been vetted to ensure that they align with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. You can read more about our vetting process.
Because there’s no one best product for everyone, the supplements listed below are not ranked. We recommend choosing the product that best fits your dietary needs and preferences.
A note on price
General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher price.
The cost of multivitamins can vary quite a bit. When shopping for vitamins, be sure to consider the price per serving, as some products require you to take multiple pills or gummies per day.
Is it suitable for any dietary needs or preferences you might have?
Depending on your dietary needs and preferences, you may want to look for a multivitamin that’s vegan-friendly, certified organic, or free of artificial additives and preservatives.
Many supplements contain animal-based ingredients, GMOs, gluten, fillers, preservatives, and other ingredients that you may prefer to leave out of your diet.
Does it meet your nutritional needs?
Because nutrient needs are highly individual, there’s no one best multivitamin for everyone. Be sure to talk with a registered dietitian or another health professional to determine which nutrients, and in what doses, you should be getting from your multivitamin.
Does it contain additional ingredients, such as herbs?
Some multivitamins may contain other ingredients that could be beneficial for women over 50, such as black cohosh and green tea extract.
However, because some ingredients, especially herbs, can interact with prescription medications or may not be recommended for certain populations, it’s important to read ingredient labels thoroughly and consult a healthcare professional before taking any new supplements.
It’s important to check with a healthcare professional before taking any new supplements. They can recommend a product that’s suitable based on your medical history, current medication list, and diet.
In addition to ensuring that a product is safe for you to take, a healthcare professional can order blood tests to determine whether you have any nutrient deficiencies that need to be treated with a high dose supplement or an injection.
Most multivitamins are designed to be taken daily, though some may contain more than 100% of the Daily Value for some nutrients. Therefore, if you already eat a nutrient-dense diet, taking them daily may lead to overconsuming certain vitamins and minerals (28).
It’s important to discuss any new supplements with a healthcare professional before starting them.
What is the best multivitamin for women over 50?
The best multivitamin ultimately depends on your diet, nutritional needs, and personal preferences.
Thorne Women’s Multi 50+ is our pick as the best overall because of its comprehensive formulation, use of highly absorbable forms of certain nutrients, and high quality standards.
As a woman over 50, do I need to take vitamins specifically created for women my age?
Because nutrient needs change with age, it’s advisable to take a multivitamin that’s formulated for your stage of life (29).
However, you may not need to take a vitamin if you’re already consuming a nutrient-dense diet. Because individual needs can vary, we recommend meeting with a healthcare professional to discuss your best options and recommendations.
What’s the best time to take multivitamins?
You can take multivitamins any time of day, but it’s always a good idea to take them with food, as some nutrients are best absorbed with a meal.
Taking your multivitamin with the same meal each day is a simple way to help yourself remember to take it daily.