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Women have specific nutrient needs that change throughout their life span (1).

For example, teens have different nutrient needs than postmenopausal women, and pregnant and breastfeeding women need greater amounts of specific nutrients than nonpregnant women.

What’s more, your nutrient needs may differ depending on your overall health and lifestyle.

Although nutrient supplementation isn’t necessary for all women, some may need to take supplements to reach their recommended intake levels.

This article covers nutrient needs for women and lists 10 of the best supplements to support women’s health.

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article uses the term “women” to refer to a person’s sex assigned at birth.

Depending on their age and health status, women and teens have differing daily vitamin and mineral needs.

Vitamins are divided into two categories: water-soluble and fat-soluble.

Water-soluble vitamins are not readily stored in your body and need to be supplied continuously through your diet. On the other hand, fat-soluble vitamins are stored in your body’s tissues and retained for longer periods (2).

Here are the recommendations for water-soluble vitamin intake for women (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11):

B1B2B3B5B6B7B9B12C
Ages 9–130.9 mg0.9 mg12 mg niacin equivalents (NE)4 mg1 mg20 mcg300 mcg dietary folate equivalents (DFE)1.8 mcg45 mg
Ages 14–181 mg1 mg14 mg NE5 mg1.2 mg25 mcg400 mcg DFE2.4 mcg65 mg
Ages 19–501.1 mg1.114 mg NE5 mg1.3 mg30 mcg400 mcg DFE2.4 mcg75 mg
Ages 51+1.1 mg1.1 mg14 mg NE5 mg1.5 mg30 mcg400 mcg DFE2.4 mcg75 mg
Pregnancy 1.4 mg1.4 mg18 mg NE6 mg1.9 mg30 mcg600 mcg DFE2.6 mcg85 mg
Lactation1.4 mg1.6 mg17 mg NE7 mg2 mg35 mcg500 mcg DFE2.8 mcg120 mg

Note that women who smoke need an extra 35 mg of vitamin C per day. Also, pregnant and breastfeeding women under age 19 need 5 mg less of vitamin C per day than pregnant and breastfeeding women ages 19 and older (11).

Here are the recommendations for fat-soluble vitamin intake for women (12, 13, 14, 15):

Vitamin AVitamin DVitamin EVitamin K
Ages 9–13600 mcg retinol activity equivalents (RAE)15 mcg (600 IU)11 mg60 mcg
Ages 14–18700 mcg RAE15 mcg (600 IU)15 mg75 mcg
Ages 19–50700 mcg RAE15 mcg (600 IU)15 mg90 mcg
Ages 51+700 mcg RAE• 15 mcg (600 IU)
• 20 mcg (800 IU) for women ages 70+
15 mg90 mcg
Pregnancy (18 and under)750 mcg RAE15 mcg (600 IU)15 mg75 mcg
Pregnancy (19 and over)770 mcg RAE15 mcg (600 IU)15 mg90 mcg
Breastfeeding (18 and under)1,200 mcg RAE15 mcg (600 IU)19 mg75 mcg
Breastfeeding (19 and over)1,300 mcg RAE15 mcg (600 IU)19 mg90 mcg

Notably, some argue that the daily vitamin D needs of pregnant and breastfeeding women are much higher than the current recommendations. This will be discussed later in this article (16, 17, 18, 19, 20).

In addition to vitamins, minerals are essential to women’s health. Women are more likely to be low in certain minerals, such as iron. Plus, needs for minerals like iron and iodine significantly increase during pregnancy (1).

Here are the current daily recommendations for some of the most important minerals for women (21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27):

CalciumPotassiumMagnesiumIronZincIodineSelenium
Ages 9–131,300 mg2,300 mg240 mg8 mg8 mg120 mcg40 mcg
Ages 14–181,300 mg2,300 mg360 mg15 mg9 mg150 mcg50 mcg
Ages 19–501,000 mg2,600 mg310-320 mg18 mg8 mg150 mcg50 mcg
Ages 51+1,000 mg2,600 mg320 mg8 mg8 mg 150 mcg50 mcg
Pregnancy (18 and under)1,300 mg2,600 mg400 mg27 mg12 mg220 mcg60 mcg
Pregnancy (19 and over)1,000 mg2,900 mg350-360 mg27 mg11 mg220 mcg60 mcg
Breastfeeding (18 and under)1,300 mg2,500 mg360 mg10 mg13 mg290 mcg70 mcg
Breastfeeding (19 and over)1,000 mg2,800 mg310-320 mg9 mg12 mg290 mcg70 mcg

A woman’s nutrient needs change throughout her lifetime.

Deficiencies are more common during certain life stages, such as pregnancy, and under certain circumstances, such as when a woman smokes or drinks excessively or has a medical condition.

For this reason, women may need to supplement with one or more nutrients in order to reach the recommended intake levels.

Children and teens

Girls ages 9–13 generally need smaller amounts of vitamins than older teens and women because of their smaller body sizes. However, teens over age 14 have vitamin and mineral needs similar to those of adults.

Research shows that teenage girls are more likely to become deficient in some nutrients than the general population. For example, teenage girls are at a greater risk of developing deficiencies in vitamin D and folate (28, 29, 30).

Research has shown that many teens consume diets low in vitamins and minerals. This puts them at risk of deficiency, including during pregnancy, a time during which most nutrient needs increase (31, 32).

Women ages 19–50

Women ages 19–50 are more likely to be deficient in several nutrients, including vitamin D, iron, and B6.

A study that included data on more than 15,000 people found that nutrient deficiency risk, including deficiencies in B6 and vitamin D, was most common in women in this age range (33).

Pregnant and breastfeeding women

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, nutrient needs increase to support fetal and maternal health.

For this reason, pregnant and breastfeeding women are at a greater risk of developing vitamin deficiencies (34).

In fact, up to 30% of pregnant women worldwide experience vitamin deficiencies. For example, researchers estimate that 18–84% of pregnant women worldwide are deficient in vitamin D (35, 36).

What’s more, evidence suggests that the current recommendations for certain vitamins, including vitamin D, for pregnant women are too low.

According to recent research, pregnant women may need about 4,000 IU per day to maintain optimal vitamin D levels, while breastfeeding women may need about 6,400 IU per day (16, 17, 18, 19, 20).

Choline is another important nutrient for fetal and maternal health. Studies show that most pregnant women in the United States aren’t getting the recommended 450 mg per day of choline. Unfortunately, many prenatal vitamins do not contain choline (37).

Older women

Postmenopausal women are more likely to become deficient in certain nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, and vitamins C, D, B6, and B12 (38, 39, 40, 41).

Older adults — typically defined as ages 60 and older — often have inadequate dietary intakes and take medications that may reduce vitamin levels in the body, increasing their risk of developing one or more vitamin deficiencies (41).

Other considerations

In addition to age and pregnancy, other factors can influence nutrient needs and increase your risk of developing nutrient deficiencies, including:

  • body weight
  • medical conditions
  • medications
  • alcohol use

For example, women with certain medical conditions, including type 2 diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and gastrointestinal conditions, are more likely to develop a deficiency in one or more vitamins than the general population.

Studies also show that women with obesity are at greater risk of vitamin deficiencies, including B12 and vitamin D (42).

Skin tone can also impact nutrient needs. African American women are more likely than European American women to have vitamin D deficiencies, in part because they have higher concentrations of the skin pigment melanin, which blocks the UVB sunlight needed to produce vitamin D in the skin (43).

Additionally, deficiencies are common among women with eating disorders and those who follow restrictive diets (44, 45, 46).

We selected the best supplements for women’s health based on the following criteria:

  • Included nutrients: We select products that are formulated to meet the needs of each life stage, from teens to women over 50.
  • Nutrient quality: We looked for products that contain highly absorbable forms of nutrients.
  • Brand reputation: We included brands that are well trusted by healthcare professionals and passed Healthline’s rigorous vetting process.

Why you should trust us

Every brand and product on our list has been reviewed by registered dietitians and vetted to ensure that it aligns with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. Each product in this article:

  • adheres to allowable health claims and labeling requirements, per Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations
  • is manufactured in facilities that adhere to current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs) established by the FDA
  • is produced by a medically credible company that follows ethical, legal, and industry best standards
  • is made by a company that provides objective measures of trust, such as having its supplements validated by third-party labs

A note on price

General price ranges are indicated below with dollar signs ($–$$$$). One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas four dollar signs indicate a higher cost.

Generally, prices range from $0.03–$1.67 per serving, or $12.39–$49.95 per container, though this may vary depending on where you shop.

  • $ = under $0.25
  • $$ = $0.25–$0.75
  • $$$ = $0.76–$1.50
  • $$$$ = over $1.50

Best multivitamin for teens

Pure Encapsulations Junior Nutrients

  • Price range: $$
  • Dose: 2 capsules daily
  • Active ingredients: thiamine, riboflavin, folate, niacin, biotin, pantothenic acid, choline, calcium, iodine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, inositol, carotenoid blend, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamins A, D, E, K, C, B6, and B12

Junior Nutrients is a well-rounded multivitamin that can be used to supplement the diet of kids and teens ages 4 and up.

To enhance absorption, the multivitamin contains several nutrients in their active forms, including vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin and folate as L-5-MTHF.

It’s also vegetarian-friendly, non-GMO verified, and free of major allergens and artificial additives.

Pure Encapsulations is a high quality supplement brand trusted by healthcare professionals. Pure Encapsulations products exceed standards set by United States Pharmacopeia (USP), a nonprofit organization that sets standards for the purity and quality of dietary supplements.

Pure Encapsulations products are also certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization and third-party tested by independent laboratories, including Eurofins, Silliker, and Intertek.

Pros

  • appropriate for children and teens ages 4 and up
  • third-party tested
  • certified gluten-free
  • free of major allergens
  • non-GMO

Cons

  • may be hard to find in local stores

Best multivitamin for women ages 18–50

Nature Made Multi for Her

  • Price range: $
  • Dose: 1 tablet per day
  • Active ingredients: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, iodine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, and vitamins A, C, D3, E, K, B6, and B12

While there are many high quality multivitamins for women on the market, Nature Made Multi for Her is one of the best because it’s an affordable, straightforward multivitamin that’s also third-party tested and verified.

The multivitamin contains 22 essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, which is appropriate for menstruating women and teens as well as for women following vegetarian or vegan diets.

Nature Made vitamins are USP-verified to ensure safe manufacturing practices and to ensure that each product contains the types and amounts of ingredients that are listed on the label.

Pros

  • well-rounded multivitamin
  • affordable
  • USP-verified
  • gluten-free
  • vegetarian

Cons

  • not vegan-friendly

Best multivitamin for women over 50

Thorne Women’s Multi 50+

  • Price range: $$$$
  • Dose: 6 capsules per day
  • Active ingredients: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin, pantothenic acid, choline, calcium, iodine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, manganese, chromium, boron, lutein, and vitamins A, D, E, K, C, B6, and B12

Thorne Women’s Multi 50+ is a comprehensive multivitamin containing highly absorbable forms of important nutrients for women over 50, including magnesium and vitamins B12, B6, and D.

Additionally, because iron needs decrease after menopause, the supplement is iron-free.

Thorne’s manufacturing facilities are third-party audited by NSF International, an organization that independently tests supplements for quality and potency and inspects manufacturing facilities.

Thorne also has an “A” rating from the Therapeutic Goods Association, a regulatory agency run by the Australian Department of Health.

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • iron-free
  • gluten-free

Cons

  • large dose of 6 capsules per day
  • expensive
  • may not be vegan-friendly

Best prenatal vitamin

FullWell Prenatal Multivitamin

  • Price: $$$$
  • Dose: 8 capsules per day
  • Active ingredients: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin, pantothenic acid, choline, calcium, iodine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, potassium, inositol, betaine HCL, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D3, E, and K

FullWell Prenatal Multivitamin was designed by a dietitian and is one of the most comprehensive prenatal vitamins on the market.

Unlike most other prenatals, FullWell covers more than half of choline needs during pregnancy and provides 4,000 IU of vitamin D per dose, which can help pregnant women maintain optimal levels of this important nutrient.

FullWell products are also third-party tested to ensure potency and purity.

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • uses more readily absorbable forms of nutrients
  • high in choline, magnesium, and vitamin D
  • no artificial colors or additives

Cons

  • expensive
  • doesn’t contain iron, though this may be a positive because iron needs can vary from person to person during pregnancy
  • requires a large dose of 8 capsules per day
  • doesn’t contain omega-3s

Best postnatal vitamin

Needed Prenatal Multi Powder

  • Price: $$$$
  • Dose: 2 scoops (9 grams) per day
  • Active ingredients: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, pantothenic acid, choline, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iodine, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, sodium, potassium, mixed tocopherols, antioxidant blend, and vitamins A, D, E, C, B6, B12, and K2

Needed Prenatal Multi Powder is a good choice to support women’s health after birth and during breastfeeding.

It covers 73% of your choline needs during breastfeeding and contains 4,000 IU of vitamin D. It’s also free from iron, which women need less of during the postnatal period (37).

For women who can’t tolerate swallowing pills, the Multi Powder is a great option because it can be mixed into smoothies or another beverage of choice. However, the company also offers the supplement in capsule form.

Keep in mind that this supplement doesn’t contain the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) — important nutrients during breastfeeding — and is instead designed to pair with the brand’s Prenatal Omega-3+.

Needed products are third-party tested for purity and potency.

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • high in choline and vitamin D
  • powder form to easily mix into beverages
  • also available in capsule form
  • free of major allergens
  • vegetarian

Cons

  • does not contain omega-3 DHA and EPA
  • expensive
  • not vegan-friendly

Best vitamin D supplement for women

Thorne Vitamin D/K2

  • Price range: $
  • Dose: 2 drops per day
  • Active ingredients: vitamin D3 and K2

Thorne Vitamin D/K2 drops are a great choice for those who prefer liquid supplements. It provides 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 plus 200 mcg of K2.

Vitamin D and vitamin K work synergistically in your body, and research suggests that supplementing with both nutrients is better for the health of the cardiovascular and skeletal systems than supplementing with vitamin D alone (47, 48).

Thorne products undergo four rounds of testing in the company’s NSF-certified facilities to ensure purity, potency, and safety.

The product is also gluten-free and made without artificial additives or flavors.

Pros

  • provides a combination of vitamins D3 and K2
  • third-party tested and certified
  • convenient liquid form
  • gluten-free
  • affordable

Cons

  • not suitable for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet

Best vitamin B complex for women

Nordic Naturals Vitamin B Complex

  • Price range: $$
  • Dose: 1 capsule per day
  • Active ingredients: thiamine, folate, niacin, riboflavin, biotin, pantothenic acid, and vitamins B6 and B12

Nordic Naturals Vitamin B Complex is a well-designed B-complex supplement that provides all eight B vitamins in highly absorbable forms.

This product is third-party tested for potency and purity and is certified vegan.

Customers can request a certificate of analysis (COA) for any Nordic Naturals supplement on the company’s website.

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • certified vegan
  • one-a-day formulation
  • non-GMO verified
  • gluten-free

Cons

  • a bit pricier than other B-complex vitamins

Best fish oil supplement for women

Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega

  • Price range: $$$
  • Dose: 2 softgels per day
  • Active ingredients: purified deep sea fish oil

For women who are looking to increase their intake of the essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega is a smart choice.

This supplement provides 450 mg of DHA and 650 mg of EPA sourced from wild-caught sardines and anchovies. The capsules are also lemon-flavored to help reduce the fishy aftertaste.

Nordic Naturals products are certified by Friend of the Sea to ensure sustainable fishing practices. They’re also third-party tested for purity and potency.

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • certified sustainable
  • minimal ingredients
  • lemon-flavored

Cons

  • relatively expensive
  • not suitable for people following a vegan or vegetarian diet

Best vegan omega-3 supplement for women

Nordic Naturals Algae Omega

  • Price range: $$$
  • Dose: 2 softgels per day
  • Active ingredients: algal oil

For women who follow a vegan diet, Nordic Naturals Algae Omega provides EPA and DHA from sustainably sourced algal oil.

Algal oil is a vegan alternative to fish and krill oils that can be effective at raising DHA and EPA levels in the body (49).

Nordic Naturals products are third-party tested, and customers can request a COA for any Nordic Naturals supplement on the company’s website.

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • certified vegan
  • sustainably sourced

Cons

  • relatively expensive

Best supplement for vaginal health

Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic Women’s Formula

  • Price range: $$$
  • Dose: 1 capsule per day
  • Active ingredients: 10 Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species, including Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum

Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic Women’s Formula contains 10 Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species that help support the microbial communities that inhabit the urinary tract and reproductive system (50).

Some studies have shown that taking probiotics may help reduce urinary tract infections and yeast infections in some women, though more research is needed (51, 52).

Klaire Labs is certified by NSF International, and its products are third-party tested to ensure purity and potency.

Pros

  • NSF-certified
  • contains probiotic strains that may support vaginal health
  • vegetarian

Cons

  • relatively expensive
  • not vegan-friendly

Although maintaining a healthy and well-balanced diet is important to promote optimal nutrient intake, it’s not always possible for women to get all the vitamins, minerals, and other critical nutrients they need through their diet alone.

Some women may need to supplement with one or more nutrients to reach and maintain optimal levels, including those who:

  • are older
  • are African American
  • have certain medical conditions
  • follow diets that eliminate certain food groups
  • have eating disorders
  • smoke or drink heavily
  • have obesity
  • are pregnant
  • use some common prescription drugs, such as proton pump inhibitors and blood-sugar-lowering medications (53)

In addition to consuming a varied, nutrient-dense diet, pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised to take a prenatal supplement before, during, and after pregnancy.

Doing so may help maintain healthy nutrient levels and support their bodies throughout pregnancy, breastfeeding, and postnatal recovery (54).

Even though health professionals focus on the importance of increasing vitamin intake during pregnancy and breastfeeding, studies show that many women have insufficient intake of certain nutrients during and after pregnancy (54).

Experts recommend that most women over age 50 take a B12 or B-complex vitamin because of the high prevalence of B12 malabsorption from food in older populations (55, 56)

Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are widespread. Women, especially those who have obesity or certain medical conditions, are pregnant, or are older, should have their vitamin D levels checked to determine an appropriate supplement dosage.

Women at risk of developing a nutrient deficiency should work with a healthcare professional to develop an appropriate and safe supplement regimen based on their specific needs.

While some women may need to supplement with only one or two nutrients, such as B12 or iron, others may benefit from taking a multinutrient supplement that provides a range of vitamins, minerals, and other helpful compounds for women’s health.

In general, it’s best to get advice from a healthcare professional before supplementing with any nutrient. A healthcare professional can test your nutrient levels if necessary and give you specific dosing recommendations.

It’s important to understand that not all women need dietary supplements — especially not women who are generally healthy, have no nutrient deficiencies, and follow a well-rounded diet.

Nevertheless, many women do need to take supplements, especially those who are pregnant, follow restrictive diets, or have one or more nutrient deficiencies.

When shopping for a supplement, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Quality: It’s important to choose high quality brands that use third-party testing for quality and purity, such as those certified by organizations like UL Solutions, USP, and NSF International.
  • Form and serving type: For those who cannot tolerate swallowing large pills, many companies offer powdered, liquid, or chewable supplements that may be a better option.
  • Ingredients and certifications: If you have allergies or dietary restrictions, look for products that are free from common allergens and ingredients like gluten and dairy. Some products are also certified vegan.
  • Dosing: It’s important to consider dosing, especially if you’re taking a dietary supplement to treat a deficiency. For example, women who have a vitamin D deficiency generally need higher dose supplements than those who need to maintain healthy vitamin D levels.

If you have questions about brands, vitamin and mineral forms, or dosing, consult a healthcare professional for advice.

What vitamins should women take daily?

The types of vitamins you should take daily depend on your needs. Also, keep in mind that many women do not need to take any supplements on a regular basis.

What vitamins are good for vaginal health?

To support your vaginal health, it’s best to focus on your diet as a whole rather than on specific vitamins and minerals.

For example, a healthy diet can help promote healthy bacterial composition in your gut and vaginal canal and may help prevent conditions like bacterial vaginosis (57, 58).

Probiotic supplements may help improve vaginal health as well, though more research is needed (51, 52).

Can probiotics be paired with multivitamins?

Yes, probiotics can be taken alongside nutrient supplements such as vitamins and minerals.

However, keep in mind that not everyone needs a probiotic, so it’s best to get advice from a healthcare professional before purchasing a probiotic supplement, especially if you’re trying to treat a specific condition, such as IBS.

Which is better, vitamin supplements or vitamins from food?

Many people can get all the nutrients they need by eating a healthy, well-rounded diet.

However, many populations — including pregnant women, those on restrictive diets, older adults, and people with certain medical conditions — need extra support from dietary supplements in order to reach and maintain optimal nutrient levels.

It’s important to understand that, although a nutritious diet is the best way to provide your body with nutrients, supplements can be helpful and may even be necessary for many people.

If you’re concerned that you’re not getting enough nutrients through your diet, contact a registered dietitian or another healthcare professional for advice.

Nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, are essential to women’s health and play numerous roles in your body.

Although many women can obtain the nutrients they need by consuming a well-rounded diet, some women cannot meet their nutrient needs through diet alone.

Certain factors and circumstances, including age, pregnancy and breastfeeding, medical conditions, medication use, and lifestyle habits, increase a woman’s risk of nutrient deficiency and developing suboptimal nutrient levels.

Women who are either concerned that they may be at risk of developing a nutrient deficiency or interested in optimizing their vitamin intake should work with a qualified healthcare professional to ensure optimal dosing, safety, and necessity.