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Multivitamins for women aim to meet their unique nutritional needs. They can benefit pregnancy, age-specific concerns, and overall health. However, they may not contain the recommended daily amount of each vitamin or mineral.

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. For the purposes of this article, we use “male” and “female” to refer to a person’s sex assigned at birth. Learn more.

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It is important to note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not evaluate the safety of multivitamin products before they become available for sale. People may wish to look for products with independent tests from organizations such as the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), which tests products for purity.

This article explains why people may need multivitamins, what ingredients they typically include, and some multivitamin brands to try.

Many products are available that cater to the needs of women at every stage in their lives, including prenatal vitamins and those designed specifically for athletes and older women. A person can also subscribe to a personalized vitamin service.

Males and females often benefit from differing vitamin and mineral types, quantities, and combinations. With this in mind, some pharmaceutical companies develop specific formulas of supplements, vitamins, shakes, and health bars to benefit either male or female biology. A person should discuss their options with a doctor or healthcare professional who can help them decide, and choose the product they feel works best for them and their needs.

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Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Disclaimer: All the products tested below were tried by Healthline writers or editors, who received the products for free. All opinions are their own.

Multivitamins are typically capsules or gummies taken once per day. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), these multivitamins often include all the daily essential nutrients an individual needs.

Experts have linked vitamin deficiencies to several chronic conditions, including:

According to the National Institutes of Health, adequate vitamin D intake is essential for bone health. Additionally, researchers are exploring vitamin D’s potential role in combating cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) notes that multivitamins may help reduce a person’s risk of developing eye disease and type 2 diabetes. However, it is important to note that the studies it references are around 15 years old.

More recent studies do not confirm the benefits of taking multivitamins. For example, in a 2020 study, the researchers stated that although participants self-reported improvements in their health after using multivitamins, there were no measurable health changes.

The authors conclude that the participants’ positive expectations and views on their health contribute to the use of multivitamins.

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products containing safe and high quality ingredients that are clearly labeled. They also confirm they are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: MNT chooses products that must clearly state the supplement dosage.
  • Serving size: MNT selects products in which manufacturers recommend a safe dosage.
  • Third-party testing: MNT chooses products that must undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis: MNT chooses companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s certificate of analysis (COA) after receiving its third-party lab results.
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This table compares each multivitamin for price, dosage, certifications, and more in this article.

Price Suitable for Type DosageAllergens and dietary informationCertifications
Ritual$33those ages 18–49capsules2 per dayvegan, gluten-freeUSP verified
Care/of$15femalescapsules and tablets4 per daygluten-freeno information available
Nature Made$12ages 50 and oversoftgels1 per daygluten-free, unsuitable for vegans and vegetariansUSP verified
Garden of Life$37femalestablets2 per dayvegan, organic• USDA organic
• Non-GMO Project verified
Thorne$48ages 50 and over, athletescapsule6 per daygluten-, dairy-, and soy-freeNSF Certified for Sport
Rainbow Lightaround $33 for 90pregnant or lactating
tablets1 per dayfree from eggs, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, colors, flavors, and sweetenersno information available
Optimum$30all agescapsules2 per dayvegetarianno information available
OLLYaround $16 for 45 daysadultsgummies2 per daycontains gelatin and berry flavoringNSF certified
$73those over age 40capsules3–6 per dayvegetarian, gluten-free, and hypoallergenicno information available
One A Day$10femalestablets2 per daycontains gelatin, free from dairy, egg, shellfish, and soyno information available
SmartyPants$24adultsgummies4 per dayvegetarian, not vegan• USDA organic
• Non-GMO Project verified
• American Vegetarian Association certified
New Chapter$96women over 40tablet1 per daygluten-free, certified Kosher, vegetarian, not vegan, contains soynon-GMO Project verified, NSF-certified gluten-free, certified Kosher, and certified organic
Nature Made Women’s Multivitaminabout $37all ages (over 18)tablet1 per dayno color added, no artificial flavors, gluten-freeUSP-verified

Some features that people may wish to consider when choosing female multivitamins include:

  • Age: Products target different ages. People should purchase the one that fits their needs.
  • Dose: Some multivitamins contain high amounts of certain vitamins and minerals, which may exceed the recommended limits. A person should check the recommended intake of vitamins and minerals before buying a multivitamin.
  • Ingredients: Individuals can find ingredients on product labels and company websites. People should avoid buying multivitamins from companies that do not clearly state the ingredients in their products.
  • Certifications: Some companies have certifications on their website indicating that the products’ dosage and ingredients are correct. Other certifications state multivitamins are suitable for particular diets and do not contain banned sports substances.
  • Personalization: A person should consider their health needs before buying a multivitamin and speak with a doctor for guidance. Some companies tailor a person’s vitamins to their answers to an online health assessment.
  • Packaging: Some brands do not offer supplements in bottles but ship products in pouches with the daily dosage. A person should consider the type of packaging they prefer, such as opting for pouches if they find opening bottles difficult.
  • Price: A wide range of affordable multivitamins is available online and in stores. A person should consider their budget before buying a multivitamin, especially if it comes from a subscription service.

A person should always speak with a doctor before taking a new vitamin or supplement.

According to the NIH, there are no standard multivitamin ingredients. There is also no federal regulation for the amount or potency of each ingredient.

The NIH notes that the term “multivitamin” could apply to supplements with only a few ingredients or supplements containing a wide array of vitamins and minerals.

According to the NASM, a multivitamin should contain the following vitamins:

NASM states multivitamins should also contain the following minerals:

  • chromium: 35 mcg or more
  • copper: 0.5–10 mg
  • folic acid: no more than 400 mcg
  • iron: 18 mg for those who are premenopausal or 10 mg for others
  • magnesium: 50­–350 mg
  • selenium: 20­–110 mcg
  • zinc: no more than 30 mg

The NIH writes that multivitamins’ calcium and magnesium content can be low. The NIH advises that a person gets these nutrients from their diet.

The range of vitamins and minerals a person should look for in their multivitamin depends on their needs. For example, those who are pregnant may need folic acid to support fetal health.

A person should contact a doctor before taking a multivitamin.

Each product in this article has differing percentages of the daily value of vitamins.

Vitamin AVitamin B1Vitamin B2Vitamin B6Vitamin B9Vitamin B12Vitamin CVitamin DVitamin EVitamin K
Persona33%NA 192%NA%145%417%50%63%15%50%
83%125%131%353%167%1,042% 67%125%180%67%
Thorne292%3,333% 846%588%425%18,750%944%125%1,787%
Pure Encapsulations125%1,042%1,335%612%167%10,417%139%63%223%42%
One A Day78%100%100%100%166%250%93%125%50%21%

New Chapter

The following table compares the percentage of the daily value of each mineral in these products.

Ritual44% 7%
Persona86%50% <1%23%
Nature Made15%343%24%174%125%136%
Garden of Life200%50%35%115%50%
Thorne18%571%43%261%1,000% 136%
Rainbow Light4%100% 13%77%100%100%
Pure Encapsulations15%286%12%43%234%1%68%
One A Day31%71%100%78%100%73%

New Chapter

The Office on Women’s Health (OASH) lists some vitamins and minerals that may benefit women’s health. These include:

Folic acid

Doctors may recommend taking 400–800 mcg of folic acid per day if a person is pregnant or planning to have children. This is available as a dietary supplement and in various food sources, such as liver, black-eyed peas, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts.

Folic acid helps prevent premature births and congenital anomalies.

Learn more about folic acid.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps strengthen the immune system to manage illnesses. It also helps the body to absorb calcium, keep the bones strong, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

People who may need it include those who have:

Learn more about vitamin D here.

Vitamin B12

This vitamin helps the body produce healthy red blood cells.

According to the NIH, vegetarians, older adults, and people with celiac or Crohn’s disease may be at risk of developing a B12 deficiency.

Foods that contain this vitamin include beef liver, clams, and tuna, among others.

Learn more about vitamin B12 here.


Those who are pregnant or have heavy periods may find iron supplementation useful. This is because blood production increases significantly during pregnancy, and blood loss from heavy periods can lead to iron deficiency anemia.

Other people who may need iron supplements include:

A person can get iron from meat and seafood, lentils, spinach, and tofu, among a wide variety of other foods.

Learn more about iron here.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that folate benefits people of reproductive age and that they need 400 mcg of folic acid each day in addition to dietary folic acid. Folic acid helps prevent major birth abnormalities affecting the infant’s brain or spine.

The NIH says that adults ages 19–50 need at least 1,000 mg of calcium per day to help keep bones and teeth strong. Females over the age of 50 should have 1,200 mg.

Potassium helps promote basic cell functioning. The NIH states that adult females need at least 2,600 mg of potassium daily. This amount may increase during pregnancy.

A person could replace a multivitamin with a specific vitamin they need.

However, the NIH states that individuals may not need to take vitamins, as those who use multivitamins may already get most of their micronutrients from their diet.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025 strongly recommend that people meet their nutritional needs by eating a balanced diet.

This can include consuming:

  • whole grains
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • legumes and beans
  • lean proteins
  • fruits
  • vegetables

However, research from 2019 suggests that some groups of people have a higher risk of vitamin deficiency. These groups include:

  • older adults
  • those who are pregnant
  • individuals with lower incomes
  • people with unbalanced diets
  • young children
  • adolescents

People with a higher risk of vitamin deficiency may wish to consider supplementing their diet with vitamins and minerals or changing their diet to meet their nutritional needs.

A person may also wish to consider speaking with a doctor for advice on what vitamins they may need, how much and how many they should take, and beneficial sources for each vitamin.

Below are some common questions about multivitamins for women.

Do women’s multivitamins really work?

Multivitamins can help fill nutrient gaps in otherwise healthy diets. However, people should aim to meet the bulk of their vitamin and mineral needs through diet.

What vitamins should women take daily?

As a general rule, a person should consider taking vitamin supplements if they do not consume the recommended daily intake from food. A healthcare professional can advise a person on which vitamins they need and may recommend certain brands with the correct amount for each person’s requirements.

When is the best time to take a multivitamin?

There is no scientific evidence on the best time to take a multivitamin. People should follow the instructions on the label of their purchased product.

Can multivitamins help with body pains?

There is very little research to suggest that multivitamins can benefit pain. The Arthritis Foundation notes that vitamins A, C, and E have been studied in relation to arthritis, but no studies indicate whether vitamins can relieve arthritis symptoms.

Do multivitamins have side effects?

Multivitamins are generally safe to take. However, the NIH writes that some people can experience gastrointestinal side effects from taking a multivitamin. Some side effects can develop quickly — and stop when a person stops taking the vitamin — while others can develop more slowly.

For instance, according to the American Cancer Society, vitamin K may reduce the effectiveness of warfarin (a blood thinner), increasing a person’s risk of developing blood clots. The NIH also writes that people who currently or used to smoke should avoid vitamin A and beta carotene, as it may increase their risk of lung cancer. Excess vitamin A during pregnancy can cause congenital disabilities.

A person should always speak with a doctor before taking multivitamins to learn how much of each vitamin and mineral they need and review their options. They should not consume more than the recommended daily intake for each vitamin or mineral and stop using supplements if they experience side effects.

What is the highest-rated women’s multivitamin?

There is not one highest-rated women’s multivitamin. People have different needs and preferences, such as their age and feelings about swallowing pills.

Which multivitamins are most effective?

Again, this varies. People may wish to try one brand for a few months before switching to another to find the best product for their needs.

Are women’s multivitamins good for you?

Research results concerning the health benefits of multivitamins are mixed. A 2018 review notes that studies are limited due to inconsistent definitions of multivitamins, ranging from products with as few as three vitamins to more than 24.

There is some evidence that multivitamins may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer and cardiovascular disease, but more research is necessary.

However, taking too much of certain nutrients is also risky, leading to vitamin toxicity.

What multivitamins do doctors recommend for women?

Doctors may recommend multivitamins if a person is not consuming enough vitamins and minerals. If a person believes their diet is poor in nutrients, they should consider contacting a healthcare professional.

What is the best multivitamin for MTHFR mutation?

When a person has the MTHFR mutation, they have trouble making the protein the body uses to digest folate. The U.S. Public Health Service recommends that persons able to get pregnant consume 400 mcg of folic acid, or folate, each day to prevent birth defects, causing significant concern for persons with the MTHFR mutation.

However, the CDC states that persons with the MTHFR mutation can still process folate. Additionally, the CDC states that folic acid is the only type of folate to prevent neural tube defects. This means the best multivitamin for a person with the MTHFR mutation contains folic acid.

Multivitamins can help fill nutritional deficiencies for some people at different points. For instance, many health authorities suggest that individuals take folic acid supplements to support fetal health during pregnancy.

However, the FDA does not regulate multivitamins, and there is mixed research on their benefits.

A person may wish to consider getting their daily intake of vitamins and minerals directly from their diet if they do not want to take multivitamins. If someone wishes to take multivitamins, they should speak with a doctor first.