Nutrient needs change throughout a woman’s lifetime.
Women between the ages of 15 and 49 have higher needs for iron due to menstruation, while women aged 50 and over need less iron but more of certain nutrients, including vitamin B6 and calcium (1, 2, 3).
Although it’s possible to meet most nutrient needs through your diet, it may be difficult for women over 50 to get all of their necessary nutrients through food.
For example, many older adults’ ability to absorb B12 from food declines due to lower stomach acid secretion, thereby raising the risk of severe vitamin B12 deficiency. As such, adults over the age of 50 are encouraged to supplement with vitamin B12 (
For women over 50, a multivitamin may be necessary to meet the intake recommendations for vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients. Notably, many excellent multivitamins are made specifically for women in this age bracket.
Healthline used the following criteria to rank the best of these multivitamins:
- strict standards regarding quality and purity from the manufacturer
- the bioavailability of nutrients
- no unnecessary ingredients like fillers, artificial sweeteners, or colors
- trusted by healthcare professionals, including doctors and dietitians
Here are the 7 best multivitamins for women over 50.
A note on price
General price ranges with dollar signs ($ to $$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher price.
- $ = under $1.25 per serving
- $$ = $1.25–$2.00 per serving
- $$$ = over $2.00 per serving
Thorne Women’s Multi 50+ is a balanced multivitamin that’s an excellent choice for women over 50 who need an extra nutrient boost.
This supplement is iron-free and contains highly absorbable forms of important nutrients for women, including magnesium, vitamins B12, B6, and D, and a small amount of calcium.
It also provides lutein, a carotenoid antioxidant that supports brain and eye function. Studies show that older adults who have higher lutein levels perform better on cognitive tasks than those who have lower levels (
Thorne follows current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs), which are standards set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure supplement quality.
The company has also obtained an “A” rating from the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA), a regulatory agency run by the Australian Department of Health.
Best with green tea extract
MegaFood Multi for Women 55+ is formulated to support the health of women above age 55.
It’s free of iron and contains absorbable forms of methylated folate, vitamins B12 and D, and several other vitamins and minerals.
MegaFood supplements are doctor-formulated, vegan, and certified gluten-free. The company follows cGMP guidelines and tests its products for over 125 pesticides and herbicides.
Best with black cohosh
Garden of Life is a popular supplement brand that can usually be found at your local grocery store.
Garden of Life mykind Organics Women 40+ contains a variety of essential nutrients, including folate, magnesium, and vitamins B6, B12, and D3, which may be lacking in the diets of women over 50.
Garden of Life is certified organic, gluten-free, kosher, and vegan.
Pure Encapsulations is a high quality supplement brand that’s trusted by healthcare practitioners worldwide.
This iron-free supplement is a good source of magnesium, folate, and vitamins B6, B12, and D, as well as many other nutrients essential to women’s health as they age.
Pure Encapsulations Longevity Nutrients also contains a variety of other compounds, including lutein, lycopene, zeaxanthin, green tea extract, curcumin, red wine concentrate, and ginkgo biloba, which is meant to support your heart, eyes, and brain.
Pure Encapsulations exceeds standards set by United States Pharmacopeia (USP), an organization that sets strict guidelines for the quality and purity of supplements (11).
The company’s products are vegetarian and free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and gluten.
Best with antioxidants
Seeking Health Optimal Multivitamin is an iron-free multivitamin that’s perfect for women over 50.
It contains absorbable forms of vitamin B12, folate, magnesium, and a small amount of calcium, in addition to a concentrated dose of vitamin B6, which many older women may lack (
It’s also packed with compounds that may promote healthy aging, including carotenoid antioxidants, the flavonoid antioxidant quercetin, and N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), a precursor to glutathione, an antioxidant that protects against cellular damage (
Seeking Health is dedicated to providing high quality supplements. The company meets cGMP requirements and provides a certificate of analysis for all of its supplements upon request.
Plus, all Seeking Health supplements are backed by a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Best with trimethylglycine
Designs for Health Complete Multi is a good choice for women over 50 because it’s made without iron and contains nutrients that support women’s health, such as selenium, magnesium, folate, and vitamins B6, B12, and D.
It also boasts trimethylglycine (betaine), a molecule that may help reduce homocysteine when taken in high doses. Homocysteine is an amino acid that may increase your heart disease risk when levels become too high in your body (
Designs for Health products are produced in compliance with cGMP guidelines and adhere to strict quality control standards.
If you prefer gummies to pills, SmartyPants Masters Complete Women 50+ may be a good fit. This gummy supplement is specifically formulated to meet the needs of women over 50.
This gummy is iron-free and provides a variety of nutrients, such as folate and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, and D. It also contains a small amount of the essential omega-3 fats docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), as well as lutein and zeaxanthin.
Like most gummy vitamins, this product contains a fair amount of added sugar, with just 4 gummies packing 6 grams (1.5 teaspoons).
For optimal health, it’s best to keep added sugar intake to a minimum. To prevent cavities, be sure to rinse your mouth after taking any sweetened gummy vitamin.
When searching for a multivitamin, it’s important to consider your specific health needs.
Just because multivitamins often contain most of your necessary vitamins and minerals doesn’t mean that they contain the amounts you need.
For example, women over the age of 50 are more likely to be deficient in vitamins B6, B12, and D. Even though a supplement may provide a good amount of a nutrient, you may need more to meet your overall needs.
For example, some of the supplements on this list don’t provide 100% of the recommended intake for vitamin D for women over 50, which is 600 IU for women ages 50–69 and 800 IU for women 70 and over (14).
Women who have suboptimal vitamin D levels or are deficient in this nutrient may need much higher doses to reach and maintain optimal levels. Women over the age of 50 should have their vitamin D levels tested to determine an appropriate, effective dose.
Likewise, women who are deficient in vitamin B12 may require high-dose vitamin B12 injections to reach optimal levels (
Moreover, although some women over 50 may need to supplement with calcium, such as those who don’t eat enough foods containing this mineral, calcium supplements aren’t right for all women.
Some research suggests that calcium supplements may increase your risk of heart disease, as excess calcium may damage the heart and vascular system. However, calcium from foods doesn’t raise this risk (
For this reason, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider before taking high-dose calcium supplements. Focus on fulfilling your calcium needs by eating calcium-rich foods like sardines, low fat yogurt, nuts, cheese, and dark leafy greens.
When shopping for a supplement, always choose high quality products from trusted brands, such as the ones listed above.
In addition to supplementing to fill nutrient gaps, following a balanced, nutrient-dense diet, getting enough physical activity, managing underlying health conditions, reducing stress, and getting plenty of rest are all essential for your overall health and well-being.
As women age, their nutrient needs change. A woman’s ability to absorb certain nutrients may decline, and her risk of deficiency in several nutrients, such as vitamins B6, B12, and D, increases.
To choose the right multivitamin, it’s important to understand your specific needs so that you can choose one that provides the right amount and forms of vitamins, minerals, and other compounds to promote optimal health.
If you have questions about multivitamins, ask a knowledgeable healthcare provider like a registered dietitian for advice.