There are about a blue million varieties of multivitamins to choose from especially in 2018. You’d think limiting the search to a specific age group would make finding the best multivitamin for women over 50 a little easier, but it really doesn’t.
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, pharmacist, or doctor. This is not medical advice. This content is from my own research and experience. Please consult your nutritionist, pharmacist, and/or doctor before adding multivitamins to your diet or changing multivitamins.
If the sheer number of brands of supplements for women over 50 doesn’t overwhelm you, the decisions among those brands will. Do you want a dissolving tablet, pill capsule or a chew? Do you want added nutrients or not? Do you want herbal or not? Are you looking to take several small vitamins and supplements or do you want one pill that packs a punch? Do you really want age specific formulations or is just a general multi-vitamin ok?
Ok, so what do I look for?
According to Prevention, you should look for a multivitamin for women that has about 100% of the Daily Value of most of the essential vitamins and minerals. These include but are not limited to Iron, Vitamin D, and Calcium knowing that it likely won’t have 100% of the requested daily value of calcium--because it’s more than can be packed into one little multivitamin. Other essential minerals to look for are Zinc, Vitamin B, and Magnesium. You also want to be sure that the vitamin doesn’t contain MORE than the recommended daily dose of Vitamin A because taking too much of that could cause bone fractures in postmenopausal women.
Really, the best advice is to stick to the basics. James Dillard, MD, who is a professor at Columbia University (and was quoted in the Prevention article) said that your multivitamin doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles. Same for purchasing a slow-release multivitamin--they tend to cost more, but don’t add a lot of added benefit.
Most people do like to take something with all-natural ingredients, but it’s a personal choice. Dillard does caution against purchasing multivitamins that contain herbs because they aren't’ real nutrients, research on them is minimal and they typically are to be taken for very specific effects in the body.
When searching for the best multivitamin for women over 50, you don’t really have to look for a women’s multivitamin without iron, as you might think. Most older people don’t need to watch the iron content of their multivitamin that closely. Some people think that supplemental iron (found in multivitamins rather than food you consume regularly) might be a heart disease risk factor...but the evidence is mixed. The amount of iron you get in a standard multivitamin (around 18mg) is likely safe for most people--unless you know you have some sort of iron overload.
Do I need to be more specific than that?
The Prevention article above says that a basic multivitamin is all you really need unless you fall into a group with special vitamin/mineral requirements (like if you were trying to get pregnant, you’d take a prenatal vitamin). Men and women over 50, which is likely why you’re here reading this post, DO benefit from a “seniors” formula that packs extra Vitamin D, vitamin B12 and calcium. So a multivitamin for women over 50 would be what you’d want to look for specifically.
Research shows though, that you don’t really need to take something with added lycopene and lutein (which may help lower the risk of chronic diseases) because the doses in a multivitamin are so small, it wouldn’t do enough to be worth the extra cost.
What do you suggest?
While it is important to consult with your primary care physician about what you need (say the best multivitamin for menopause), we have provided a list below that, we believe, includes the best multivitamin for women over 50 (all of these would also classify as the best multivitamin for women over 60 because there isn’t much differentiation between the two--both are classified as “senior” formulas). None of the multivitamins listed below are of the gummy variety.
There is one great multivitamin not on this list that I would like to recommend as well. That's the Non GMO Womens Vitamin from Invite Health. The only reason I didn't add it to the list is because its more of an overall womens' health vitamin, not necessarily for women over fifty years old. But I think you should check it out anyway, they have a buy 2 boxes get one free deal:
Here are the Best Multivitamins for Women over 50:
Number of Tablets
Support heart health, healthy blood pressure and eye health
Support healthy heart, eyes and bones
Support Bone Health, Eye Health, Urinary Healthy, Energy
Supports heart, brain and eye health
Stress Support, Bone Support, Immune Support and Energy Support
Toasts itself as “the most complete once daily multivitamin for women 50+.” It specifically lists urinary health and energy as benefits in addition to bone and eye health.It contains 60mgs of fruits and vegetables in a blend of powder/extract/dried juice made into the multivitamin and is made with 26 fruits and vegetables, 22 vitamins and minerals, 14 green foods, 12 types of organic mushrooms, and 12 digestive enzymes.
The pill is oval shaped, has a smooth coating so is fairly easy to swallow and requires only one capsule per day.
This multivitamin is specifically designed for women who are 50 or over and supports heart, brain, eye and bone health.
It is boasted as “the most complete multivitamin” with the highest levels of Vitamin D3 (the preferred source of vitamin D) It’s verified non-GMO and Gluten Free.
You take just one tablet daily with food and it works best if you are also consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
This is a no-sugar added, gluten free 40+ women’s multivitamin that is fermented with beneficial probiotics and whole foods. You just take one per day and it’s gentle enough to take any time of day, even without food. This multi also offers bone, hormone, digestion and stress support.
Note, this is a non-iron variety multivitamin but it does have adaptogens that support brain health and overall body organ and nervous system function balance.
This is a multivitamin and multimineral supplement with no added sugar, yeast or artificial flavors. It is not recommended that you take this particular supplement if you are already taking some other source of Vitamin A (a supplement or multi), but if you aren’t, you can just take one of these per day with food--doesn’t matter which meal.
Also important to note that this multivitamin comes in a the form of a sizable, swallowable pill capsule.
This multivitamin contains ginkgo to promote memory and concentration as well as more vitamin D than some other brands and does not contain iron, but is fairly large in size (about as long a quarter is wide...some would call them “horse pills”).
If you’re looking for the best multivitamin for women over 50, there are lots of options available. The key, we believe, is just to be sure you are taking a multivitamin of some kind, even if you eat a healthy and balanced diet (and especially if you do not). Don’t use “vitamins make me sick” as an excuse not to take them. If you get nauseous taking a multivitamin, try taking it at night before you go to bed. Sometimes that helps because even if you do get nauseous, you’ll be sleeping through the discomfort.
Again, before deciding to take a multivitamin, just check with your primary care physician to ensure what you want to take won’t have any adverse reactions with any medications or dietary restrictions you may be on.