What’s the best multivitamin for women over 50?
With so many varieties of supplements marketed towards women over 50 years old, it can get a little overwhelming.
Despite recommendations for a healthy diet, many do not get all of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of the vitamins and minerals from food alone.
So, how can you choose the best multivitamin for your needs?
As you age, there are specific nutrients you require more of, such as vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium (1).
Adding in a multivitamin can help to supplement what you might be missing from your food.
Although it should not be used as an alternative to choosing a balanced diet.
A healthy diet should be the first step in obtaining all your nutrient needs.
Supplements are simply an option to help bridge nutritional gaps.
A balanced diet is rich in a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, lean meats, and dairy.
For women over the age of 50, hormonal changes also play a role in nutrient needs.
For those struggling to get enough vitamins, vitamin supplements may help with overall health.
You may also consider consulting a Registered Dietitian for more personalized nutrient recommendations.
Let’s take a look at some of the best vitamins and minerals for women’s health after 50.
Why People Over 50 Have Different Nutrient Needs
One of the biggest changes that occur in women after 50 is menopause.
During menopause, estrogen levels decrease.
Estrogen is considered a cardioprotective hormone.
This is because it helps to keep blood vessels relaxed and open, keeping cholesterol and blood pressure levels in a good range.
Decreased levels can increase the risk for heart disease and stroke as a result of a buildup of cholesterol.
Staying active and eating a balanced diet rich in fiber is essential for women after 50 to keep their risk low.
Estrogen also helps to keep bones strong.
Decreased estrogen levels can result in bone loss which can increase the risk for osteoporosis and fractures.
Because of this, women over 50 require higher amounts of calcium to keep their bones strong (1).
Common symptoms of menopause include:
- Lack of menstrual cycle
- Irregular heartbeat
- Night sweats
- Hot flashes
- Sleep Disturbance
It’s common for women to gain weight after 50 as a result of menopause and other factors.
This weight gain can increase your risk for elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and more.
Women on average will gain about 5 pounds after going through menopause.
Although it’s common due to fluctuations in hormones, menopause does not specifically result in weight gain alone.
Other factors play a role, such as age, lifestyle, and genetics.
This weight gain is often around the midsection, hips, and thighs.
This weight gain can increase the risk for breathing problems, hypertension, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Weight gain can also be a result of moving less, a common change as we get older (1).
As we get older, muscle loss is inevitable.
Unfortunately, will decreased muscle mass comes a slower metabolism.
This can also result in weight gain over time.
It’s also common to move less as we age.
The less we move, the more we are burning.
If we do not adjust our diet for these changes, it can result in weight gain.
A balanced diet and regular exercise are crucial during this age to maintain optimum health and longevity (1).
What Do Women Over 50 Need in a Multivitamin?
When choosing a multivitamin for women over 50, always be sure to choose a supplement that states that population.
Supplements for mature women vary in their nutrient content from standard supplements.
This is because women over 50 have different nutrient needs.
Choose a daily multivitamin that has higher doses of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D.
This can help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and keep bones strong as we age.
Let’s take a deeper look at some of the important nutrients to consider.
Low levels of vitamin D can result in an increased risk for osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
They can also tighten the risk for hypertension and even cancer.
Older adults are at increased risk of being deficient in vitamin D.
This is because the skin is not able to synthesize this vitamin from the sun as well as it did.
It’s also common to not spend as much time outdoors as we get older.
Women over the age of 50 should look for a vitamin D supplement that contains at least 400IU vitamin D3 (15 micrograms)
You can also get vitamin D from some dietary sources, such as fatty fish, fortified dairy, and fortified cereals.
However, it is more difficult for our body to obtain adequate vitamin D this way (2).
For these reasons, the BetterYou Dlux Vitamin D spray takes the top spot in our list of vital vitamin supplements.
As mentioned earlier, calcium is another important nutrient for women over 50.
At this age, needs increase from 1000mg a day to a recommended 1200mg a day for women.
Calcium is essential for our teeth and bones and is often decreased with lower levels of estrogen during menopause.
Failure to get enough calcium can result in bone loss and an increased risk of fractures.
You can also get calcium from foods such as dairy, tofu, dark leafy vegetables, sardines, and calcium-fortified foods (2).
Magnesium is another important nutrient in bones and teeth.
Because women over 50 are at increased risk for bone loss and fractures, this nutrient is increased.
Age also decreases the absorption of this nutrient, making older adults more at risk for deficiency.
Magnesium deficiency can result in fatigue, muscle spasms, stiffness, and weakness.
Women should look for supplements that contain at least 320mg of magnesium.
You can also find this nutrient in foods such as green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds (2).
B12 deficiency is common among older adults.
As we age, our ability to absorb vitamin B12 declines.
A deficiency in B12 can result in some severe conditions. Those include pernicious anemia and neurological disturbance (3).
Signs and symptoms of B12 deficiency are hard to diagnose.
Our body stores Vitamin B12 therefore deficiency takes many years to develop.
Women over 50 should look for supplements that contain at least 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12.
You can also find this nutrient in animal products such as meat, fish, poultry, and eggs (2).
Vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient that plays many different roles in the body.
They are essential to immune function, blood cell formation, and blood sugar balance.
After the age of 50, women are recommended to consume at least 1.5mg of vitamin B6 daily, an increase from the previous recommendation of 1.3mg.
B6 is most commonly listed on supplements as Pyridoxine.
Although deficiency of vitamin B6 is uncommon in the United States, certain populations are at a higher risk.
Those with kidney disease, autoimmune disorders, and alcohol dependence are amongst those.
Vitamin B6 can be found in many food sources such as beef, fish, liver and potatoes, and some other starchy vegetables (4).
Along with choosing a multivitamin, probiotics should be considered after 50 for optimal health as well.
As women age, common complaints include digestive struggles. Constipation particularly is common as we decrease movement, along with a weakened immune system.
Probiotics are essential for gut health and function as well as immune support.
When choosing a probiotic, look for ones that contain “live bacteria.”
Choose ones that contain colony forming units (CFU) in the billions to ensure adequate benefits.
You can also get probiotics from foods sources such as fermented dairy products, miso, kimchi, sour kraut, and more.
What to Leave Out in Vitamins
Although many nutrient requirements are increased for women after 50, there is one that is not.
Iron needs are higher when women are younger, due to their monthly period.
After menopause, these needs decrease dramatically from 1.8mg to .8 mg.
It’s important to check supplement labels for iron content as it is often higher in standard multivitamins for women.
Excess iron can result in health complications when taken in supplemental form.
Too much iron supplemental iron gets stored in our body.
This storage is most often in places it does not belong which can result in toxic effects (5).
How To Choose the Best Multivitamins for Women Over 50
Once you know what you need in your multivitamin, there are only a few more things to consider, such as form, manufacturer, and expiration date.
Depending on the supplement, it may come in a variety of forms such as powders, capsules, sprays, and tablets.
For those who struggle with taking supplements, this should be a personal choice.
A lot of times form will also affect price points.
Those who are only able to afford a certain form should choose what would work best for them instead of going without.
Always speak with your health care physician before adding in a new dietary supplement.
Always choose your supplements from a reputable source.
You want to make sure the company making your vitamins and minerals know what they are doing and they have your best interest at heart.
Unfortunately, supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
This is unlike medication.
This means their claims do not need to be proven and their product is only looked into if adverse effects are reported.
Look for third-party testing on the bottle, USP, or ConsumerLab labeling.
USP (United States Pharmacopeia) is a non-profit company.
It helps to bridge the gap between labeling and government regulation of dietary supplements.
ConsumerLab is a common 3rd party testing company for supplements.
Be sure to choose supplements that are produced in the United States for best regulation.
The average shelf life of most multivitamins is about 2 years.
Although they do not cause harm when used past their expiration date in most cases. they are less potent.
Always look for the expiration date on the bottle before purchase.
Vitamin and mineral supplements often list their products as “best by” or “use by” instead of expiration.
A Word on Exercise to Support Your Diet
As our bodies age, we often do less physical activity.
This can lead to muscle loss and weight gain.
Adding in resistance training can help to prevent muscle loss, increase range of motion and improve mobility.
It is also a great way to help you feel your best and continue to be more active in the later stages of life.
At least 2 days a week of resistance training that works all the major muscle groups is all you need to reap these benefits.
Don’t forget to also include low-impact exercises, such as walking or biking.
Not only will these get you outside, but they will also help to keep your risk for conditions, such as heart disease and elevated cholesterol in check.
Always speak with your health care physician before adding in exercise.
The Best Multivitamins for Women Over 50 You Can Buy Right Now
Let’s take a look at the 7 best multivitamins for women ages 50 and up you can purchase today off Amazon and other popular sites.
1. Thorne Women’s Multi 50+
- Category: Multivitamin
- Dosage: 6 capsules daily
- Form: Capsules
- Key nutrients: Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D
- Pros: iron-free, highly bioavailable form of nutrients, contains antioxidant lutein for eye and brain health boost.
- Cons: 6 pills daily, a small amount of calcium, high price point.
- Price: $45.00 for a 30-day supply
2. One A Day Women’s 50+ Healthy Advantage Multivitamins
Dosage: 1 tablet a day
Key nutrients: Vitamin D, calcium, and B vitamins for bone health, joint health, eye health, and immunity plus Ginko for memory and concentration
Pros: Inexpensive, allergy-friendly, widely available
Cons: Artificial flavorings and additives
Price: $15.99 for a 100-day supply
3. SmartyPants Women’s Masters 50+ Multivitamin
Dosage: 4 gummies
Key nutrients: Folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, DHA, and antioxidants.
Pros: Iron-free, gummy vitamin is easy to take, taste good
Cons: contains added sugars (6 grams per serving)
Price: $29.93 for a 30-day supply
4. BetterYou Dlux 1000 Vitamin D3 Daily Oral Spray
The best vitamin for women over 50, Vitamin D plays an important role in helping to absorb calcium.
Because it is difficult to obtain from diet alone, it is encouraged for women over 50 to consume a supplement that has at least 400IU.
However, the American National Osteoporosis Society recommends a higher dose closer to 800-1000IU.
Category: Vitamin D supplement
Dosage: 1 spray per day
Key nutrients: Vitamin D3
Pros: tastes good, easy to use, great for those who struggle with swallowing pills, vegan friendly.
Cons: Higher price point than most tablet forms.
Price: $14.34 for 15ml
5. Ritual Essential for Women 50+
Dosage: 2 capsules daily
Key nutrients: Vitamin D3, E, K, Folate, B12, and Magnesium
Pros: Omega-3 fatty acids, traceable ingredients, delayed-release, non-GMO, gluten and allergen-free, 30-day money-back guarantee, free shipping
Cons: Not a complete multivitamin
Price: $35 for a 30-day supply
6. New Chapter One Daily Every Women’s Multivitamin
Dosage: 1 tablet daily
Key nutrients: Most recommended essential nutrients + superfood herbs
Pros: Only 1 tablet daily, budget-friendly, easy absorption, can be taken on an empty stomach holistic, non-GMO, organic, and contains a small amount of iron.
Cons: Herbal blend could cause side effects in some, low in calcium.
Price: $39.20 for a 96-day supply
7. Garden of Life Multivitamin for Women 50 and Over
Category: Multivitamin with Probiotics
Dosage: 4 capsules daily
Key nutrients: Live probiotics and enzymes for digestion, Vitamin A, D, C, E calcium, and Magnesium for breast, bone, digestive, and heart health.
Pros: probiotics included, whole foods raw fruit and veggie blend, gluten-free, vegetarian, non-GMO, free of fillers and artificial ingredients
Cons: 4 capsules per day, digestive enzymes not necessary for all
Price: $57.39 for a 60-day supply
The Button Line on The Best Multivitamins for Women Over 50
Older women require more many nutrients in their daily routine than they did when they were younger women.
In order to ensure you are getting adequate vitamins and minerals to support health through menopause and older age, supplements may be in order.
It’s important to look for certain nutrients when searching for a high-quality multivitamin, such as vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, B6, and B12.
It’s also important to consider one that is lower in iron and 3rd party tested, preferably in the United States.
Along with a daily multivitamin, a healthy diet and exercise routine are essential.
If you aren’t sure what nutrients may be right for you, consider speaking with a Dietitian for personalized needs.
Always speak to your health care physician before adding any dietary supplements to your routine.
- Menopause and Your Health | Office on Women’s Health. https://www.womenshealth.gov/menopause/menopause-and-your-health.
- “Vitamins and Minerals for Older Adults.” National Institute on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/vitamins-and-minerals-older-adults.
- Stover, Patrick J. “Vitamin B12 and older adults.” Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care vol. 13,1 (2010): 24-7. doi:10.1097/MCO.0b013e328333d157
- “Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin B6.” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-HealthProfessional/.
- “Iron Supplementation Typically Not Recommended for Postmenopausal Women.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/iron-supplementation-typically-not-recommended-for-postmenopausal-women/.