What critical vitamins should every woman be taking?

Stacy Wiegman, PharmD
Pharmacy Specialist

There are 13 essential vitamins, but the ones most critical to a woman's health vary depending on her age and her particular circumstances. For example, if you are of childbearing age, even if you're not deliberately trying to get pregnant, your doctor may recommend that you take a supplement containing folic acid, a B vitamin, which can prevent birth defects in your developing fetus even before you know you are pregnant.

During pregnancy, your doctor may recommend prenatal vitamins that contain folic acid, as well as calcium, iron and other nutrients, to meet your body's extra needs and ensure you can nourish your growing fetus.

Throughout life, some women may also need to take supplements of calcium, and vitamin D is important for the absorption of this mineral. These are essential to the building and maintenance of strong bones, and they serve other vital functions in the body. Because women are more prone to osteoporosis than men, getting enough calcium and vitamin D throughout life can be critical. Other vitamins that are necessary for good health include vitamin A, the other B vitamins, C, E and K. Talk to your doctor about your own nutrient needs and whether you need to take supplements.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

If you’ve ever stood paralyzed in the vitamin aisle, facing the alphabet soup of supplements, fear no more. This is my list of critical vitamins that every woman should be taking. And if you know your ABCs, this list should be easy to remember! 

Helpful Hint: When purchasing your vitamins, check for bottles labeled 100% daily allowance on label.

A Multivitamin. Multivitamins fulfill your nutritional needs for the day.

Take half in the morning and half at night. Multivitamins contain:

  • Vitamin Acritical for healthy vision and skin
  • Vitamin Ba metabolism booster
  • Vitamin Ckeeps your immune system strong, especially important during cold and flu season
  • Vitamin Dpromotes healthy bones (and your immune system)
  • Vitamin Efor healthy development of muscles and brain function

Omega-3s. To keep your brain, heart, and eyes healthy, take omega-3s every day. For women, the daily dose of omega-3s is 1,000 mg; for men, the dosage is 600 mg.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.