Garden of Life Vitamin Code Women's Multivitamin Review

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Garden of Life Vitamin Code Review
Bottom Line

Garden of Life Vitamin Code for Women is targeted to the specific nutrient needs of premenopausal women, with 800 mcg of folate for protection against birth defects, as well as nutrients targeted at breast and bone health. It's a bit low on iron and calcium; although though most women get plenty of iron and calcium from food, experts say, you may need to up those two supplements if you have specifically been diagnosed as low in one or the other. It is formulated to be very easy to digest, and includes a probiotic. It's vegetarian, dairy free and gluten-free, but not vegan.

ProsMild taste and smell, Contains a probiotic, Vegetarian, Can be removed from capsule to sprinkle on foodConsServing size is 4 capsules per day, May be easy to forget second daily dose

Breaking it down

Key ingredients

Probiotics for digestive health. Garden of Life Vitamin Code for Women is one of the few multivitamins we reviewed that includes a probiotic in addition to the standard array of vitamins and nutrients common to women's multivitamins. Most important for premenopausal women who are still fertile, it contains the 800 mcg of folate, which is higher than the RDA's of 400 mcg for females from age 14 to menopause, 600 mcg for pregnant women, and 500 mcg for breastfeeding women, but it's well within safe upper limits. It's a bit on the low side for both iron and calcium; only 8 mg of iron and 21 mg of calcium. Current recommendations for iron are 18 mg for pre-menopausal women, 8 for post-menopausal women (because women who are still menstruating lose more iron each month). Recommendations for calcium are 1,000 mg. However, these lower values might not be drawbacks for everyone. Experts say that women who have a normal diet and normal (as opposed to heavy) menstrual periods probably do not need the full supplementation of iron; while the role of calcium supplementation has come under some scrutiny -- and debate -- of late. Experts agree that most calcium should come from food, but calcium supplementation is considered safe when combined with vitamin D. This multi contains 1,000 IU of vitamin D. It contains no soy, a plus for those who are sensitive to soy or follow diets that discourage soy, such as Paleo. Vitamin Code for women is certified by a professional testing organization for accuracy in labeling. Instructions say to take four capsules per day, two in the morning, two at night.

Side effects/contraindications

Easily absorbed, few side effects. These multivitamins may be a good choice if you have trouble swallowing pills, as it is one of the very few multivitamins we saw that claim to be specifically formulated for easy digestion (a statement that has not been evaluated by the FDA), including the option of removing the contents from the capsule and sprinkling it on food or into water or raw juices. The ingredients are raw, whole foods, which means they have not been cooked and were organically grown. There are no known side effects with any of the ingredients; even the vitamin A is present as beta-carotene, (which means your body will convert only as much as it needs). The only complaints we saw about this multivitamin is the dosage instructions of two pills twice a day. Some people don't like taking four pills per day; and some say they have trouble remembering to take the second dosage. This also increases the total cost per serving compared to some other multivitamins.

Our Sources

1. LabDoor.com

Garden of Life Vitamin Code For Women, Editors of LabDoor.com, Not Dated

Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Women's Multivitamin is number five overall in the multivitamin category, number one in best multivitamins for women, and number 25 for women in the best value category. It receives an overall score of "A," meaning it meets testing criteria for label accuracy, product purity, nutritional value, ingredient safety and projected efficacy.

2. Amazon.com

Garden of Life Vitamin Code Women's Multi, 120 Capsules, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2016

In nearly 460 customer reviews, Garden of Life Vitamin Code Women's Multivitamin earns an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. Users say that these multis are easy to digest, and they like that it contains a probiotic so they don't have to take a separate supplement. The main downside, reviewers note, is that they have to take four pills per day.

3. iHerb.com

Garden of Life, Vitamin Code, Women, 120 UltraZorbe Veggie Caps, Contributors to iHerb.com, As of March 2016

Garden of Life Vitamin Code for Women earns an overall rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 in more than 100 reviews at online vitamin retailer iHerb.com. Quite a few reviewers say they chose it because it does not contain any soy. The one downside we see is the four pill per day/twice per day; a few say they have trouble remembering to take that second dose.

4. Vitacost.com

Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW Women -- 120 Vegetarian Capsules, Contributors to VitaCost.com, As of March 2016

More than 40 reviewers give Garden of Life Vitamin Code for Women an overall rating of 4.7 stars out of 5, with most saying they feel like it's a very high quality vitamin. Again, the addition of a probiotic gets raves, and many note that the raw, whole food ingredients are an important factor in choosing this multi.