Experts advise that premenopausal women look for a few key nutrients in their multivitamins, namely 18 mg of iron and at least 400 mcg of folic acid. Women lose iron each month when they menstruate, and folic acid is recommended for all women of childbearing age to help prevent neural tube defects in babies. One-A-Day Women's contains the recommended amounts of iron and folic acid, in addition to 1,000 IU of vitamin D, 500 mg of calcium and 2,500 IU of vitamin A, with 20 percent as beta-carotene.
One-A-Day Women's is approved in ConsumerLab.com's latest independent tests, and it was one of the only women's multis evaluated that didn't contain more niacin than stated on the label. One-A-Day Women's also performed relatively well in the FDA's test of lead in multivitamins in 2008. Although nearly all multis were shown to contain small traces of lead, some had far less than others; One-A-Day Women's contains 0.513 mcg in a daily serving. The FDA says safe/tolerable exposure for adult women is 75 mcg per day. One-A-Day Women's contains fish ingredients, so vegans and vegetarians may want to consider Nature's Way Alive! Multi-Vitamin Vcap (*Est. $19 for 60 capsules), which doesn't contain gelatin.
ConsumerLab.com is the best source for multivitamin information, including One-A-Day Women's. Full details are available only to subscribers, but it's one of the few sources that evaluates multis. While the FDA also tests One-A-Day Women's, few details are released and the test was for lead only. User reviews at Drugstore.com and Amazon.com help round out the coverage.
1. Consumer Lab
ConsumerLab.com evaluates a number of multivitamins in its latest round of testing. One-A-Day Women's is one of the brands examined.
Review: Multivitamin and Multimineral Supplements Review, Editors of ConsumerLab.com, June 28, 2011
2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Out of 324 multivitamins tested, 320 were found to contain small traces of lead. None was above the safe/tolerable intake levels, and One-A-Day Women's had less than many other multis.
Review: Survey Data on Lead in Women's and Children's Vitamins, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Aug. 2008
3. Women's Health magazine
Women's Health magazine says One-A-Day Women's is the best multivitamin for women. "This classic brand's formulation adheres to the updated DRIs more closely than most other multis," writes Richard Laliberte.
Review: Get the Best Multivitamins, Richard Laliberte, Dec. 15, 2009
One-A-Day Women's gets more than 60 customer reviews on Drugstore.com. Although some like the multivitamin and say it works for them, others say the pill upsets their stomachs or causes other side effects, such as cramping and rash.
Review: One-A-Day Women's Formula Vitamins Formula, Contributors to Drugstore.com, As of Feb. 2012
In about 40 reviews on Amazon.com, users give One-A-Day Women's mixed reviews. Some award it a perfect 5 stars, but others say the multi causes nausea or stomach upset, especially if they don't take it with a large meal.
Review: One-A-Day Women's Multivitamin, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of Feb. 2012
In two dozen reviews, users of One-A-Day Women's generally say they're satisfied with the multi. Some wish the pill were smaller and easier to swallow.
Review: One-A-Day Womens Formula Vitamins, Contributors to Epinions.com, As of Feb. 2012