Inside the Making of Our 50+ Multivitamin
Inside the Making of Our 50+ Multivitamin

Science

Inside the Making of Our 50+ Multivitamin

4 min read

Essential Takeaways

  • If you think about it, more than half of your adult life might be spent after the age of 50. That means it should be a no-brainer to support your health during this crucial stage—so that you can get out and live life the way you want to.
  • We designed our first 50+ multivitamin with this in mind: Essential for Women 50+ was formulated to help fill gaps in your diet after 50, since your nutrient needs change after menopause.

Even with the launch of our first multivitamin, and then our prenatal, we’ve always had our eye on one product in particular—and that’s a postmenopausal multivitamin for women over 50.

Because think about it: “Half of a woman's life (or typically more) is after menopause,” notes Dr. Luke Bucci, our VP of R&D. As our founding scientist, creating a multi to support women through this often unsung life stage was always top of mind. “We noticed that the actual nutrient needs and shortfalls of women over 50 were not always being addressed. We noticed gaps between what was known and what was missing or imbalanced in many products available.”

The result, of course, was Essential for Women 50+—a multivitamin with eight nutrients designed to help fill nutrient gaps of postmenopausal women and support healthy aging from within. Another way of putting it? So many of the women over 50 we’ve spoken to feel more amazing than ever, and we wanted to create something that would help support you as you take life on.

Food first.

Putting your daily nutrition first is the driving force behind how we formulate our multivitamins. In other words, we believe in putting your diet first, and then using our multivitamin to help fill gaps. That’s important for women of all ages. “What a person eats over a lifetime influences health and longevity,” says Dr. Luke. “We always wanted to give women over 50 the same attention as we gave women 18-50 years. Needs change with age, which means that we required a different formula.”

But let’s get into some specifics. “Fact: Nutrient shortfalls affect a considerable number of women over 50,” notes Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi, PhD, RD, and Ritual’s Director of Scientific Affairs. “We carefully assessed the dietary intake of women over 50+, included key nutrients that were most under-consumed and left out nutrients they were typically getting enough or more than enough from their diet.”

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One example is iron. While we recommend that women pre-menopause supplement with iron to support all the blood flow that goes along with regular menstruation (as well as pregnancy), when you stop getting your period, it’s a lot easier to meet your recommended daily iron needs through diet alone. (You can find it in foods like spinach and other leafy greens, meat, seafood, beans, tofu, eggs, and broccoli.)*

“American women over 50 typically consume more than the recommended 8 mg iron from their diet,” says Sharafi. “So removing iron from the formula felt like a non-negotiable.”

Let’s talk about bone health.

Another example that a lot of women over 50 ask about is calcium, and rightfully so: Estrogen helps out a lot with calcium absorption, so when estrogen levels dip throughout menopause, bone health becomes an important focus.

The thing is that supplementing with more calcium isn’t necessarily the solution. “Recent research in postmenopausal women has raised concerns on safety of calcium supplementation and many experts are recommending that people rely on food sources to meet their calcium needs,” adds Sharafi. “So we left calcium out of our Essential for Women 50+, and instead made sure to include helper-nutrients to help support calcium absorption and bone health: vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin K2, and Boron.”*

By the way, we include these calcium-helper nutrients in our other multivitamins. But because bone health is even more of a focus postmenopause, we upped the dosage slightly for magnesium and K2 in particular, since these unsung heroes help play a role in calcium metabolism.*

Re: Bone Health

We have the download on your calcium needs after 50 right here.

Learn more

It’s worth mentioning the physical effects of menopause.

Namely this: While the physical impact of menopause can be tough to weather, it’s also not your multivitamin’s job to improve them. “There’s a big misconception that vitamins and minerals can relieve menopausal symptoms,” says Sharafi. “But the fact is that menopausal effects are hormone-mediated.”

In other words, false promises aren’t part of our formula. “We go with the science,” says Sharafi. “We are not promising to make an impact on menopausal effects with our nutrients. Instead, Essential for Women 50+ is designed for postmenopausal women to help cover their nutrient gaps and help support health from within, such as bone, heart, vision and muscle health.”*

Two capsules a day? That’s right.

When you’re thinking of nutrients worth supplementing after 50, it’s easy to envision an array of different capsules and pills next to your morning coffee. Not so fast: Consolidating the daily dosage of Essential for Women 50+’s eight nutrients into two delayed-release capsules was a non-negotiable for our science team—even if it wasn’t exactly an easy road.*

“Our biggest obstacle was trying to get higher amounts of key nutrients into a daily dose without raising the number of pills to take,” says Dr. Luke. Our solve: Switching to slightly larger capsules, which happen to be the same size as our Essential Prenatal. Bonus points for the no-nausea capsule design, which helps bypass some of the stomach irritation associated with some other vitamins.

All in all, “creating Essential for Women 50+ was a big deal for us,” says Dr. Luke—and that’s been true since the very start of Ritual three years ago. In his words: “Mission accomplished.”

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