The vegan diet has become infamous for lacking certain nutrients. Although research has shown that it is possible to maintain a healthy intake of nutrients with a vegan diet, many people still prefer using supplements to prevent any potential deficiencies.
However, choosing the right supplements can be tricky. Not only are there countless options available, but many also contain animal ingredients.
While only a doctor can tell what nutrients you really need, I can help you get a general idea about it, as well as avoid products with sneaky animal ingredients. Keep reading to know my choices for the best vegan supplement brands.
Are Supplements Not Vegan-Friendly?
A research report issued by a leading vegan supplement brand, in collaboration with a couple of animal protection and welfare organizations, revealed that 50% of the supplements on the market contain at least one animal ingredient.
This doesn’t just create unnecessary trouble for vegans but also contributes massively to animal cruelty.
According to the same report, a whopping 18 billion cows, pigs, and sheep and over 24 billion fish are killed each year to make supplements.
What Animal Ingredients Do Supplements Have?
An analysis of the data from the US National Institutes of Health Dietary Supplement Label Database of over 79,000 supplements reveals five supplement ingredients commonly derived from animals. These are:
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- Vitamin D
- Bee Pollen/ Propolis
- Magnesium Stearate
These may be the most common animal ingredients found in supplements, but these aren’t the only ones. There are several more animal components or byproducts that often make their way into various supplements, and you should look out for them. These include:
- Bone Meal
- Caprylic Acid
- Animal Hyaluronic Acid
- Estrogen/ Estradiol/ Estrone
- Cod-Liver Oil/Fish Liver Oil
- Marine Oil
- Glutamic Acid
- Linoleic Acid
Phew! That’s quite a long list.
What Supplements Do Vegans Need?
As mentioned earlier, only a doctor can tell what exact nutrients you may need, considering your diet, lifestyle, health, and requirements. However, to give you a rough idea of what you may need, here are the supplements suggested for vegans:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
- Omega-3s, particularly the long-chain ones
- Vitamin K-2
Best Vegan Supplement Brands
Now that we’ve covered all the basics, let’s talk about the brands that make supplements without animal ingredients that vegans can use:
1. Future Kind (LINK)
If you’re to define Future Kind’s supplements in only three words, those would be Vegan, Clean, and Sustainable.
A more detailed introduction of Future Kind would be a 100% vegan brand that makes a variety of different types of supplements using clean, plant-based ingredients.
In addition to helping vegans avoid nutrient deficiencies and improve their health, Future Kind is also dedicated to protecting animals and the planet. The supplements are packaged in recyclable bottles, and a portion of the profit goes to an animal sanctuary.
The company is owned by two brothers who themselves are vegan, so you can trust them not to be making false claims.
The company makes an array of vegan supplements, including a multivitamin with the ‘essential’ vitamins for vegans, i.e., Vitamin B12 and D3 and Omega-3, iron + Vitamin C supplement, collagen boosting supplement, protein powders, and nail and hair gummies.
All Future Kind vegan supplements are also free of carrageenan, an additive that can cause digestive issues and trigger inflammation in some people. Moreover, they come with a 60-day money-back guarantee. What more do you want?
Order your desired vegan supplements from Future Kind to start your wellness journey without compromising your ideological commitment.
2. Abundant Earth Labs (LINK)
Abundant Earth Labs may not be a top choice for many considering they offer only one product. But I won’t be surprised if your opinion changes after learning that the one product they offer is an all-natural supplement made with 32 organic vegetables and fruits. Mine did, too.
In addition to essential vitamins, it contains turmeric, digestive enzymes, probiotics, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and a mushroom blend, all extracted from plant sources. Moreover (and why Abundant Earth Labs appears on my list despite a strictly limited product line), the supplements contain methylcobalamin.
For the uninitiated, methylcobalamin is a form of vitamin B12 known for its superior bioavailability. Abundant Earth supplements are one of the very few vegan multivitamins that contain methylcobalamin.
In simple words, Abundant Earth’s vegan supplements have all the nutrients you may need while following a vegan diet in the best possible quality. It’s vegan, organic, and non-GMO.
3. Garden of Life (LINK)
Garden of Life is one of the most well-known supplement brands. It’s not just vegan but also certified organic, cruelty-free, gluten-free, Kosher, non-GMO, and carbon neutral. In other words, it’s good for you and the environment, too.
Another factor that makes this brand stand out in the overcrowded supplement industry is it doesn’t use any synthetic ingredients in its products. It uses ‘real food.’ Furthermore, it caters to a range of lifestyles and offers specialized products for different health concerns as well.
Garden of Life’s vegan range also includes quite a wide variety of products, ranging from the usual vitamins and minerals to meal replacements and protein powders, protein bars, fiber powders, and sleep support supplements.
They also have vegan iron capsules, prenatal vitamins, multivitamins, and probiotics for kids.
4. Deva (LINK)
Deva is all-vegan. But it’s different from all other brands on our list in that it’s not a manufacturer of supplements. Deva is another distributor. The company sources supplements from various FDA-regulated and GMP-certified facilities for those following a plant-based diet.
The primary factor that helped Deva gain the reputation that it has is its extensive product line. There is a huge variety of supplements divided into the following major categories:
- Vitamins & Minerals
- Dietary Supplements
- EFAs & Oils
In terms of benefits and health concerns DEVA supplements can help address, the product range includes pills for bone strength, digestive and colon health, weight management, prenatal health, antioxidants, and vegan hair, nails, & skin supplements.
5. Solgar (LINK)
Experience, quality, variety, and reputation are the key factors consumers consider when deciding between different brands. Solgar not just meets all these conditions, but fulfills them like no other brand could (I am not exaggerating). Here’s how:
Having been around since 1947, Solgar has 75 years of experience making vegan supplements.
Ever since the very beginning, the company has maintained its own manufacturing facilities with a team of nutrition scientists to create innovative formulas and ensure quality. The brand also asserts that it avoids using artificial ingredients and fillers to its maximum capability.
Lastly, the brand offers over 200 vegan products, providing plant-based versions of virtually every supplement that vegans or vegetarians may ever need. They also cater to several other dietary restrictions that a significantly large number of people follow. All of Solgar’s products are gluten-free, non-GMO, halal, and kosher.
With all these incredible characteristics, it’s no surprise that Solgar enjoys a great reputation not just among vegans but in the whole supplement industry. Another factor that adds to its reputation is that Solgar caters to virtually all age groups and health concerns and interests.
There are supplements for men, women, and even children.
The health issues and interests the brand caters to include:
- General Health
- Immune Support
- Bone & Joint Support
- Energy Support
- Stress Support
- Sleep Support
- Heart Health
- Brain Health
- Digestive Health
- Eye Health
- Fitness & Nutrition
It’s impossible to list all of Solgar’s products. But to give you an idea, here are the different types of products the brand offers:
- Amino Acids & Proteins
- Specialty Supplements
Things to Consider When Taking Supplements
Although supplements are totally safe, it’s important that you learn their protocols and precautions when taking them for the first time. Here are some of the most important things to remember:
- Always consult your doctor to determine what supplements you should take.
- Read the instructions on the labels to know the best time of the day to take them and if you need to take them on an empty stomach or with food.
- Supplements shouldn’t be chewed unless they are in the form of gummies.
- Stick to the recommended daily dose.
- Take the supplements around the same every day.
- Stay consistent. It can take up to two to three months to feel the benefits.
It can be difficult to maintain a healthy supply of certain nutrients on a vegan diet. Therefore, healthcare experts recommend incorporating supplements into the daily routine.
Talk to your doctor about what supplements you need and how long you should take them. Along with that, check out the following video to get some useful tips on how to avoid nutritional deficiencies on a vegan diet…
Need multivitamins, but the ones formulated especially for those with an active lifestyle? Check out my article Best Vegan Multivitamins for Athletes to know your best options.