Are you searching for a vegan multivitamin because you’re too busy (or have a hard time) preparing plant-based meals that cover your nutritional needs?
Sometimes it can be hard to maintain a consistent focus in our diet, especially when we’re the ones preparing and cooking the meals.
Lazy days are far too common, and sometimes including ingredients that cover all the nutritional bases can be quite difficult. That’s why a multivitamin is important. Multivitamins help you hit your daily nutritional targets more easily, preventing you from running into nutrient deficiencies.
Without further ado, let’s jump into our list of the best vegan multivitamins!
Things To Know Before Buying Vegan Multivitamins
Usually, the factor that determines whether a supplement is vegan or not is the type of capsules (or tablets) used to contain the powder.
There are two types of empty capsules: conventional gelatin caps, and their vegetarian counterparts. The gelatin caps are created by using collagen, which is obtained from the connective tissue, as well as certain organs of animals.
Vegan capsules are formed using vegetable cellulose. The cellulose of choice is usually Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, which is extracted from the bark of pine and spruce trees.
When it comes to vitamins and minerals, you have to be wary about their consumption. While being vitamin and mineral deficient is bad, being overloaded can be equally dangerous.
As a result, entities like the National Institutes of Health recommend you to first visit a healthcare provider to determine whether or not you should take a multivitamin.
In addition, if you are to consider taking a multivitamin, purchase one in which the vitamin and mineral content per serving does not surpass the daily recommended amount.
Value for money
Because the supplement industry is known for its fraudulent behavior, you never know for sure if the information on the label is 100% correct.
That’s why it’s important to stick with brands that are reputable, even if that implies paying a little bit more than the cheapest option available unless that option is from a reputable brand.
Reputation among customers
In order to determine whether a multivitamin is actually legitimate, we dive deep into the reviews of customers and determine the credibility based on the people’s response to the company and its product.
If we ever feel like there’s something shady about a company, we immediately vet it out and never mention it on this website.
The Best Vegan Multivitamins Reviewed
Performance Lab – Multivitamin For Men (Best Choice)
Performance Lab is a highly reputable company that is quite transparent about the ingredients and dosages they use on their products.
Unlike the cheaper multivitamins, Performance Lab uses Nutrigenesis, an ultra-modern technology that enhances both vitamins and minerals, increasing absorption rate and overall benefits.
They add in natural cofactors such as probiotics, fiber, enzymes and antioxidants that naturally enhance the bioavailability of each vitamin and mineral. Plus, it’s not uncommon to swallow a pill and feel a slight digestive discomfort.
With this multivitamin, the chances of that happening are extremely low. Performance Lab made sure to include prebiotic-infused NutriCaps that will enable you to effectively digest the content.
They provide 100% (or more) of the essential vitamins and minerals that men require in a vegan diet, which includes over 17+ vitamins and minerals.
Plus, if you want a supplement that has zero impact on the environment and is 100% clean, this multivitamin by Performance Lab is additive-free, and is engineered in an environment where no pesticides or herbicides are used, which would lead to unfortunate environmental consequences.
Performance Lab – Multivitamin For Women (Best Choice)
Also produced by Performance Lab, this multivitamin was conceptualized and developed with a woman’s nutritional needs in mind, by helping restore that may be missing from your diet.
Akin to the previous multivitamin, this one is also engineered using technology that enhances the absorption of each vitamin and mineral, while at the same time facilitating digestion.
The main difference between both supplements is the quantity of nutrients inside each vitamin and mineral to adapt to women or men’s needs.
This multivitamin, for example, contains a higher quantity of iron, a nutrient that is scientifically-proven to be distinct for men and women. If you look closely, the men’s multivitamin contains 2mg per serving, while the women’s multivitamin contains 8mg per serving.
This further shows Performance Lab’s attentive nature, and how they understand that men and women don’t share the same nutritional needs.
These are hands down the best multivitamins for both men and women, and are certainly our favorites.
Deva – Vegan Multivitamin (Recommended for Men)
This multivitamin by Deva is not only the cheapest multivitamin on the market, but it’s also very specific for men.
Health entities suggest that you buy multivitamins where the vitamin and mineral content sticks to the daily recommended amount.
Unfortunately, for adult men, the iron content in most multivitamins tends to be 18mg, which is much higher than the stipulated daily value. However, this multivitamin has 9mg of iron— which is the daily recommended amount for adult men. This prevents you from taking iron in excess.
However, I also have to mention that the supplement contains forms of vitamin that are not so well-absorbed by the body. Calcium carbonate, for instance, is badly absorbed. In addition, magnesium oxide (also within the vitamin) is also badly absorbed.
Because a plant-based diet is not exactly rich in calcium, having a multivitamin with a well-absorbed source of calcium is definitely better.
This being said, if you actually follow a legitimate plant-based diet and eat your dark leafy greens, calcium carbonate won’t really make that much of a difference. However, if you’re looking for a multivitamin because you often ignore calcium-rich foods, then this is not the one.
Supplements Studio – Vegan Multivitamin (Recommended for Women)
The Supplements Studio Multivitamin for women is a tad more expensive than the previous multivitamin, but it’s also made from whole foods like organic fruits and vegetables.
This formula is free from artificial ingredients, colorings, and flavorings, and also comes with 200mg of flaxseed to provide with a healthy dose of Omega 3’s and 6’s, as well as a probiotic blend and enzyme complex that helps maintain your digestive system.
On top of that, it also contains a citrus, mushroom, and herb blend that helps boost your immune system. Everything through natural ingredients.
This supplement is better suited for women because it contains the exact daily recommended amount of iron women require on a daily basis.
Overall, the supplement does a good job of sticking to 100% of the daily requirements, without exaggerating on the dosages.
Amazon Elements – Vegan Multivitamin (Recommended for Men)
The Amazon Elements multivitamin contains a 2-month supply, which brings the cost to about 38 cents per pill, which is cheap for a multivitamin made from whole foods.
Plus, the quality of the ingredients is superior, which allows your body to better absorb the vitamins and minerals. For example, the calcium content, although very low, is sourced from marine algae, an ingredient with a better absorption rate than calcium carbonate.
This multivitamin is also free from artificial ingredients, colorings, and flavorings.
In addition, since men only require 8mg of iron per day, the supplement is also free from iron.
This may seem counterintuitive, but a plant-based diet is usually rich in iron due to the different legumes, beans, and fortified ingredients, making it very easy to obtain it.
Because men have a lower RDA for iron, there is really no need to supplement iron unless advised by a doctor. That reason alone makes this multivitamin ideal for men.
Plant Vital – Vegan Multivitamin (Recommended for Women)
This whole food multivitamin contains 56 non-GMO superfoods, fruits, veggies, mushrooms, probiotics, and even blends that help your digestive system.
What sets this multivitamin apart from cheaper variations is (1) the almost 100% whole food vitamins and minerals that boast of an increased absorption rate, and (2) the lack of stimulants that give you a fake feeling of being energized, eliminating the anxiety often caused by multivitamins.
This multivitamin is also free from artificial ingredients, colorings, flavorings, and it is also free from the major allergens often found in supplements.
It delivers a wide range of beneficial vitamins, minerals, and blends that improve your digestion, immune system, and overall health. This formula also contains an omega blend (flaxseed, sunflower oil, and borage powder), which helps you obtain the required daily omegas.
Because this multivitamin is created by a small family business (they don’t need to respond to anyone else), they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee that protects you in the event you’re not satisfied with the product.
What Is A Multivitamin?
Multivitamins are the most popular dietary supplements in the world.
As the name suggests, these supplements contain many different vitamins and minerals, as well as some additional ingredients. Because there is no established standard on what constitutes a multivitamin, their nutrient composition varies by brand and product.
They also go by many names, including multis, multiples, or simply vitamins.
Multivitamins are also available in many forms, such as capsules, tablets, chewable gummies, powders, and liquids.
Usually, multivitamins are taken once-twice a day, but that also varies depending on the instructions stipulated on the label.
What Do Multivitamins Contain?
There are 13 vitamins and at least 16 minerals that are essential to our health.
Many of which aid enzyme reactions in our body, as well as reproduction, maintenance, growth, and the function of essential bodily functions.
Multivitamins offer vitamins and minerals— but you can also find other ingredients such as herbs, amino acids, and fatty acids, which are essential for human health.
However, there are some things you should keep in mind.
Dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so multivitamins may contain higher or lower levels of some nutrients than labels state.
In fact, some may not even provide some of the listed nutrients. The supplement industry is not the most transparent and credible, so it’s important you get yours from companies that have a positive reputation among buyers.
The vitamins in Multivitamins can be either derived from natural food sources or can be created synthetically in a lab.
What Are The Benefits of Multivitamins on Health?
People take multivitamins for many reasons. As such, I’m going to share some of the scientifically-backed reasons that promote people’s health — by increasing nutrient intake and reducing the risk of certain diseases.
Increasing nutrient intake
Taking a multivitamin increases the nutrient intake and helps you get the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals when you have a hard time meeting the recommended daily amounts from foods alone.
This is especially useful for people (including vegans) that have a hard time sustaining a well-balanced diet and really miss out on the most essential nutrients.
However, you should also be careful not to get too much of some nutrients, like iron, vitamin A, zinc, niacin, and folic acid.
In some cases, consuming them in excess can be detrimental to your health.
Promoting health and disease prevention
If you suffer from certain health problems, taking a multivitamin may be helpful.
For example, a particular study showed that people taking a high-dose of certain vitamins and minerals slowed vision loss for individuals with age-related macular degeneration.
Some studies also show that taking a multivitamin may be beneficial to reduce the overall risk of cancer, but there are also studies showing that healthy people taking multivitamins do not have a lower risk of getting cancer, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes.
Therefore, there is a lot of mixed research, and that is often due to studies using different products, which makes it difficult to figure out whether a combination of vitamins or minerals actually affects human health. As I’ve mentioned, it’s hard to figure out what’s in multivitamins, because these companies are not regulated by the FDA, so they’re bound to have different compositions.
In addition, people that follow healthier patterns tend to take multivitamins, so that makes it even harder to identify the benefits of multivitamins.
Generally, people with a poor diet can really benefit from a multivitamin. However, a supplement should never substitute a good diet or an overall healthier lifestyle.
Why a Multivitamin Is Especially Useful for Vegans
A whole-foods, plant-based diet has been lauded for its exceptional health benefits, which even the American Dietetic Association has recognized:
However, not everyone follows an appropriately planned vegetarian (or vegan) diet.
Therefore, there are some vegans who may run into deficiencies if they’re not careful about their food choices. It’s also important to recognize that some nutrients can be more easily obtained by just taking a supplement, which is the case of vitamin B12.
Here are some of the nutrients vegans should keep in mind whilst on a vegan diet.
Several studies reveal that while anyone can run into a b12 deficiency, vegetarians and vegans have a higher risk of deficiency.
Without vitamin b12, your body cannot function properly. Vitamin b12 is important for many bodily functions, including protein metabolism, and the formation of red blood cells. It also plays an extremely important role in maintaining your nervous system healthy.
The daily recommended intake of vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg for adults, and some multivitamins come with 4.8 mcg per serving, which is twice the amount you require. However, an excessive intake of vitamin B12, according to scientific research, does not lead to health problems.
Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem, regardless of whether you’re vegan or an omnivore.
And the importance of vitamin D cannot be understated. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps enhance the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from your gut. It also supports other bodily processes such as immune function, mood, memory, and muscle recovery.
The recommended daily allowance is 600 IU (15 mcg), and some multivitamins have 1000 IU per serving, which is 25% more of the current daily amount.
However, evidence suggests that the current recommended daily allowance is wrong, and the requirements are actually far greater than the current RDA.
Long-chain Omega 3s
Omega 3 fatty acids can be divided into two categories:
- Essential omega-3 fatty acids: Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is the only essential omega-3 fatty acid, meaning you can only get it from your diet.
- Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids: These include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and these are not considered essential because your body can produce them from the Alpha-linolenic acid you consume.
These play an important role in maintaining your brain health. They’re also crucial in reducing the risk of inflammation, depression, breast cancer, and even ADHD.
ALA is naturally found in plants such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, and soybeans. But EPA and DHA are only found in animal products like fish and fish oil.
By consuming enough ALA, you should be able to maintain healthy levels of EPA and DHA, however, some studies suggest that the conversion from ALA to EPA/DHA is low, which indicates that vegetarians and vegans have lower blood and tissue concentrations of EPA and DHA.
However, a deep dive into the research also suggests that a tablespoon a day of chia seeds or ground flaxseeds may be enough to help you reach healthy EPA and DHA levels.
Watch the video below to learn more:
All this said, multivitamins usually don’t come with long-chain omega 3s. Some have additional EPA and DHA, but it’s usually derived from fish oil.
Iron is essential to create new DNA and red blood cells, as well as carry oxygen in the blood.
Having too little iron in your system can take you to an anemic state, leaving you feeling fatigued and with decreased immune function.
The RDA for adult men is 8mg and for adult women is 18mg.
Iron is available in two forms: heme iron and non-heme iron. Non-heme iron is available through plants, while heme-iron is available through animal products.
If, as a vegan, you’re not able to reach the RDA, you should strive to eat more iron-rich foods, such as beans, lentils, cruciferous vegetables, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds.
Quite honestly, it’s hard to become iron deficient on a proper plant-based diet, unless you suffer from a condition that exacerbates iron deficiency.
Also, keep in mind that you don’t want to consume too much iron, as it may be dangerous.
Currently, there is an upper limit of 45/day of iron for adults that is based on a level that causes digestive pain, but high-levels of iron are associated with chronic disease.
Some of the vegan multivitamins I have found contain 18mg per serving, which is the daily required amount for an adult woman. So, when choosing a multivitamin, keep this in mind.
Vegans can highly benefit from a calcium supplement because there is a probability some may be too lazy when it comes to preparing dark leafy greens such as turnip greens, kale, bok choy, mustard greens, and collard greens.
In fact, those are the type of ingredients I have the hardest time including in my diet.
However, these are also the plant-based ingredients with the best calcium content, other than the calcium-fortified foods.
And unfortunately for us, there are studies that suggest the bone mineral density (measure for osteoporosis), may be slightly lower in vegans than non-vegans. (see studies 1, 2, 3, 4) These studies might have been done on vegans who didn’t get too much vitamin D and probably did not make a conscious effort to eat more calcium-rich foods.
There are also two other studies on western vegans that measure the fracture rates over time, which found out that vegans had higher rates.
In fact, in one of the studies, vegans eating less than 525 mg of calcium a day had higher fracture rates than vegans eating more than 525 mg. (see studies 1, 2) The vegans in the same high-calcium intake group had the same fracture rates as the meat-eaters and ovolactovegetarians.
In other words, if you’re having a hard time adding calcium-rich foods to your diet, then perhaps it’s a good idea to add in a multivitamin. This being said, the vegan multivitamins I have found typically offer you 100 mg of calcium, so always be mindful of your diet.
Iodine is crucial to keep your thyroid healthy, which is what regulates your metabolism. If you’re an adult and have an iodine deficiency, that can lead to hypothyroidism.
This condition can cause several symptoms, such as low energy levels, dry skin, tingling in your hands and feet, depression, forgetfulness, and even weight gain. (see study)
However, the RDA for adults is 150 mcg per day. which can be obtained by consuming half a teaspoon of iodized salt. However, if you can’t or do not wish to consume or cook with iodized salt, you can always consume a multivitamin.
Some of the vegan multivitamins offer you 100% of the RDA (150 mcg) per day.
Zinc is a mineral that is important for metabolism, immune function, and the repair of body cells.
A zinc deficiency can lead to hair loss, poor growth and delayed sexual maturation in children, poor wound healing, impaired immune function, and dermatitis.
Populations who habitually consume strict vegetarian diets have lower zinc intakes and status.
The phytate content in certain plant-based foods can actually reduce zinc absorption. However, since protein intake can increase zinc absorption, foods such as legumes and nuts may work great.
If you find out according to your doctor that you may require zinc, then you’ll be happy to know that some vegan multivitamins offer between 70-125% of the RDA.
Do Multivitamins Have Side Effects?
Taking a multivitamin is very unlikely to put your health at risk.
However, if you consume fortified foods or drinks, or take other dietary supplements, you have to make your multivitamin does not cause your intake of vitamin and minerals to go overboard.
According to the National Institute of Health, you should particularly cautious about your intake of vitamin A, beta-carotene (which the body can convert to vitamin A), and iron.
There are serious health effects from the over-consumption of those nutrients:
- Pregnant women that consume too much vitamin A have an increased risk of birth defects in their babies. However, that does not occur with Vitamin A converted from beta-carotene. Plus, if you’re a smoker, you should avoid multivitamins with a high content of beta-carotene and vitamin A as these nutrients may increase your risk of getting lung cancer.
- Also according to the National Institute of Health, adult men and postmenopausal women should avoid multivitamins that contain 18mg or more of iron unless prescribed by the doctor due to deficiency. If you’re in this group of people, avoid multivitamins with an iron content of 18mg or more.
This being said, you should really contact a healthcare provider before you decide to buy any dietary supplement — and they will most likely be able to tell you which one is best for you.
However, if you happen to not contact a healthcare provider, consider buying multivitamins with vitamins and minerals that don’t surpass the daily recommended amount.
While you can meet your every nutritional need through a plant-based diet, it’s quite easy to fall short on the recommended amounts. This is true for all diets.
Fortunately, in this article, you can find several multivitamin formulas that can safely cover your nutritional needs, without paying hefty amounts of money.
Also, keep in mind, that most multivitamins lack calcium or magnesium because the amounts required are too large for a single supplement. As such, you should do your best to obtain those nutrients from actual foods.
Otherwise, you can also consider buying separate calcium or magnesium supplements.
With the wide variety of vegan multivitamins on the market, you’re bound to find one that works best for you and your diet. Thanks for reading!
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