Choosing the Right Vegan Vitamins

Use this guide to make sure your vitamins are as cruelty-free as you are.

Since not everyone is perfect and eats balanced meals containing every single necessary nutrient required by the body for peak performance, once-daily multi-vitamins help fill in the nutritional gaps left by a diet of regular food. Unfortunately, most vitamin brands bind their pills together with animal ingredients like gelatin, and they also market certain nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids in the form of animal products like fish oil. However, there are plant-based sources for all necessary vitamins and minerals, and they are becoming more readily available in stores as they have already been on the Internet. Here is a guide to finding the right vitamins for your lifestyle.

1. Do more than read the label.

Labels are required to list ingredients but not their sources. Though gelatin is usually made from animal bones, it can also be made from plants, and some companies don’t bother specifying which kind is used on the bottle. Vegan brands usually indicate that they are vegan somewhere on the label, with or without the rabbit/V logo, but when in doubt, do some research on the Internet. Even if the company’s website doesn’t mention whether they are cruelty-free, chances are a fellow vegan has written a formal letter asking for information and posted the response on a forum.

2. Take (for starters) a multi-vitamin, and tailor the rest to your needs.

Downing a handful of vitamins every day can make anyone feel like a grandparent with a seven-day pill organizer. To start with, every person should take a once-daily multi-vitamin that includes a high percentage of the daily-recommended intake of major vitamins and minerals. Decide whether your normal diet contains a sufficient amount of iron before choosing between vitamins with or without iron added.

Other pills can be taken at your discretion. It’s advisable for women to take calcium supplements, and many people don’t get enough omega-3 fatty acids through their food. Analyze your diet and decide where you can supplement and where you can change your eating habits to avoid another pill.

3. Shop smart.

Vitamins have to be taken every day, so it’s a good idea not to spend a small fortune on them. This can be done while still avoiding dubiously labeled, cheap, bulk bottles. is a great source for affordable certified-vegan supplements by mail order. If you prefer to shop locally, you’ll have to utilize your online research on vitamin brands, but chances are you won’t even have to go to a specialty store to find what you need. Chain drug stores have extensive vitamin selections, or you can take advantage of coupons for independent drug stores like Whitney Chemists. Scroll down to find a Campus Clipper coupon for %10 off.

Even if you feel like you’re in great shape, taking a dietary supplement every day can increase your body and brain’s potential. Make the extra effort to ensure you’re performing the best you can, and take your vitamins!

-Avia Dell’Oste.

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