The Truth

The average multivitamin has no effect on cancer, heart disease or living longer and some might even have a negative impact.

The truth is, most people don’t need to take supplements and if they do, they probably don’t need to take the dozens of different ones included in your standard multivitamin.

However, for vegans, there are three key nutrients scientists recommend supplementing.


The Truth

The average multivitamin has no effect on cancer, heart disease or living longer and some might even have a negative impact.

The truth is, most people don’t need to take supplements and if they do, they probably don’t need to take the dozens of different ones included in your standard multivitamin.

However, for vegans, there are three key nutrients scientists recommend supplementing.

B12: Essential vitamin for energy production

Form:       Methylcobalamin
Dosage:   400 mcg

As many as 92% of vegans could be deficient in B12. Vitamin B12 is produced by bacteria. Some animals have this bacteria living in their gut, which is where omnivores get it. So, individuals who follow a vegan diet that doesn't include animal products may be vulnerable to B12 deficiency and need to supplement their diet.

Vitamin B12 is needed for blood formation and cell division. B12 deficiency is a very serious problem and can lead to anemia and irreversible nerve damage.

While some fortified foods contain B12, like nutritional yeast, they don’t contain a significant enough amount. To get B12 from B12 fortified foods, you would need to eat them as many as two or three times per day, every day.

B12: Essential vitamin for energy production

Form:     Methylcobalamin
Dosage: 400 mcg


As many as 92% of vegans could be deficient in B12. Vitamin B12 is produced by bacteria. Some animals have this bacteria living in their gut, which is where omnivores get it. So, individuals who follow a vegan diet that doesn't include animal products may be vulnerable to B12 deficiency and need to supplement their diet.

Vitamin B12 is needed for blood formation and cell division. B12 deficiency is a very serious problem and can lead to anemia and irreversible nerve damage.

While some fortified foods contain B12, like nutritional yeast, they don’t contain a significant enough amount. To get B12 from B12 fortified foods, you would need to eat them as many as two or three times per day, every day.

Omega-3: Helps with brain development

Form:         Algae Oil
Dosage:     650 mg

Omega 3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids your body needs and cannot produce. Studies have found that vegans commonly have lower blood concentrations of these fatty acids.

The three main fatty acides are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Foods like Chia and Flax seeds contain ALA, which can then be converted into EPA and DHA. However, it can be hard to consistently fit these into your diet, and the process of converting ALA into EPA and DHA can be inefficient, which is why we include an EPA and DHA-rich Omega-3, made from algae.

When most people think of Omega-3 they think of fish-oil, but the fish get these nutrients from algae. So why not go straight to the source?

Omega-3: Helps with brain development

Form:     Algae Oil
Dosage:   650 mg


Omega 3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids your body needs and cannot produce. Studies have found that vegans commonly have lower blood concentrations of these fatty acids. The three main fatty acides are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Foods like Chia and Flax seeds contain ALA, which can then be converted into EPA and DHA. However, it can be hard to consistently fit these into your diet, and the process of converting ALA into EPA and DHA can be inefficient, which is why doctors like Dr Michael Greger recommend supplementing an EPA and DHA-rich Omega-3, made from algae.

When most people think of Omega 3 they think of fish-oil, but the fish get these nutrients from algae. So why not go straight to the source?

Vitamin D: Essential for bone health

Form:           Vitashine(R) Vitamin D3 as Cholecalciferol
Dosage:       2000IU

Vitamin D deficiency is common, especially in people whose exposure to sunlight is limited. In the EPIC-Oxford study, vegans had the lowest mean intake of vitamin D, a value one-fourth the mean intake of omnivores.

There are two major types of Vitamin D: D2 and D3. Vitamin D2 is not as bioavailable as vitamin D3, which means your body cannot use it as readily. Vitamin D3 is what we get from the sun, but if you’re unable to spend 20 minutes a day under direct sunlight (without sunblock), then supplementation may be necessary. Fortunately, even if your vitamin D levels are sufficient, supplementation is considered harmless.

Vitamin D3 supplements are typically made from lanolin, from sheep. However, for vegans, there is a lichen extract called Vitashine, which is what we include in our multivitamin. The sheep can keep their wool!

Vitamin D: Essential for bone health

Form:     Vitashine(R) Vitamin D3 as Cholecalciferol
Dosage:   2000IU


Vitamin D deficiency is common, especially in people whose exposure to sunlight is limited. In the EPIC-Oxford study, vegans had the lowest mean intake of vitamin D, a value one-fourth the mean intake of omnivores.

There are two major types of Vitamin D: D2 and D3. Vitamin D2 is not as bioavailable as vitamin D3, which means your body cannot use it as readily. Vitamin D3 is what we get from the sun, but if you’re unable to spend 20 minutes a day under direct sunlight (without sunblock), then supplementation may be necessary. Fortunately, even if your vitamin D levels are sufficient, supplementation is considered harmless.

Vitamin D3 supplements are typically made from lanolin, from sheep. However, for vegans, there is a lichen extract called Vitashine, which is what we include in our multivitamin. The sheep can keep their wool!

Meet the Fillers

You might have read a supplement label before and wondered what “other ingredients” are and why we need them. Other ingredients or excipients are inactive ingredients which are added to supplements to help bind the nutrients together. They’re made up of fillers (used to fill the whole capsule as some vitamin doses are very small), binders (to keep everything together) and flow agents (to help make the manufacturing process more efficient). We’re proud to include just three other ingredients.

Coconut Oil
Straight from a coconut and used as a filler.

Candelilla Wax
Derived from the leaves of Candelilla plants to create the capsule, as an alternative to beeswax.

Sunflower Lecithin
Keeps our nutrients from separating and is an alternative to soy, which many people are allergic to.

Get the Facts

Meet the Fillers

You might have read a supplement label before and wondered what “other ingredients” are and why we need them. Other ingredients or excipients are inactive ingredients which are added to supplements to help bind the nutrients together. They’re made up of fillers (used to fill the whole capsule as some vitamin doses are very small), binders (to keep everything together) and flow agents (to help make the manufacturing process more efficient). We’re proud to include just three other ingredients.

Coconut Oil
Straight from a coconut and used as a filler.

Candelilla Wax
Derived from the leaves of Candelilla plants to create the capsule, as an alternative to beeswax.

Sunflower Lecithin
Keeps our nutrients from separating and is an alternative to soy, which many people are allergic to.

Get the Facts

Don't Get Tricked

Many multivitamins contain more of the cheap ingredients and less of the expensive ones, which means that they often don’t meet the required dosage. Our multivitamin has been formulated to include generous amounts of each nutrient, ensuring that you meet your daily needs.

Don't Get Tricked

Many multivitamins contain more of the cheap ingredients and less of the expensive ones, which means that they often don’t meet the required dosage. Our multivitamin has been formulated to include generous amounts of each nutrient, ensuring that you meet your daily needs.

What We Don't Include And Why

Iron

Plant-based diets contain iron, but the iron in plants has a lower bioavailability than the iron in meat, which means less of the iron from plant-sources ends up actually entering blood circulation to have an active effect. Plant-based foods that are rich in iron include kidney beans, black beans, soybeans, spinach, raisins, cashews, oatmeal, cabbage, and tomato juice. The risk of iron deficiency anemia are similar for vegans compared with omnivores and other vegetarians. Vegans often consume large amounts of vitamin C–rich foods that markedly improve the absorption of the nonheme iron.

Despite the prevalence of iron-deficiency anemia, it is best to counteract it through dietary means (such the pairing of plant-based iron foods with vitamin C), due to the potential of iron poisoning. The only exception to this is if your doctor specifically tells you to take an iron supplement.

Zinc

Vegetarians are often considered to be at risk for zinc deficiency. Phytates, a common component of grains, seeds, and legumes, binds zinc and thereby decreases its bioavailability. However, a sensitive marker to measure zinc status in humans has not been well established, and the effects of marginal zinc intakes are poorly understood. Although vegans have lower zinc intake than omnivores, they do not differ from non-vegetarians in the ability of the body to produce a normal immune response following exposure to an antigen. It appears that there may be facilitators of zinc absorption and compensatory mechanisms to help vegetarians adapt to a lower intake of zinc.

Furthermore, a 2013 meta-analysis showed vegans to have only a slightly lower serum zinc level than non-vegetarians, so it’s doubtful that the differences are meaningful.

Calcium

Calcium intake can be adequate in a well-balanced plant-based diet. People who do not eat plants that contain high amounts of calcium may be at risk for impaired bone mineralization and fractures. However, studies have shown that fracture risk was similar for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The key to bone health is adequate calcium intake, which appears to be irrespective of dietary preferences. Some significant sources of calcium include tofu, mustard and turnip greens, bok choy, and kale. Spinach and some other plants contain calcium that, although abundant, is bound to oxalate and therefore is poorly absorbed.

One study on middle-aged Asian women found that long-term vegans might consume lower rates of calcium and have a higher chance of hip-fracture, however, there is currently not enough evidence to suggest that vegans have lower calcium needs. Since calcium is far better absorbed from plant sources then it is from a supplement, and since there are potentially negative consequences for consuming too much calcium, we think it’s better to get your calcium from whole-food sources, rather than supplements.

Magnesium

Those on plant-based diets have been shown to consume higher rates of magnesium than the general omnivorous population, which is why we don’t include magnesium in our supplement.

Vitamin A

Most people within the US have adequate levels of Vitamin A and so there’s no need for supplementation.

B Vitamins

B vitamins are present in many foods and deficiencies are rare (don’t get confused with B12 though!). Furthermore, while rare, taking too much B6 can lead to severe nerve damage.

Vitamin C

In the olden days sailors used to die of scurvy because they didn’t get enough fresh fruit or vegetables, which had Vitamin C. Today, Vitamin C deficiencies are rare. Contrary to popular belief, there is also strong evidence to suggest that Vitamin C does not prevent or cure the common cold.

Vitamin E

Like Magnesium, those on plant-based diets have been shown to consume higher rates of Vitamin E than the general omnivorous population, which is why we don’t include Vitamin E in our supplement.

Furthermore, a large study of 35,533 men, looked at vitamin E and the risk of prostate cancer and found that “Evidence suggests that regular use of high-dose vitamin E may increase the risk of death from all causes by a small amount.”

The Editor of the Vitamin E article on Examine.com says “I think it's fairly clear at this point that high-dose vitamin E does no good for cancer or cardiovascular outcomes, and probably does some harm. Overall, I don't see much point in supplementing vitamin E unless there's a very good, medically-indicated reason for it.”

Vitamin K

We don’t include K1 or K2 because it’s easy to get enough vitamin K by eating dark leafy greens like Kale, and we always advocate getting your nutrients from whole food sources where possible.

Here’s an independent source for reference https://nutritionfacts.org/que.../best-sources-of-vitamin-k/

Either K1 or K2 is sufficient for your overall Vitamin K needs (the same way that Vitamin D3 is enough for your Vitamin D needs).

Protein

Okay, so Protein isn’t typically included in multivitamins, but the general public often perceive us veggies as not getting enough, so we want to set the record straight.

On average, vegetarians and vegans get 70% more protein than they need. Some athletes or people with particularly active lifestyles might choose to add some high-quality protein supplements to their diet. If they do, we recommend soy protein.

A Note on Multivitamins

In 2011 two separate studies were released that led to a lot of sensational media headlines, claiming that multivitamins increased the risk of death. The studies were robust, however, it’s important to point out that the multivitamins referenced in the studies included most, if not all, of the vitamins that we don’t include. The only reason to take a multivitamins is, as Examine.com (generally considered to be the leading online supplement authority) puts it, if:

1. You are at risk for several nutrient deficiencies and your diet cannot otherwise be modified
2. The multivitamin provides adequate dosages to cover the deficiency risk
3. The multivitamin is a better purchasing option than the nutrients by themselves

As we’ve explained above, there is strong evidence to show that vegans are at risk of several nutrient deficiencies and so we’ve designed our supplements to be at the adequate dosages to cover the deficiency risk.

References

1. Health Effects of Vegan Diets https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/89/5/1627S/4596952

2. Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288/

3. Vitamin B12 Fact Sheet
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/ 

4. What Every Vegan Should Know About Vitamin B12 https://www.vegansociety.com/resources/nutrition-and-health/nutrients/vitamin-b12/what-every-vegan-should-know-about-vitamin-b12

5. Vitamin B12 Eat Your Dirt

https://www.peacefuldumpling.com/vitamin-b12-eat-your-dirt

6. Effect of vegetarian diets on zinc status: a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies in humans.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23595983

What We Don't Include And Why

Iron

Plant-based diets contain iron, but the iron in plants has a lower bioavailability than the iron in meat, which means less of the iron from plant-sources ends up actually entering blood circulation to have an active effect. Plant-based foods that are rich in iron include kidney beans, black beans, soybeans, spinach, raisins, cashews, oatmeal, cabbage, and tomato juice. The risk of iron deficiency anemia are similar for vegans compared with omnivores and other vegetarians. Vegans often consume large amounts of vitamin C–rich foods that markedly improve the absorption of the nonheme iron.

Despite the prevalence of iron-deficiency anemia, it is best to counteract it through dietary means (such the pairing of plant-based iron foods with vitamin C), due to the potential of iron poisoning. The only exception to this is if your doctor specifically tells you to take an iron supplement.

Zinc

Vegetarians are often considered to be at risk for zinc deficiency. Phytates, a common component of grains, seeds, and legumes, binds zinc and thereby decreases its bioavailability. However, a sensitive marker to measure zinc status in humans has not been well established, and the effects of marginal zinc intakes are poorly understood. Although vegans have lower zinc intake than omnivores, they do not differ from non-vegetarians in the ability of the body to produce a normal immune response following exposure to an antigen. It appears that there may be facilitators of zinc absorption and compensatory mechanisms to help vegetarians adapt to a lower intake of zinc.

Furthermore, a 2013 meta-analysis showed vegans to have only a slightly lower serum zinc level than non-vegetarians, so it’s doubtful that the differences are meaningful.

Calcium

Calcium intake can be adequate in a well-balanced plant-based diet. People who do not eat plants that contain high amounts of calcium may be at risk for impaired bone mineralization and fractures. However, studies have shown that fracture risk was similar for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The key to bone health is adequate calcium intake, which appears to be irrespective of dietary preferences. Some significant sources of calcium include tofu, mustard and turnip greens, bok choy, and kale. Spinach and some other plants contain calcium that, although abundant, is bound to oxalate and therefore is poorly absorbed.

One study on middle-aged Asian women found that long-term vegans might consume lower rates of calcium and have a higher chance of hip-fracture, however, there is currently not enough evidence to suggest that vegans have lower calcium needs. Since calcium is far better absorbed from plant sources then it is from a supplement, and since there are potentially negative consequences for consuming too much calcium, we think it’s better to get your calcium from whole-food sources, rather than supplements.

Magnesium

Those on plant-based diets have been shown to consume higher rates of magnesium than the general omnivorous population, which is why we don’t include magnesium in our supplement.

Vitamin A

Most people within the US have adequate levels of Vitamin A and so there’s no need for supplementation.

B Vitamins

B vitamins are present in many foods and deficiencies are rare (don’t get confused with B12 though!). Furthermore, while rare, taking too much B6 can lead to severe nerve damage.

Vitamin C

In the olden days sailors used to die of scurvy because they didn’t get enough fresh fruit or vegetables, which had Vitamin C. Today, Vitamin C deficiencies are rare. Contrary to popular belief, there is also strong evidence to suggest that Vitamin C does not prevent or cure the common cold.

Vitamin E

Like Magnesium, those on plant-based diets have been shown to consume higher rates of Vitamin E than the general omnivorous population, which is why we don’t include Vitamin E in our supplement.

Furthermore, a large study of 35,533 men, looked at vitamin E and the risk of prostate cancer and found that “Evidence suggests that regular use of high-dose vitamin E may increase the risk of death from all causes by a small amount.”

The Editor of the Vitamin E article on Examine.com says “I think it's fairly clear at this point that high-dose vitamin E does no good for cancer or cardiovascular outcomes, and probably does some harm. Overall, I don't see much point in supplementing vitamin E unless there's a very good, medically-indicated reason for it.”

Protein

Okay, so Protein isn’t typically included in multivitamins, but the general public often perceive us veggies as not getting enough, so we want to set the record straight.

On average, vegetarians and vegans get 70% more protein than they need. Some athletes or people with particularly active lifestyles might choose to add some high-quality protein supplements to their diet. If they do, we recommend soy protein.

A Note on Multivitamins

In 2011 two separate studies were released that led to a lot of sensational media headlines, claiming that multivitamins increased the risk of death. The studies were robust, however, it’s important to point out that the multivitamins referenced in the studies included most, if not all, of the vitamins that we don’t include. The only reason to take a multivitamins is, as Examine.com (generally considered to be the leading online supplement authority) puts it, if:

1. You are at risk for several nutrient deficiencies and your diet cannot otherwise be modified
2. The multivitamin provides adequate dosages to cover the deficiency risk
3. The multivitamin is a better purchasing option than the nutrients by themselves

As we’ve explained above, there is strong evidence to show that vegans are at risk of several nutrient deficiencies and so we’ve designed our supplements to be at the adequate dosages to cover the deficiency risk.

References

1. Health Effects of Vegan Diets https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/89/5/1627S/4596952

2. Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288/

3. Vitamin B12 Fact Sheet https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/ 

4. What Every Vegan Should Know About Vitamin B12 https://www.vegansociety.com/resources/nutrition-and-health/nutrients/vitamin-b12/what-every-vegan-should-know-about-vitamin-b12

5. Vitamin B12 Eat Your Dirt https://www.peacefuldumpling.com/vitamin-b12-eat-your-dirt

6. Effect of vegetarian diets on zinc status: a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies in humans.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23595983