Essential Vegan Supplement Ingredients: A Guide for New Brands

As the popularity of plant-based diets and vegan lifestyles continues to go up, the demand for vegan supplements is on the rise. This article aims to guide new brands entering the market on essential vegan supplement ingredients. 

We will explore the benefits of plant-based vitamins, the risk of synthetic alternatives, and explore specific supplements important for individuals following a vegan diet.

BENEFITS OF PLANT-BASED VITAMINS 

Plant-based vitamins offer a cleaner, more natural alternative to their synthetic counterparts. Derived from vegan sources, these vitamins incorporate nutrient-dense whole food ingredients, such as herbs, spices, and adaptogens. The shift towards plant-based living, with nearly ten million people in the US alone adopting veganism, has fueled the demand for such supplements.

Function-specific plant-based vitamins cater to diverse needs, including immunity, sleep, and stress. Ingredients like ashwagandha, valerian, turmeric, and vegan omega-3 from algae showcase the innovation in the industry. However, consumers need to be vigilant and choose supplements made from 100% real, whole foods to ensure purity and adherence to vegan principles.

AVOID SYNTHETIC VITAMINS

In contrast, synthetic vitamins flood the market, often found in the form of gummy multivitamins. While they mimic the molecular structure of natural vitamins, synthetic options come with a host of drawbacks. Common issues include the presence of harmful ingredients like artificial additives, chemicals, added sugar, and potential allergens.

Take vitamin C as an example—synthetic ascorbic acid, though structurally similar to natural vitamin C, lacks the beneficial compounds found in whole foods. The concept of food synergy, where nutrients work together for optimal absorption, highlights the great benefits of plant-based vitamins. The bioavailability of nutrients from real food sources exceeds that of the synthetic type, providing greater health benefits.

7 SUPPLEMENTS NEEDED BY VEGAN DIET FOLLOWERS

Vegan diets are certainly beneficial for overall health, but they can pose challenges in meeting specific nutrient requirements. Adopting a well-planned vegan diet can meet most nutritional needs, but supplements play a vital role in bridging potential gaps. For those adopting a plant-based lifestyle, careful consideration of necessary vitamins and minerals ensures a balanced and healthful approach.

To address this concern, we have identified seven essential supplements that vegans should consider incorporating into their diets.

1. VITAMIN B12 (A MUST)

Vegans face a higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, important for protein metabolism, red blood cell formation, and nervous system health. With limited natural sources in a plant-based diet, supplementation or fortified foods becomes essential. Optimal intake ranges from 25-100 mcg daily or 2000 mcg weekly.

2. OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS (FOR BRAIN FUNCTION)

Vegans often lack sufficient long-chain omega-3s important for brain function and reducing inflammation. Algae oil supplements provide an effective and sustainable source to meet daily requirements.

3. ZINC (FOR IMMUNE FUNCTION)

Zinc plays an important role in immune function, but plant-based sources may not provide sufficient amounts. A varied diet including legumes, nuts, and seeds, along with zinc supplements, ensures adequate intake.

4. IRON (AN ESSENTIAL)

While iron is present in plant-based foods, its non-heme form poses absorption challenges. Vegans need to focus on iron-rich foods like beans, nuts, and fortified cereals, considering supplements if necessary.

5. VITAMIN D (FOR BONE HEALTH)

Important for calcium absorption and overall well-being, vitamin D deficiency is common among vegans. Sun exposure is an option, but supplements or fortified foods like mushrooms and plant-based milk offer a reliable alternative.

6. CALCIUM (FOR BONE HEALTH)

Calcium is vital for bone health, but vegans may struggle to obtain enough from plant-based sources. Incorporating fortified plant milks, tofu, and leafy greens can help, with supplements if needed.

7. IODINE (FOR THYROID FUNCTION)

Iodine deficiency is a risk for vegans, impacting thyroid health. Seaweed, iodized salt, and supplements offer solutions to maintain optimal iodine levels.

THE ROLE OF HEALTH SUPPLEMENT & MEAL REPLACEMENT MANUFACTURERS  

As the market for vegan supplements grows, manufacturers play an important role. Health supplement manufacturers, meal replacement manufacturers, and sports nutrition manufacturers must align their offerings with the specific needs of the vegan demographic. Moreover, OEM manufacturers can help brands identify the market demand and assist them in designing products that match the market and consumer preferences.  

Transparency in labeling, adherence to vegan principles, and innovation in ingredient sourcing are key factors that can set brands apart in this competitive market.

FINAL TAKEAWAYS 

Meeting the world of vegan supplements requires an understanding of the unique nutritional challenges posed by plant-based diets. Awareness of essential vitamins and minerals, coupled with smart supplement choices, ensures that individuals can thrive on a vegan lifestyle. 

As the industry expands, brands must prioritize quality and cater to the specific needs of the growing vegan consumer base. With the right knowledge and choices, brands can contribute to the success of the thriving vegan supplement market. Ori Bionature Sdn Bhd specializes in the manufacturing of OEM vegan and plant-based supplements. We manufacture OEM supplement products for brands across the world. Feel free to make an appointment with our OEM specialists for a full consultation. 

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