The best vegan supplements to support a plant-based diet

Here are the best plant-sourced vegan multivitamins and supplements to help you thrive.

Vegan supplements

by Ellen Kinsey |
Updated on

Veganism is a lifestyle that takes willpower, care and consideration - and the market for vegan supplements has grown drastically due to this. Although plant-based eating has soared in popularity in the last decade in the UK, there is still a common concern that these diets cannot provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals it needs.

The best vegan supplements at a glance:

• Best vegan multivitamin: DR. VEGAN Daily Multivitamin - View now on Dr Vegan
• Best vegan multivitamin for women: Wild Nutrition Food-Grown® Women's Daily Multi Nutrient - View now on Wild Nutrition
• Best B12 supplement and vegan multivitamin: Together Health Vegan Multivitamins and Mineral - View now on Amazon

Supplements and various multivitamins are an excellent way to ensure those who don't consume animal products attain all vital vitamins and minerals that are sometimes lacking. In this article, we round up the best vegan supplements to help optimise your plant-based diets and support your health journey.

That being said, many studies have shown that whole food and plant-based nutrition can easily fulfil all the daily nutrient requirements. These studies have reported that vegan diets tend to provide more fibre, antioxidants, and beneficial plant compounds. They also appear richer in potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamins A, C, and E.

We talked to Shona Wilkinson, lead nutritionist at ethical nutrition and supplement brand DR.VEGAN, to set the story straight and provide valuable insight into how supplements can best serve you on a plant-based diet. In this roundup, we have carefully selected the products with only the highest quality ingredients at a reasonable price to help you reach your health goals and bridge the gaps in a vegan diet. We have selected the best capsules, gummies, drops and tablets to help you on the road to better health.

Best multivitamins to support a vegan diet

Best vegan multivitamin

Daily Multi-Vitamin
Price: £17.50

drvegan.com

This award-winning daily vegan multivitamin includes naturally sourced and plant-based ingredients to help you fill the nutrient gaps in a vegan diet. The advanced formula contains 24 essential vitamins and diets that are beneficial for all diet types to support your energy, create stronger immunity, maintain healthier skin, hair and nails, and help to improve digestion, cognitive performance and mood.

In terms of the key ingredients, this multivitamin contains the Methylcobalamin form of B12, Magnesium Citrate and ferrous furmate - the NHS-prescribed form of iron. This formulation uses highly absorbable ingredients, and the packaging is entirely plastic-free and compostable.

Pros

  • Subscription service
  • Free refillable pill tin on the first order
  • Plastic-free and compostable pouch

Cons

  • High quality, so subscriptions can be expensive

Best vegan multivitamin for women

Explicitly targeting and supporting the needs of women, this award-winning plant-based formula offers a whole range of vitamins, minerals and herbs for optimising women's health. This vegan multivitamin supports and maintains healthy menstrual cycles and boosts energy levels, and strengthens your immune system. The supplement provides minerals and vitamins in areas that can be lacking in a vegan diet, such as Zinc and Selenium, which support your immune system.

It also contains Vitamins B and C to reduce fatigue and Thiamin and Riboflavin, to support energy release in the body. The magnesium and calcium component helps to balance the nervous system and beetroot and Choline for liver support. This is an excellent all-rounder, particularly for female health. Plus, Wild Nutrition also has a Women's 45+ Daily Multi Nutrient to target this group's needs as well.

Pros

  • A high-quality multivitamin that supports areas of women's health
  • Uses the Food-Grown® method for ingredients that mimic nature
  • Best-selling high-rated product
  • Contains probiotic strain

Cons

  • It can be expensive to upkeep

Best B12 supplement and vegan multivitamin

Vegan Multi VIT & Mineral
Price: $14.59

This multivitamin for Together Health supports missing B vitamins in your vegan diet and contains six essential vitamins and minerals, including iodine, zinc, B12, gentle food-based iron and seaweed-based calcium. The capsules are also plastic-free and produced from bio-based layers of materials made up of cornstarch, paper and wood pulp so that you won't be ingesting any nasty micro-plastics. Just take two capsules a day to counteract any vitamin deficiencies.

Pros

  • Good general vegan multivitamin
  • It uses a small amount of packaging
  • No microplastic casing for the capsules

Cons

  • Dosage is two capsules a day, which isn't ideal for individuals who don't like taking tablets

Best personalised vegan multivitamin gummies

Nourished
Price: £35.99 a month (or £39.99 one-off purchase)

get-nourished.com

These personalised gummies from Nourished are an innovative supplement perfect for supporting plant-based diets. It is a customisable subscription service offering multivitamin gummies produced through 3D printing. They are tailor-made to tackle your health needs, and the stacks are created by completing a quiz from Nourished to determine your goals and find your vitamin deficiencies. There are 36 different nourishments which you can read more about here, and each stack includes seven different layers of nutrients. The ingredients are naturally sourced, vegan and provided by UK suppliers.

This quiz works just like an NHS questionnaire. Just answer questions about your lifestyle, exercise habits and diet, and the quiz will offer you a seven-layer nutrient sack unique to you. You can complete the quiz here. This product works at its best as a subscription service; however, a monthly supply of personalised vitamins costs £39.99. If you purchase a subscription that delivers your personalised supplement every four weeks, it totals £35.99 per month.

Pros

  • A unique and personal way to fill all your vitamin gaps in one supplement
  • Gummies are gelatin-free and come in different flavours
  • Contains high-quality ingredients
  • Each wrapped gummy comes with an expiry date
  • The packaging is entirely plastic-free

Cons

  • Only targets two health areas

Best vegan multivitamin powder

ag1 athletic greens
Price: £97/ £3.23 Per Serving (one time purchase)

athleticgreens.com

If you are not a fan of supplements but are looking for a way to integrate a multivitamin into your regime, then a greens powder is a good way to go. The Athletic Greens powder has made quite the name for itself with over 75 vitamins and minerals; it really is a whole-food source that can amplify and support a vegan diet.

You get a plentiful amount of nutrients in one convenient daily serving with one scoop dissolve in 250 ml of water. It contains the proper balance of multivitamins and multi-minerals, is essential for a well-functioning nervous system, and is a fundamental foundation for a strong immune system. It also has prebiotics and probiotics to support your digestion.

Pros

  • High-rated best-selling vegan multivitamin greens powder
  • Derived from whole-food plant sources
  • An excellent alternative to supplements
  • Suitable for all adults
  • Subscription service makes it cheaper

Cons

  • Some reviewers found the taste unpleasant

Best high-strength supplement B12

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that contributes to the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system. This B12 supplement contains 2000 µg of the vitamin's Methylcobalamin form, which helps promote and support your energy and metabolism. Often referred to as the energy vitamin, this formula contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism and reduces tiredness and fatigue. This high-strength formula works as an excellent B-Vitamin all-rounder if that is an area you are deficient in.

This B vitamin is also involved in red blood cell production and protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism - so it is essential not to neglect this element of your diet.

Pros

  • Strong formula with 2000ug of highly absorbable Vitamin B12
  • Plastic-free and compostable pouch
  • Subscriptions available

Cons

  • None

Best B12 supplement with two active forms of B12

If you are looking for a tablet that contains both adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin B12, then this supplement from Nutrition Geeks is an excellent choice. Each pouch holds 365 - one for each day of the year and are made with minimal plastic packaging making this easy to store and take on the go. This unique 2:1 ratio has been proven in clinical studies to be the optimal way to treat a B12 deficiency. The tablets provide 1000μg per dose - and although they are less strong than some other supplements are still potent due to the combination of two B12 forms.

The packaging is post-box friendly, is made with little plastic packaging and is easy to store and take on the go.

Pros

  • Small capsules and less packaging
  • Suitable for travel and on-the-go
  • Has a unique 2:1 ratio that includes adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin.

Cons

  • May not see instant results

Best vegan supplement for heart, eye and brain health

The recommended daily intake for Omega-3 is between 250-500mg a day for both men and women and with oily fish being a common source of omega fats, supplementation can be a good idea for those following a plant-based diet. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids play a structural role in your brain and eyes, and these fatty acids aren’t produced by our bodies, so it’s necessary to acquire these essential fats from our diet. Seaweed and algal oil supplements are a vegan source of EPA and DHA, so make sure your supplement is from these sources to ensure they are plant-based.

These triple omega capsules from Holland & Barrett contain 680mg to ensure your body can properly absorb the nutrients. This fatty acid is important as it contributes to the normal function of the heart, brain and vision.

Pros

  • Contains EPA and DHA and is suitable for vegans
  • Strong 680mg formula
  • Contains Omega 3-6-9

Cons

  • Quite big capsules
  • Made with evening primrose oil, which isn't for everyone

Best iron supplement for anaemia

Ferrous fumarate
Price: $16.95

Sometimes quite a contentious topic to discuss, iron tablets referred to as Ferrous Fumarate prescribed by the NHS can have a few tricky side effects - constipation being one of them. If you have been prescribed ferrous fumarate for anaemia or low iron levels and experienced side effects such as constipation, dark stool, bloating or nausea, the NaturesPlus HemaPlex Capsules are the one for you. This powerful iron tablet is delicate on the stomach, fast-acting and helps to sustain general blood health while being easy on your tummy.

The supplement includes iron used to treat and prevent iron deficiency anaemia using a formula containing 43mg of elemental iron. It also includes a vitamin C, B12 and zinc complex to help support metabolism function, boost energy levels and prevent constipation.

Pros

  • It contains ferrous fumarate, an ingredient used to prevent iron deficiency anaemia
  • A strong dose of iron yet gentle on the stomach compared to some NHS iron prescription
  • It contains vitamin C for constipation relief

Cons

  • It is a large tablet which can be more challenging to swallow for some

Best liquid iron supplement for vegans and gluten-free diets

If you don't like taking tablets, then this liquid formula offers a lighter alternative to pill supplementation. The ferric saccharate is a form of iron paired with vitamins which are already dissolved in the liquid means they can be absorbed quicker than tablets. Blueiron contains a patented, micro-encapsulated form of iron and is easily absorbed and gentle on the stomach. Containing Nordic blueberry concentrate to mask the iron taste, this liquid supplement also contains Vitamin C, B12, Biotin and Zinc gluconate in this iron complex. It is also suitable for use during pregnancy.

Pros

  • Allergen-free formula
  • Gentle of the stomach
  • Nordic blueberry concentrate helps to mask the iron taste

Cons

  • Potential to colour your tongue blue

Best Vitamin D supplement

Vitamin D is best absorbed through the skin, and evidently, in the UK, this isn't always easy to attain. Taking a Vitamin D supplement can be very helpful for any diet and lifestyle, and scientific research has proven a synergy between Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2. Therefore when looking out for an effective source of Vitamin D, you should always choose a product with D3 and vitamin K2 for the best effects.

Vitamin D3 is the best form of supplemental vitamin D as this is the form made by the skin in response to sun exposure. This is paired with vitamin K2, which contributes to maintaining normal bones. This 30ml D3 with K2 drops from Nutri Advanced are orange-flavoured and should be taken once or twice daily. You can take it by applying three drops on the tongue or in water.

Pros

  • Liquid form transports well around the body.
  • Includes Vitamin D3 and K2 to ensure the best results
  • Excellent value and long-lasting

Cons

  • Some may prefer to take capsules

Best vegan supplement for thyroid health

It's estimated one in twenty people suffer from a thyroid condition, but the actual figure is thought to be much higher as many people are unaware they have a condition. Thyroid health is often a neglected part of our body, with many of us not even knowing what the thyroid does or where it is in the body.

The thyroid is found in the neck, and one of its primary functions is to make hormones that help regulate the body's metabolism, which turns food into energy. Iodine is a trace mineral that supports the thyroid gland and helps to make the hormone thyroxine. Iodine is abundant in seaweed - so finding an algae-based source of iodine shouldn't be too tricky. Not only is seaweed good for hormonal health, but it also aids cognitive function, helps support the nervous system and keeps your skin healthy. These supplements from Doctor Seaweed are vegan-friendly and gluten-free, and each box has a 60-day supply.

Pros

  • Seaweed is the only natural plant-based source of iodine
  • Excellent for supporting thyroid function
  • Support metabolism function

Cons

  • It only contains iodine, so this may not be the best if you are looking for a complex supplement

Best supplement for bones, teeth and nervous system regulation

This supplement is an excellent source of three minerals and trace elements that are beneficial to a vegan diet. This combination of calcium and magnesium with zinc is an all-around supplement that helps support your skin, bones, hair, nails and teeth. Magnesium helps maintain a healthy nervous system; calcium assists in normal muscle function and the health of bones and teeth, and zinc helps reinforce your immune system.

Formulated with anti-stress minerals, this supplement contains Magnesium, zinc and calcium, which help promote a regulated nervous system, muscles and immune system, and fortify your bones - a fantastic all-rounder for your overall wellbeing. Magnesium also helps to regulate nerve and muscle function and can help to prevent other muscle-related issues, such as spasms and twitches. If you are susceptible to leg cramps - this could be due to a lack of Magnesium in the body, and supplementing with Magnesium can help to relieve them.

Pros

  • High-quality ingredients
  • The supplement complex is fortified with zinc and calcium for your bones and immune system
  • Excellent for calming the body and nerves

Cons

  • Need to take two capsules a day, which isn't ideal if you don't like taking tablets or forget to take them

Best vegan supplement for hair, skin and nails

Starpowa gummies are delicious and are made with a variety of beneficial vitamins and minerals. The formula is designed to support things such as healthy hair, normal skin and general nail maintenance. This supplement includes ingredients such as biotin, zinc and vitamin C, as well as aloe vera extract, to give your beauty a boost and glow from inside out. Biotin is also a form of vitamin B, which is known for its crucial role in maintaining healthy, normal skin and hair.

Pros

  • Contains biotin, folic acid and zinc to strengthen your skin, hair and nails
  • Gummies are tasty and filled with vitamins for beauty and skin
  • Contains less than 1% sugar
  • Do not contain any gelatine

Cons

  • Gummies aren't as nutrient-dense as capsules

Vegan supplement FAQs

What supplements should a vegan take?

When it comes to debates about veganism, this question tends to come up. There is no doubt that animal products are the only sources of nutrients when it comes to some forms of vitamins and minerals, but that is where supplements come in to bridge that gap.

So what supplements should a vegan take to meet their nutritional needs, and what foods? Shona Wilkinson, the lead nutritionist at ethical nutrition and supplement brand DR.VEGAN, explains: 'When it comes to diets, a well-planned and balanced plant-based or vegan diet can provide most of the essential nutrients you need. However, supplementation is a great way to ensure your body receives all the essential nutrients it needs.'

'There are some vitamins and minerals that deserve particular attention, such as vitamin D, vitamin B12 and Iodine - here’s why:'

Vitamin D – Vitamin D helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body and is essential for bone and muscle health. There are very few dietary sources of vitamin D for vegans, as it is mainly found in foods such as fish and eggs, so while a vitamin D supplement is generally advised for all diets, it is an important one for those following a vegan diet. Vegan Vitamin D supplements are often are typically made from lichen.

Vitamin B12 – This is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies among vegans, as it is found in almost all foods of animal origin. A vegan B12 supplement plays a vital role in supporting your energy, your protein metabolism, the formation of red blood cells and the health of your nervous system.

Iodine – Your body uses iodine to make thyroid hormones, which control how fast your cells work. Vegans tend to lack this mineral, as it is most commonly found in seafood and cow’s milk. When following a plant-based diet, I recommend taking a daily multivitamin such as DR.VEGAN’s, which is an award-winning formula and ideal for vegans; packed with 24 essential nutrients and is perfect to boost your iodine intake and overall daily well-being.

Vegan nutritional needs

To find out how to best optimise your health, DR.VEGAN have a quiz where you can create your free diet profile to discover how supplementation can best serve you.

This diet profile can help you navigate your body's needs and the nutrients that your diet gives you and provides you with tailored suggestions of what supplements would best benefit you and your lifestyle.

DR VEGAN’s award-winning range now includes 23 clinically tested formulas, spanning beauty, gut health, women’s health, brain health, stress, sleep, general wellness and more.

Large Vegan Health Food Collection for Vitality

How can people tell they might have certain vitamin deficiencies?

If you feel like you have adequate energy but are looking for ways to improve and optimise your health, targeting your vitamin deficiencies is the best way to do this. Often deficiencies come from gaps in diets or from regular medication such as antibiotics or spouts of high stress, which can also contribute to how effectively our bodies store, absorb, and retain nutrients from our food.

'A diet lacking in nutrients may cause unpleasant physical symptoms', Shona tells us. 'These are the tell-tale signs that you need to boost your intake in one way or another.'

'Fatigue is a common symptom which is often dismissed because of a busy lifestyle. There are multiple vitamin deficiencies which could be leaving you feeling tired, or weak. If you notice this feeling in your muscles, you could be lacking in magnesium, which is essential for your muscle function and helps to prevent muscle tightness and cramping.'

'Feeling tired, in general, could mean low levels of vitamin B12 - low levels can cause a decrease in normal red blood cell production, which can impair oxygen delivery throughout your body.'

Shonna explains that if you’re frequently a victim of cold and flu, it could easily mean that your vitamin D intake isn't sufficient. 'It’s important to remember that vitamin D doesn’t provide guaranteed protection against these. However, the research shows that people with lower vitamin D levels are more at risk of catching common colds and other respiratory infections.''

Finally, insufficient iron intake can manifest into physical discomfort for both men and women. Shona suggests that research shows that the average dietary intake of iron is significantly lower among women than men.

'Over a quarter (27 per cent) of women aged 19-64 may have an iron deficiency, as heavy periods worsen the problem. It’s important that women look out for cold hands or feet, brittle nails, and feeling dizzy or short of breath, as these are all symptoms of an inadequate intake of iron. If left untreated, iron deficiency can also lead to anaemia.'

Taking the correct supplements is the best way to alleviate these symptoms, but if symptoms worsen significantly, you should always consult your GP or doctor.

What should people be looking out for within certain formulas to ensure they’re consuming a high-quality product?

Shona always encourages people to check the label. 'Regardless of what the supplement is, there’s a high chance it’ll include some ingredients you wouldn’t choose to ingest if you knew about them. This isn’t just the case with cheap supplements either - some of the most expensive supplements on the market contain additives you really want to avoid.'

Shona suggests looking for essential qualities to ensure they meet your supplementation needs. So, for example, with a probiotic, how high is the CFU count (50bn CFU is the gold standard), and how many clinically researched strains of live cultures does it include?

'Remember is to do your research. Check to see if the brand or company has undertaken extensive research on large groups of people to test the effectiveness of their product, and dig into the results of this study to see if the product is likely to work for you.'

Finally, when it comes to choosing the correct supplement for you, it’s important that you check the label for harmful additives. Shona recommends doing your research on the product’s effectiveness, and take some time to read verified reviews on sites such as Trustpilot to ensure you’re not being taken for a ride.

If you want to find a supplement that ticks all your boxes, it is important that you check the label for harmful additives and do your research on the product to see if it is the right fit for you.

No, vegan collagen doesn't exist - the lead nutritionist Shona Wilkinson at supplement brand, DR.VEGAN provides some clarification. 'When it comes to collagen, remember, there’s no such thing as ‘vegan collagen’.

'Collagen, by definition, comes only from animals or is produced naturally by the body. Again, animal collagen is made from the boiling of the bones and skin of cows, while marine collagen is made from the boiling of fish scales and bones. While there is no such thing as ‘vegan collagen’, those who claim to have created ‘vegan collagen’ often feed bovine (cattle-sourced) collagen to yeast, and before it is fully metabolised, they kill the yeast, and this is then promoted as ‘vegan collagen’. While the yeast is technically vegan, these supplements still originate from metabolised cattle-sourced collagen.'

What ingredients should be avoided in vegan supplements?

When it comes to selecting vegan wellbeing products, here are 12 of the most common animal ingredients to watch out for in supplements, foods and cosmetics: Gelatin, Lanolin, Collagen, Magnesium Stearate, Glucosamine & Chondroitin, Glycerine, Caprylic Acid, Bone Meal, Carotene, Carmine, Lipase and Pepsin (Digestive Enzymes)and Animal Hyaluronic Acid. If you want a more in-depth guide, you can read this insightful article from DR VEGAN for more information.

Here are Shona's tips on what to avoid when choosing a vegan supplement here:

• Avoid supplements that contain titanium dioxide. Despite being classified as a carcinogen by the European Food Safety Authority, it is still being included in so many supplements, including those of brands claiming to be the UK’s leading supplement brands. It can have nasty side effects, yet provides zero health benefits.

• Some supplements are also made with gelatin, which comes from boiling animal skin and bones, while others are made using palm oil, one of the biggest drivers of deforestation across the planet.

• One ingredient you’ll probably be surprised to know is often found within supplements, too, is talcum powder. It’s used as an anti-caking agent to prevent ingredients from clumping and sticking together within the machinery during production but has been the subject of more class-action lawsuits in the US than any other ingredient, given its potential adverse side effects. You wouldn’t eat talcum powder straight from the bottle, so why would you consume it when taking supplements?

About the expert

This article contains comments from Registered Nutritionist Shona Wilkinson RN, mBANT, CNHC. Shona is a member of the Professional Associations BANT (British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine, and CNHC (Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council). Her passions lie in supplements and nutrition, with her aim being to spread complex nutrition advice in a way that can be easily understood by individuals of all ages. Shona now has her own website offering nutrition advice, Shona Wilkinson Nutrition Ltd.

Ellen Kinsey is a health and wellness product writer for What's The Best, and also writes for Yours, A Modern Kitchen, Modern Gardens, Heat, Closer and Grazia. She has a passion for cooking, health and wellness.

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