Best Vegan Multivitamin for Women 2020

When looking to get your daily vitamins and minerals, multivitamins might be one of the first things that spring to mind, alongside other important nutrients such as omega-3.

And if you can find a supplement, that’s vegan, easy to swallow, gluten-free, and doesn’t include any unwanted nasties, then that’s even better.

But with so many vegan multivitamins out there, you might not have a firm answer for the question – what is the best multivitamin for women that are vegan?

So, to narrow down your options, I have gone the extra mile to look at the market for vegan multivitamins.

In this article, you’ll discover:

  1. The benefits of taking a multivitamin regularly
  2. Which specific micronutrients are essential for women’s optimal health
  3. How to tell the real from the fake
  4. Our pick for which is the best multivitamin for vegan women.

Performance Lab Multivitamin bottle

*If you want the quick answer, then go straight to our #1 vegan multivitamin for women: NutriGenesis Multi For Women.


It’s important to choose a high-quality multivitamin with all the right nutrients

Just because you’re taking a vegan multivitamin doesn’t mean it’s doing the exact job you want it to.

Here are some things that make an enormous difference in the quality of multivitamins:

  • Purity
  • Absorption rates
  • Varying levels of specific vitamins and minerals.

While a balanced diet takes care of most, age-related decline in thyroid function, the onset of menopause, or whether you go through menstrual cycles warrant supplementation of certain nutrients.

Pre and post-natal nutrition require special attention to folate, or vitamin B9, because of its role in neurological development.

Those with diabetes [1], insulin resistance, or metabolic syndrome may need more biotin, chromium, vitamin C, or magnesium.

Finally, lifestyle choices or cultural considerations mean you might miss out on vitamins, and veganism is one of them.



Special Considerations for Vegan Women

Females around are world are beautifully diverse, and all have different needs.

Vegans, in particular, have the advantage of a plant-based diet rich in phytonutrients. However, as with any dietary restriction, there’s a risk of missing out.

For example, Omega-3 may be lacking in the diets of some vegans, as a major source of omega-3 is in oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, and sardines.

Always consult with a physician and get a blood panel to know your exact levels, but below are some common considerations for vegans.

Beta-carotene and vitamin A

As dietary sources of vitamin A are animal-based (eggs, milk, fish, etc.), vegans rely on beta-carotene as a go-between.

This phytonutrient can be converted to vitamin A within the body, but that means you need a good amount of it.

Eat lots of dark, leafy greens or orange/yellow fruits and vegetables, and cover your bases by supplementing with this nutrient, especially if you have other health concerns.

Iron Absorption Issues

Vegans don’t particularly need more iron than most, but they may have trouble absorbing it from their diet.

That’s because the iron found in plants is naturally bound to phytates.

According to studies, this bond can reduce dietary iron absorption up to 80%, but some research suggests [2] mitigation with a high-phytate diet.

Experts recommend combining iron-rich foods with vitamin C, such as squeezing lemon juice atop your tofu or eating orange slices with your lentils.

To be absolutely sure, however, you can just combine the two in a vegan multivitamin.

Zinc

As an underrated mineral, zinc can work wonders for our health in terms of sleep, immune system, and recovery.

However, like its ferrous friend, plant-based zinc also binds to phytates—and we can’t just eat vitamin C to fix it.

Therefore, it’s best to get zinc from an outside source, such as a high-quality supplement.

Risk for anemia

Vegans lack adequate sources of vitamin B12 from diet alone. As this nutrient vitally helps form red blood cells, a deficiency puts you at risk of developing anemia.

According to the journal Nutrition Reviews [3], vegetarians and vegans alike should regularly supplement B12 to offset this risk.

Vitamin D

Some reports suggest that up to 1 billion people worldwide are vitamin D deficient.

As a lack of this nutrient can be considered a global health issue [4], surely everyone could use a top-up.

However, according to the Vegan Society [5], many vitamin D supplements come from animal sources.

So, be sure to triple check that it is purely plant-based.


A highly active vegan woman squatting with a barbell


What Vegans Should Look For In A Multivitamin

Now that we’ve covered a little behind the specific dietary considerations, what should vegans look for in a multivitamin?

First up–the obvious: Not all multivitamins are made without animal byproducts.

In fact, according to PETA [6], plenty of supplements and food products—especially ingredients vegans need the most (such as B 12 and Vitamin A)—contain items derived from animals.

So, before buying, always check with the manufacturer/parent company that each individual ingredient in your multivitamin is solely of plant origin.

With that being said, here’s a shortlist of vitamins and minerals to look for, and their relative quantities.

Vitamin B 12

Not present in plant-based foods, yet naturally occurring in poultry, fish, eggs, and milk, B 12 tops our list of “things to pay attention to” for vegans.

Look to eat enough fortified foods like breakfast cereals or dairy substitutes (at least 3 micrograms daily), OR take a multivitamin [7] with at least 10 micrograms.

B 12 needs to combine with intrinsic factor [8] before the body can actually absorb it.

Therefore, overall gut health is of utmost importance, and vegans may want to choose a multivitamin best to address this.

Vitamin A

Similar to the above, this micronutrient in its whole form only comes from animals and their byproducts. Plants, however, feature provitamin A, also known as carotenoids.

These little phytonutrients can be converted into retinol once consumed and inside the body. Experts recommend women take 700 mcg per day, usually found as beta-carotene in vegan supplements.

However, this micronutrient is fat-soluble, meaning it can hang around for a while and become toxic in extreme amounts.

Therefore, make sure you look for a multivitamin that doesn’t come anywhere close to the upper limit of 3,000 mcg/10,000 ICU per day.

Vitamin C

Fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods are rich in this nutrient, so a deficiency is unlikely, especially for vegans.

Why should you care if it’s in your multivitamin then, you ask?

Well, because you need it to absorb iron, and iron deficiency is much more common. And consuming the two in tandem greatly improves the bioavailability of iron.

Vitamin C becomes even more crucial when your immune system needs to fight off any illnesses.

For example, thanks to its antioxidant properties [9], athletes who take this nutrient are 50% less likely to develop the common cold. Search for a multi with up to 2000 mg for immune support, and 100-200mg minimum.

Iron

A slight iron deficiency is a common health issue among many populations, but especially the two we’re concerned with in this article—vegans and women.

According to the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine [10], vegan whole food only contains the non-heme version of iron, which makes it less bioavailable “because of the naturally occurring absorption inhibitors, which mainly include phytate, oxalate, and polyphenols.”

So it’s not necessarily that vegans consume less iron… the body just has a hard time absorbing it. (Hence the Vitamin C recommendation, as ascorbic acids help break down those inhibitors)

Furthermore, young women who experience heavy periods are at risk of iron-deficient anemia because of blood loss.

Those who are pregnant need even more as they’re providing for two.

According to Examine.com, look for a multivitamin that will supplement your diet to reach the following iron amounts per day, based on your situation:

  • 8 mg for non-menstruating women
  • 15 mg for menstruating women under 19
  • 18 mg for menstruating women over 18
  • 27 mg for pregnant women
  • 9 mg for lactating women under 19
  • 10 mg for lactating women over 18

Vitamin D

Those at the higher end of the age spectrum, in particular, need this particular micronutrient.

Not only is it necessary for skeletal health to stave off fractures and osteoporosis, but low levels of vitamin D [11] play a role in the onset of depression, cognitive decline, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and more.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to achieve adequate levels of this nutrient from a vegan diet alone.

Regular sun exposure is one of the best solutions to increase vitamin D. However, if you live in an area with long winters, short daylight hours, or prone to cloudy days, that might be tough.

However, many prefer to limit prolonged sun exposure for fear of developing skin cancer.

If you fit into this category, supplementation might be your best option.

Look for a multivitamin with around 1,000-2,000 IU of D3—the more bioavailable version.

Selenium and Iodine

Folate, the naturally occurring version of vitamin B9 found in whole food, is typically listed as folic acid on supplements.

Critical for red blood cell formation and growth and development, folate is a key nutritional element of a healthy pregnancy.

Regardless of dietary preference, those who are prenatal and postpartum should look to optimize folate intake. However, vegans obviously need to look for a supplement that doesn’t contain animal byproducts.

Folate

Folate, the naturally occurring version of vitamin B9 found in whole food, is typically listed as folic acid on supplements.

Critical for red blood cell formation and growth and development, folate is a key nutritional element of a healthy pregnancy.

Regardless of dietary preference, those who are prenatal and postpartum should look to optimize folate intake. However, vegans obviously need to look for a supplement that doesn’t contain animal byproducts.

Zinc

Zinc is absent from a large majority of plant whole foods, although you can get trace amounts from mushrooms, spinach, beans, and cashews. A recent systematic review [14] shows that those on vegetarian/vegan diets have low zinc levels.

Considering a deficiency can cause impaired growth, immune dysfunction, and reduced wound healing, it’s not a nutrient you want to ignore.

Current recommendations [15] for zinc intake suggest 8-11mg per day, with up to 13mg/day for those who are pregnant and lactating.



This vs. That: The problem with Most Supplements

Too many supplement companies focus on the ingredient list to impress buyers, rather than another factor with equal effect on nutrition: absorption.

But why pay for all of those vitamins and minerals in vegan multivitamins if they’re just going to pass right through you?

Fat-soluble vitamins need to be transported with dietary fat. If you don’t have enough fat in your diet (or they aren’t pre-bound), you won’t properly absorb them.

Water-soluble vitamins rely on molecular carriers to do their job, and they’re not regularly stored in high amounts.

Similarly, certain minerals (see iron above) are inhibited by other molecules. That means any supplement that neglects to take this into account might miss the boat.




How to Get a Multivitamin That Works

Your best bet is to see your primary care physician to get your bloodwork done. They’ll be able to tell you if you have or are at risk for any deficiencies for any essential nutrients.

If so, it may be best to opt for individual vitamins. Otherwise, look for a multivitamin that contains the minimum amount of micronutrients of specific concern to vegans.

Finally, find a delicate balance between a reputable company, efficacy, and affordability. If you’re going to take a daily multivitamin, you need something that won’t break the bank.

But going too cheap might sacrifice quality.

Fortunately, we’ve found the best multiple vitamin that strikes the perfect balance regardless of whether or not you’re on a vegan diet.


Best Vegan Multivitamin For Women

Performance Lab Nutrigenesis Multi bottle and box

Our pick for best vegan multivitamin for women: Nutrigenesis Multi for Women

Specially formulated for the unique nutrients needs of a vegan, this brand contains 200% of your daily value of folate and 100% of iodine.

With 250% of your daily value of D3, it’s perfect for fortifying immune systems and aiding bone health.

But the real quality lies not only in the ingredients, but in how they make them, and what they don’t include.

Performance Lab uses technology to recreate bioidentical nutrients within the lab. Known as NutriGenesis, this trademarked method naturally grows nutrients inside of single-celled probiotics.

The extracted vitamins and minerals, therefore, mimic the exact ones found in whole foods. Except, unlike whole food, their supplements are specifically curated to feature everything you need and nothing you don’t.

Purity and Efficacy of Performance Lab’s Multivitamin for Women

You’ll find their nutrients inside of plant-based capsules infused with prebiotics to maximize digestion.

Every supplement is vegan, caffeine-free, gluten-free, additive and synthetic-free, void of any artificial colors, preservatives, or banned substances, non-GMO, and is easy to swallow.

Here’s a look at some nutrients they feature in adequate quantities for vegans: Vitamins A, C, B9 (Folic Acid), D3, B2 (Riboflavin), and B 12, along with:

  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Calcium

Performance Lab Multivitamin bottle

For a full list of ingredients, visit Performance Lab’s website.


Affordability of Performance Lab’s Multivitamin for Women

A month’s supply of NutriGenesis Multi will set you back $39. Which, if we’re honest, is more expensive than your generic grocery store version. But remember–you get what you pay for.

Luckily, they provide discounts for buying two or three boxes at a time so you can get quality for an affordable price.

Conclusion

So, that concludes my guide to which multivitamins are the best for vegans in 2020!

Everyone can benefit from a daily multivitamin—if you are selective enough to find one that does what it promises. And while nothing replaces whole food and a solid diet complete with essential nutrients such as omega-3, vegans are on the right track there, with few risks.

Thankfully, taking one of the best vegan multivitamins on the market – the vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, and easy to swallow NutriGenesis Multi from Performance Lab which allows you to bridge any gaps you have in terms of nutrients so you can get back to focusing on the other areas of life.


Performance Lab Multivitamin bottle

To Buy the Best Multivitamin for Women, Visit:
» www.performancelab.com «


References:

  1. https://www.diabetes.co.uk/vitamins-supplements.html
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26041677
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23356638
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19543765/
  5. https://www.vegansociety.com/resources/nutrition-and-health/nutrients/vitamin-d
  6. https://www.peta.org/living/food/animal-ingredients-list/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18606874?dopt=Abstract
  8. https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/vitamin-b12-deficiency-a-to-z
  9. https://examine.com/supplements/vitamin-c/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6367879/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4399494/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12424220
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16935405
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23595983
  15. https://www.nap.edu/read/10026/chapter/14

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