Best Multivitamins for Vegans

If you are following a vegan diet, then finding a high-quality vegan multivitamin can be difficult since many products contain vitamins and minerals that are of animal origin. On the other hand, vegan diets tend to lack some essential nutrients, so adding a vegan multivitamin is important for preventing nutrient deficiencies.

For example, the deficiency of vitamin B12 has been reported to affect up to 90% of all vegans. [1]

In this article, we’ll cover the best multivitamins for vegans and help you pick the most suitable daily multivitamin to fill in any nutrient gaps that may be in your plant-based diet

TL;DR: Best Multivitamins for Vegans

  • A vegan multivitamin should contain vitamins D3 and B12
  • Vegan vitamin D3 can be produced from lichen
  • A mineral supplement for vegans should contain zinc and iodine
  • Menstruating women are at a higher risk of iron-deficiency so they should consider using a daily multivitamin that contains iron
  • A vegan multivitamin should contain omega-3 sourced from algae, as these fatty acids are often deficient in plant-based diets

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Why You Should Trust Us

I’m a medical doctor focused on evidence-based medicine and research. My experience as a scientist has allowed me to independently research the latest scientific evidence for vegan multivitamins, including their safety and effectiveness.

In order to help you pick the best vegan multivitamin, we have critically evaluated all available products and will provide you with detailed information on:

  • The most common nutrient deficiencies in vegans
  • Nutrient forms with the best absorption and bioavailability
  • Optimal dosages of key nutrients
  • Clear recommendations on how to supplement a vegan diet effectively

Comparison of the 3 Best Multivitamins for Vegans

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    Softgel Form
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    2 Softgels Daily
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    D3 from Lichen
  • Best Multivitamins for Vegans
    Algal Oil Omega-3
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    $29.95/Month Supply
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    9 Traceable Ingredients
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    8 mg Iron
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    Online Assessment
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    Capsules & Softgels
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    Ingredients $0.12-$1.57 Daily
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Why Should Vegans Use Multivitamins?

Following a plant-based diet can help you lose weight, lower your blood pressure, and improve your heart health. [2] [3] However, if you’re avoiding all non-vegan products completely then you are at a higher risk of some nutrient deficiencies.

You should consider taking a daily multivitamin that contains essential vitamins and minerals in order to prevent nutrient deficiencies and provide your body with key nutrients for optimal health and longevity. The most common deficiencies in vegans include vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, calcium, and zinc.

Vitamin B12 is the hardest nutrient to obtain while following a plant-based diet as there is no natural high-quality vegan food source. You can obtain some B12 from fortified products such as cereals, soy and rice milk, nutritional yeast, and meat substitutes.

Getting enough omega-3 fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), is also harder while following a vegan diet. Thankfully, many vegan multivitamins can contain algal oil which provides high concentrations of EPA and DHA.

Best Vitamins for Vegans

Vitamin B12

One of the most common deficiencies for vegans is vitamin B12. [4] Animal products are the only natural source of this vitamin so it is essential for vegans to supplement with this vitamin.

Vitamin B12 is integral to the formation of red blood cells, DNA synthesis, and nerve functions. If you don’t consume enough vitamin B12, you may develop a deficiency that leads to the side effects of mouth ulcers, sore tongue, feeling more irritable or depressed, experiencing vision disturbances, or having difficulty remembering things.

It may take years of low intake before the deficiency develops, however, if there are symptoms then a successful treatment will require B12 injections. This is why we strongly advise supplementing if you are vegan.

A vegan multivitamin with vitamin B12 will often contain the whole B-complex as well. However, all other B-vitamins can be found in plant-based whole foods so it is not necessary to supplement with them.

According to the latest evidence, the recommended daily value (RDV) for vitamin B12 is at least 4.0 µg daily. Consult with your doctor if you are taking medications for diabetes or acid reflux, as B12 might interact with them. [5]

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is the most common vitamin deficiency worldwide. One of the reasons is the lack of adequate exposure to direct sunlight during the winter and spring season when the natural synthesis drops down to 0.

Some plant-based whole food products such as sun-exposed white mushrooms contain vitamin D2 while animal products (fish) contain vitamin D3. Both forms can increase the levels of vitamin D in the organism. [6]

However, vitamin D3 is about 2-3 times more effective than vitamin D2 in maintaining optimal blood levels for longer. [7] Thus, make sure to pick vitamin D3 (there are vegan-friendly options from algae) if you choose to supplement with vitamin D.

Always take your supplement with a meal that is rich in fats or you are risking poor absorption of vitamin D. The recommended daily intake of vitamin D3 is 500-2000 UI (15-50 mcg).

This vitamin plays a key role in bone health, calcium absorption and metabolism, and immune system regulation. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to multiple health problems, such as low calcium levels and an increased risk of osteoporosis.

Vegans tend to consume less calcium within their diet as well. Studies suggest that those consuming less than 525 mg of calcium daily are at an increased risk of bone fractures. [8]

Best Minerals for Vegans


Iron is required for the production of hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin helps transport oxygen molecules throughout the bloodstream to our body’s many cells and it is also important for our skin, hair, and nails.

Having a deficiency in iron can lead to iron-deficiency anemia as well as symptoms such as low energy, chest pain, headaches, dizziness, brittle nails, and cold hands.

Iron deficiencies are more common among vegans because vegan-friendly products only contain non-heme iron. This is a form of iron that has relatively poor absorption (5-12%) in the human gut when compared to heme iron (15–35%). Heme iron is the form of iron contained in animal products. [9]

The absorption of non-heme iron can be boosted by vitamin C supplements. [10] Thus, you can combine foods rich in iron with foods rich in vitamin C. Foods rich in vitamin C include peppers, broccoli, potatoes, citrus fruits, etc.

RDVs are different for men and women but it is recommended for men to consume 8 mg of iron per day. However, menstruating women require at least 18 mg of iron daily or even more if physically active. In such cases, supplementation with iron is strongly advised.

Make sure to consult with your doctor first before taking an iron supplement. It best to get your hemoglobin and ferritin levels checked first.

Avoid vegan multivitamins with large doses of iron because concentrations over 45 mg per day can be toxic and consuming more than 25 mg of supplemental iron may cause indigestion or interfere with the absorption of zinc.


Vegan and vegetarian diets are also at a higher risk of zinc deficiency because of the lower intake of zinc that is typical for this dietary pattern. [11] Furthermore, plant sources of zinc such as legumes and nuts contain a chemical called phytic acid, which reduces zinc absorption by over 20%. You can reduce phytic acid levels in these foods by soaking followed by cooking or roasting and soaking for 12 hours reduces phytic acid by 9%. [12]

Zinc is an essential mineral required for immune functioning, protein synthesis, testosterone production, and wound healing. The RDV for zinc is 8-11 milligrams daily.

However. the NIH advises that vegetarians sometimes require as much as 50% more of the recommended RDV for zinc than non-vegetarians due to the low bioavailability of zinc from non-animal sources. [13] Avoid supplementing with more than 20mg of zinc per day as it can lead to toxicity, low HDL, and copper deficiency. [14]


While on a vegan diet you are at a higher risk of iodine deficiency as studies suggest that vegans have about 50% lower levels than vegetarians. [15][16]

Iodine is crucial for normal metabolism and thyroid function. The thyroid hormones are one of the main drivers of your metabolism and a lack of iodine can lead to hypothyroidism.

The levels of iodine in plants depend on the levels of iodine in the water and soil but modern refining methods have completely deprived them of this mineral.

The RDV for adults is 150 micrograms of iodine daily. This can be achieved by consuming iodized salt – about half a teaspoon daily used as part of the seasoning for various meals and salads. However, if you are not consuming iodized salt then you should supplement.

Best Supplements for Vegans

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is found in plant foods while EPA and DHA are in animal products.

When you consume ALA, the body converts it into the other 2 types of omega-3 fatty acids. However, the process is ineffective and only 1-15% of it gets transformed. [17]

Some studies suggest that this conversion might be slightly more effective in vegans. [18] If ALA is not used for DHA or EPA synthesis, it’s either stored or burned for energy, like most other fats.

Most vegan-friendly sources of omega-3 fatty acids also contain a lot of omega-6. One of the most concentrated sources of ALA but simultaneously low in omega-6 is flaxseed oil. One tablespoon contains 7.26 grams of omega-3.
Chia seeds are a close second, with one ounce providing five grams of ALA, and walnuts offer 2.57 grams of ALA per tablespoon.

Men and women have different RDVs as women are more efficient in converting ALA to DHA and EPA. Non-pregnant women following a plant-based diet should take a minimum of 1.1 grams of omega-3 daily, while men require about 1.6 grams daily.

However, it’s also extremely important to have a good balance between omega-3 and omega-6. The recommended ratio is 1:4 omega-3 to omega-6 or higher.

The body needs DHA and EPA which why it is best to take a vegan supplement that contains both. DHA is important for brain, eye, and skin health whereas EPA is used to synthesize signaling molecules used by the immune system.

Take-Home Message

Some vitamins and minerals can’t be easily obtained from plant-based diets even when you are focusing mostly on unprocessed whole foods. Adding a vegan multivitamin in those cases is the smartest choice since it will help you prevent a nutrient deficiency that can cause serious health problems.

The best vegan multivitamins must cover the most common deficiencies such as vitamin D3, vitamin B12, zinc, iron, iodine, and omega 3.


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Dr. Dimitar Marinov

Dr. D. Marinov is our medical expert. He has written, fact-checked and medically reviewed tons of articles on topics about medicine, health, infections, and nutrition.

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