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How Do I Choose the Best Vegetarian Supplements?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 27 June 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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Vegetarian supplements can help augment nutritional intake and ensure that vitamins and minerals are maintained at a healthy levels. For those following a vegetarian diet, there are usually two major factors to consider when choosing dietary supplements: personal diet, and the ingredients used in the supplement. While it is possible to maintain a nutritionally fulfilling vegetarian diet, some supplements may be helpful for those who do not always have the time or ability to eat healthy vegetarian foods.

Though many medical experts consider vegetarian diets to be extremely healthy, the absence of meat and animal byproducts from the diet can lead to some nutritional pitfalls. Some vegetarians and vegans rely on supplements to help increase protein, iron, and vitamin B12 levels. Calcium levels may also be of particular concern for vegans, since they eschew dairy products, which tend to have a high calcium component.

One of the easiest ways to meet all of these nutritional needs is through a daily multivitamin. Multivitamins are available at grocery and drugstores, and many are also available through online merchants and specialty health food stores. One of the benefits to multivitamin vegetarian supplements is that they can counter several mineral or vitamin deficiencies in one go, requiring little additional work on the part of the user.

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Those who are more careful about monitoring their diet may prefer to take single ingredient vegetarian supplements instead. Single ingredient supplements may be good for those who know they suffer from a specific deficiency and cannot eat any foods that provide the needed nutrition naturally. This type of supplement can also prevent the possibility of getting some vitamins or minerals in unhealthy excess, which may be unavoidable with multivitamin pills. Iodine supplements are sometimes recommended for vegetarians and vegans, as some of the staples in vegetarian and vegan diets can actually deplete natural iodine levels.

Another major concern when purchasing vegetarian supplements is the makeup of the formula itself. Some supplements contain ingredients derived from animal sources, or may include animal byproducts, such as gelatin, in the casing for pills. To ensure that vegetarian supplements are safe for use in a special diet, check ingredient lists carefully. Many vegetarian or vegan products will state clearly that they are safe for vegetarians and vegans and use no animal products of any kind. If a label does not bear these assurances, contacting the manufacturer can be a good way to determine whether the product is safe for use by vegetarians.

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