How important is it to take vitamin and mineral supplements, on a vegan diet? Wouldn't I get enough from vegetables, fruits, grains, etc?

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Good post/question Joyce Clark. This is one  the arguments against the vegetarian path (particularly vegan) i have encountered. I am not a nutritionalist nor a physician so all i can say logically is that it probably is differnent from person to person. It would really be helpful to me also for more insight in this subject. 

In my opinion its very important!!  A lot of pills make me gag so I prefer to use a vegetarian friendly supplement shake that is packed with daily vitamins...its easier.  When I first became a vegetarian, my hair was thinning but once i started taking my daily supplement shake the problem stopped, thankfully.

Thank you. I will look for some.

I take Dr. Fuhrman's Gentle Care vitamins everyday. I also take a vitamin d supplement (because my blood test levels have always been extremely low since becoming vegan), an algae-based DHA, and liquid b12 on occassion. I think the needs of supplements varies from person to person. I had a friend who became iron deficient on a vegan diet, while I never had any problems with this ever. You can go without supplements and monitor your blood from time to time and supplement only if there's deficiencies. I know when I was against supplementing my vitamin d levels fell very low... which increases the risk of certain diseases. I eventually had to take a prescription vitamin d to bring it back up.

Thank you. I will look into Dr. Fuhrman's vitamins.

My personal research and belief as a vegan is to obtain a majority of vitamins and nutrients from whole foods.  However, the reality is that's not always obtainable. 

I take a daily multivitamin, B Complex, and a vegan Omega 3 (FLAX/DHA).   If you are a female in America over age 30, vitamin D deficiency is an epidemic. Vegan protein powders in my shakes on occasion have many supplements as well.

People always ask, How do you get your protein?  That part is easy.  My focus is more on in taking enough iron and folic acid.  I Google "what foods have highest _______?  for a list of foods to ensure my family and I are getting everything in our diet.

It's surprising how many doctors are concerned with your intake of protein supplements, and how few of them ever do the proper testing ( urinary MMA, & Homocysteine levels as well as  serum B12 tests) for B12 levels and also vitamin D as mentioned in other posts here. The mis info is changing, but slowly. I'm a recent Vegan , so I've yet to be tested. Most inmportant I think is that whole foods are the best foundation to build on.

I take a vegan multivitamin and omega 3 supplement from a company called Deva just to be safe. I don't know if it's necessary. I ordered them on amazon and got 2 bottles of vitamins and 2 bottles of omega 3's (90 capsules in each bottle) for $31. That's a 6 month supply for a good price. I'm sure if we ate a perfect diet we wouldn't need to supplement.

Supplements are generally not recommended, especially if you are a vegan, the chances of nutrient toxicity are high. Instead I'd recommend a daily multivitamin, if you truly feel you need that insurance. But otherwise I say, just eat a varied diet, and unless you notice some type of deficiency- listen to your body :)

This is not necessarily good advice, and I'd disagree that supplements on principle place you at risk of toxicity. It's certainly possible, but that kind of blanket statement is always gonna be wrong. While a balanced, healthy vegan diet will provide nearly all your nutritional needs, some supplementation is helpful. A B-vitamin is practical -- most vegans are low in B-12. Also, vitamin D supplementation is important. Because you're choosing to be vegan (yay!), you should have the occasional blood test to check for vitamin levels. My point is that you can be experiencing a deficiency and have it be subclinical, ie, not immediately obvious in your experience.  Most people are deficient in Vitamin D and don't know it, which means their immune system isn't as effective as it could be. I suggest at a minimum, a vitamin D and calcium supplement and a B multivitamin. These are practical steps. 

For a lot of helpful info on vegan nutrition, visit

You can disagree? Your opinion doesn't matter, I'm going to listen to my education, not a .com website. Most cases of toxicity are caused by supplements. They're pointless and dangerous, it's called eating right. Also a vitamin and a supplement are different... that is why I recommended a daily multivitamin. If you didn't realize there was even a difference you have no business trying to call out other advice. Ignorance is dangerous in nutrition.


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