Are Your Vitamin Supplements Vegetarian? Find out!
Do you have a vitamin deficiency? Do you consume vitamin supplements? Are Your Vitamin Supplements Vegetarian? Though it is essential to consume supplements to prevent deficiency diseases, you should be aware of the fact that most vitamins are derived from animal sources! The law directs companies to mention the contents of their supplements but they are not asked to display the source of the ingredients which are in most cases non-vegetarian. This means that the product descriptions you find on the outer packaging are not honest.
Vitamin supplements and their non-veg components
Gelatine is a common ingredient in vitamin supplements. The shells and the coating/filling of the capsules are made out of it. Gelatin is obtained from the stomach, hooves and tissue linings of cows, goats and pigs.
Other components in vitamin supplements include magnesium stearate and caprylic acid. The source of magnesium stearate includes fatty acids present in chicken, cows, fish, pigs, milk and butter while caprylic acid is obtained from the milk of cows, goats and sheep.
The attractive looking colours of most vitamin supplements are sourced from animals. Carmine is a red food dye that is made out insects similar to beetles. Another animal-sourced material used for making vitamin D supplements is lanolin which is obtained from animals that have wool. Vitamin D3 is also made from fish oils which can be dangerous due to the hidden mercury in them.
Cod liver oil is used as a source of vitamin A and D. It is extracted from the liver of the cod fish. Cobalamin or vitamin B12 is derived from organ meats of animals. The same goes for other B vitamins.
The much in vogue omega 3 supplements are made from fish, meat and eggs. The duodenum in most vitamins to enable absorption of vital nutrients is obtained from the digestive tracts of animals like cows and pigs.
There are plant-based alternatives
Those who tell you that some vitamins have to be sourced from meat and dairy extracts, should not be believed. Every vitamin has plant-based alternatives.
In place of gelatin, vegetable cellulose caps can be used. Stearates can be derived from palm oil instead of animal sources. Caprylic acid can be extracted from coconut or palm oil. Vitmain D can be extracted from yeast and algae whereas soy can be used as a source for vitamin B12 supplements. Omega 3 can be obtained from flax seeds, chia seeds, kiwi fruit seeds oil and fig seed oil. As far as vitamin A is concerned, it can be made from carotene.
In spite of the availability of vegetable sources, the health supplement industry is choosing animal-based products just because they are cheap. All this is being done only to earn huge profits.
Another option is the use of synthetic vitamins. There is no difference between the vitamins made synthetically and the ones derived from plants or animals. The synthetic production of vitamins is becoming popular and is found to be cheaper than animal-based products.
The point you need to note is that vitamin supplements only treat deficiency, they don’t promote health. So, eat a variety of foods to get the micronutrients you need and stay healthy!
Hope you found this post ‘Are Your Vitamin Supplements Vegetarian? ‘ informative!
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