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Vegan products and preparations: Things you should know

Dietary supplements are used for preventive health care. Furthermore, a vegan lifestyle is considered an ethical choice and is becoming an increasingly popular option. So an optimal supply of all vital nutrients is a point often at the core of many discussions. Therefore this article concerns things vegans should pay careful attention to, and explores why vegan food supplements can also be useful to those who do not follow a purely vegan diet.

Vegan products and preparations: Things you should know

Dietary supplements are used for preventive health care. Furthermore, a vegan lifestyle is considered an ethical choice and is becoming an increasingly popular option. So an optimal supply of all vital nutrients is a point often at the core of many discussions. Therefore this article concerns things vegans should pay careful attention to, and explores why vegan food supplements can also be useful to those who do not follow a purely vegan diet.

What can vegan products do for you?

Vegan food supplements are suitable for a wide range of people. After all, vegan products can also be consumed by meat eaters (those who choose a carnivorous diet), while vegans themselves have to rely on purely plant-based products. Putting aside the ethical arguments about vegan or vegetarian lifestyles, the German Nutrition Society (DGE) maintains that "a plant-based diet with low meat consumption" is good for our health [1]. So it seems even a wholesome mixed diet should largely consist of plant-based foods such as fruit and vegetables.

In the course of a large-scale study of the health of German adults (DEGS1) by the Robert Koch Institute, it was confirmed that the DGE recommendations about fruit and vegetable consumption are not being followed by a large proportion of the German population [2]. According to the DGE, five servings of fruit and vegetables should be consumed per day. But for many, this poses a real challenge amidst the rapid pace of our everyday life.

The risk of the most common causes of death in the western world can be reduced by switching to a diet with a high consumption of plant-based foods [1]. It is widely known, for example, that a predominantly Mediterranean diet has been shown to have positive effects on the metabolism and circulatory system [3]. The interactions within the human body are very complex, which is why this point cannot be fully illustrated here.

However, the benefits of a plant-based diet can be outlined using the example of our intake of essential fatty acids. Here, the ratio between our intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is relevant because of the health-promoting effects of vegetable fatty acids [4]. Due to this mechanism, vegetable oils can help to reduce inflammation within the body if the fatty acids they contain are consumed in optimal proportions as part of your regular food diet.

If you don't manage to take in sufficient nutrients from plant sources, you can always take in the necessary components via a course of dietary supplements. This doesn't just apply to vegans. If followed correctly, a vegan lifestyle can have many beneficial effects on health [5]. What is relevant to this discussion is a wholesome and varied diet that is supplemented with critical nutrients if and when necessary.

Vegan products and their impact on the environment

Since the vegan lifestyle is holistic, it also contributes to sustainable environmental behavior [5]. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, therefore, gives specific recommendations on the production and importance of vegan organic products. According to this guidance, vegan organic food and other vegan products stand out from conventional competing products because they are "free from additives and especially environmentally friendly" [6].

We too believe that healthy people need a healthy environment. So, as far as possible, we always design our dietary supplements applying vegan principles. Although this of course requires more work and a greater effort from producers, it allows us to secure our sources of raw materials and also contributes to sustainable production. Our herbal food supplements are of at least comparable quality to animal products and, given the fact that many people do not manage to adhere to the daily dietary recommendations for fruit and vegetables, our supplements are mostly preferred to animal-based raw materials.

Dietary supplement for a vegan lifestyle

Is a dietary supplement absolutely necessary for a vegan lifestyle? In our latitudes, our intake of vitamin D and iodine from our daily diet is often insufficient to provide optimal care [7]. This not only affects people following a vegan lifestyle; pregnant women also have an increased need for folic acid. So for preventive health care purposes, nutritional supplements can often be prescribed on a doctor's advice.

Though a vegan diet can have many health benefits, in some cases, it may become necessary to supplement certain nutrients. For example, taking additional iron can make sense [8]. Iron is an essential trace element and thus has a role to play in many bodily functions. It can also be necessary to maintain your supply of vitamin B12 [9]. Vegans sometimes have an undersupply of this vitamin because B12 is mainly found in animal foods.

Vegan products and dietary supplements – things you should look out for

A vegan lifestyle guarantees a holistic supply of all essential vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. Studies have shown that vegan women are better supplied with some nutrients such as folate (vitamin B9) than those following a mixed food diet [10]. According to official recommendations, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and also children, should refrain from following a vegan lifestyle, but of course, it's still important to ensure they all consume enough nutrients from plant sources.

Purely vegetable sources – without additives

Anyone who values an exclusively vegan diet should take a very close look at what they buy. Because not every product which claims to be plant-based is always so. Some products contain hidden additives which are not explicitly mentioned. These additives may also be of animal origin, but the consumer has no way of tracing or verifying this.

Any preparation used in the course of a vegan diet must therefore meet the highest quality standards for purity – and supply chains and producers are relevant to this requirement. All processing should be communicated transparently and be accessible to the consumer. After all, it is possible that a product may itself be vegan yet still be processed in the same environment as food of animal origin – which means impurities can never be ruled out.

We respect these demands placed upon a dietary supplement and agree with this viewpoint. After all, we also want our products to always deliver the desired effects. Dietary supplements demand trust because they are directly linked to your health. That is why it is a standard requirement for us that all our preparations are produced in a traceable and transparent manner. Our service team will always be happy to answer your questions about such matters. Furthermore, we continuously check the purity of our products through our own laboratory analysis routines, which means our own standards actually exceed the legal requirements.

Vegan products for religious people

Our vegan food supplements are also suitable for religious people. Just to be sure, those who eat kosher or halal foods often fall back on purely herbal products [11]. There are also concerns here about possible contamination with animal raw materials. Our product labels clearly identify our vegan products and also provide a means of verifying there are no unwanted by-products. Every ingredient is fully identified on the label, allowing you to easily check for yourself whether the intake is compatible with your own dietary requirements.

Packaging and dosage formats

If you want to eat vegan, you should pay attention to more than just the active ingredients. Many manufacturers use carriers or capsules of animal origin. Even if a preparation is considered vegan, this does not necessarily have to apply to the other raw materials as well. To save money during the production phase, capsules are often made from animal gelatin. However, we can state clearly that our vegan products never use such hidden animal resources.

Vegan food supplements: Frequently asked questions

Which dietary supplements are essential for vegans? - Vitamin B12 should definitely be supplemented as it is only found in sufficient quantities in foods of animal origin [12].

What substances are missing from a vegan diet? - When following a vegan diet, in addition to vitamin B12, it can make sense to supplement various proteins, calcium, iron, iodine, and vitamin D.

As a vegan, what should you eat every day? - As a starting point, there should be plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables on the menu. Legumes (e.g., beans and lentils) contain high amounts of protein, while seeds and nuts contain lots of valuable fiber. Grain products and potatoes can also be used to provide carbohydrates.



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