“Where do you get your protein?”
“Vegans can’t get enough *insert nutrient here*”
“You’ll end up with deficiencies someday”
It’s no secret that vegans face a lot of criticism when it comes to their diet choices. While these detractors usually come from a place of ignorance or hostility, it’s indisputable that vegans (just like non-vegans) should be very aware of their daily nutritional needs and know how to get what they need. A high-quality multivitamin will help you thrive on a plant-based diet by conveniently supplementing the key vitamins and minerals you might struggle to get enough of on a daily basis.
What Should You Look for in a Vegan Multivitamin?
So, what exactly should you be looking for in a vegan multivitamin?
First things first, keep in mind that not all supplements are created equal. While you should make sure that your diet is naturally providing you most of the nutrients you need (through a healthy variety of fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and veggies!), there are some essential vitamins and minerals you might struggle to get enough of, or simply cannot get when following a plant-based diet. Specifically, vitamin B12, vitamin D3, and omega-3 fatty acids are the nutrients you should be supplementing, while vitamins C, E, A, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and calcium should come from a health-promoting whole foods vegan diet.
It’s all quite straightforward, isn’t it?
Well, apparently not, as several major players in the supplement industry tend to pack in more of the vitamins you don’t need supplementing, rather than doubling up on what your body actually needs. On that note, let’s take a look at one of the most popular multivitamins on the market: Deva Vegan.
Ingredients in Deva Vegan Multivitamin
What vitamins and minerals are featured in Deva’s multivitamin?
The ingredients list is quite extensive, but to highlight just a few, it contains vitamins A, C, E, D2, vitamin B cluster (including B12), biotin, iodine, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and selenium. These vitamins and minerals are featured in varying amounts, with most of them meeting or surpassing the daily value threshold. Cellulose, vegetable stearic acid, and vegetable magnesium stearate are also listed as additive ingredients. The supplement is also formulated with a whole foods blend that consists of superfood ingredients like spirulina, cinnamon bark, dandelion root, and ashwagandha root.
Let’s take a closer look at the most crucial nutrients for vegans and see how they fare in Deva’s product:
This Deva multivitamin features vitamin D2 as its vitamin D supplement of choice, a nutrient that in its plant-based form is derived from mushrooms or yeast exposed to UV. Unfortunately, research shows that vitamin D2 is not as effective at raising and maintaining vitamin D levels as vitamin D3 is. It's quite the pickle for vegans, as the majority of D3 supplements are derived from sheep’s wool or fish oil.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
This product does not contain any sources of omega-3 fatty acids. As vegan diets tend to have an unbalanced omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, it is recommended to pair this Deva multivitamin with a daily omega-3 supplement to promote healthy hormonal and respiratory function. It’s either that or reducing your avocado and hummus intake in favor of flaxseed oil (and we’re not too sure how to feel about that).
This supplement features 100 mcg of vitamin B12 in its common cyanocobalamin form. While the amount contained in each tablet exceeds the RDA recommendation of 2.4 mcg for adults, there is no scientific evidence linking higher doses of vitamin B12 with any dangerous side effects. Cyanocobalamin, on the other hand, is (at least theoretically speaking) a toxic man-made chemical that still sparks debate within the multivitamin industry. In practical terms, it would be very difficult to ingest enough cyanocobalamin to do any actual harm to the body, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to consider using a veg multivitamin featuring safer forms of vitamin B12, such as methylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin, or a mix of the two!
How Big Are the Tablets?
The classic Deva multi comes in 90 coated tablets recommended for daily use. The size of each pill is on the larger end of the spectrum, measuring around 3/4" long by 5/16" wide. Several customers have been vocal about their difficulty in swallowing them, despite their "easy-to-swallow" vegetarian coating.
To remedy this problem, Deva now offers an option for those who find it difficult to swallow its supplements: a “tiny tablets” multivitamin containing the same ingredients as their classic product - but with halved amounts.
Where Does Deva Manufacture the Multivitamin?
Deva manufactures all of its products in the United States in FDA-inspected facilities. While some of the parts used in the manufacturing process may be imported, all encapsulation, testing, and bottling happen in U.S. territory.
What Do People Say About This Multivitamin From Deva?
In order to give a balanced and informed review of the effectiveness of this Deva product, we gathered a few of the most common comments and feedback from customers all around the world. Here is what the online community had to say about the multivitamin:
The variety of nutrients featured in this multivitamin seems to be a big plus for many customers, especially if they are looking for a convenient supplementation option at a budget-friendly price.
“A complete variety of nutrients in each pill. A little big to swallow, and yes the pill has a greeny taste, but for the quality, quantity, and price, you can't get much better than these”.
Other users note that this is one of the first multivitamins they have found that is certified vegan, and that doesn’t make them feel sick in the weeks after taking it. Deva’s multivitamin does contain a high dosage of most of what you need (and don’t need) as a vegan, and the accessible price is certainly a big factor in its popularity.
Besides being difficult to swallow, Deva’s tablets seem to cause an odd side effect – making your pee neon yellow, due to the greens powder added to the formula! This may or may not sway you towards a different brand, though we recommend you double-check the green formula to make sure there’s no ingredient you may be allergic or intolerant to. The “green” taste and aroma are also definitely noticeable upon consumption, so you might want to go for a different formula if you think this will put you off taking these tablets daily.
“I'm sure these are great, but the smell was a little off-putting and they made my pee neon yellow”.
Another common complaint is that the mcg amounts contained in each pill are excessive, while other key nutrients for vegans (such as vitamin D and omega-3s) are not present in effective amounts or omitted entirely from the formula.
“I have been taking these for years and my blood work shows consistently good vitamin levels, except for Vitamin D. Perhaps there's not enough of it in this pill, but I take a vegan D3 on the side, and now all my levels are perfect”.
What Did We Think of Deva's Multi And Does It Actually Work?
So, what is our final verdict on this multi?
In short, we believe that it might be a good option for new vegans and vegetarians looking for a convenient, budget-friendly daily supplement, but in the long term, we would not recommend this product to health-conscious vegans. When it comes to vegan multivitamins, more doesn’t necessarily mean better. Taken daily as instructed, Deva tablets will put you well over the recommended daily value for vitamins C, A, E, zinc, potassium, and magnesium – while providing inefficient or suboptimal forms of vitamins D, B12, and no omega-3 fatty acids.
On top of that, the product's strong smell, the size of each tablet, and the bulking agents in the ingredients list make us want to reach for more pleasant alternatives – specifically, a clean and effective multivitamin for vegan use free of additives and possible allergens.
Looking for an Effective Alternative?
Future Kind Essential Multivitamin is the optimal option for vegans that truly care about their nutrition and wish to supplement key nutrients with an effective product.
This multivitamin’s tablets have a pleasant citrus aroma, are incredibly easy to swallow (thanks to softgel power!), and contain no harmful or sketchy additives to bulk up their content.
They have exactly what vegans need to thrive, and nothing more!
This is the only vegan multivitamin that contains two different forms of vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin) to guarantee absorption - cyanide-free! In addition, these are one of the few vegan multis containing lichen-derived vitamin D3, rather than the ineffective vitamin D2. Your omega-3 fatty acids requirements will also be covered with the featured premium algae-derived omega-3.
Still not convinced? Check out our latest blog for a complete review of the most popular plant-based vitamin options available on the market in 2020!