10 Nutritional Supplements Recommended To Anyone on a Plant-Based Diet
No matter the reason why you avoid animal-sourced food, you should be aware of possible nutrient gaps and the Thorne options to fill those gaps. If you are a consumer who follows a plant-based diet, then this list will ensure that you are getting the right nutrients you need to function at your best.
Although Thorne has a wide variety of nutritional supplements that are vegetarian and vegan-friendly, this article will help you identify the most important and convenient options to support your overall health, weight management, energy, sleep, and exercise performance.
Minerals and vitamins
1. Iron: Iron Bisglycinate
If you avoid meat, poultry, and fish/shellfish, then you can only get iron from non-animal sources such as nuts, legumes, grains, vegetables, and nutritional supplements.
Although you can absorb 7-35% of iron from animal muscle tissue (referred to as heme iron), you might only absorb 2-20% from vegetarian sources (referred to as non-heme iron).
Therefore, if you are a vegan or a vegetarian, then you could need an iron supplement that supports your iron level. Individuals who follow a vegetarian or lower protein diet might need to consume nearly twice as much dietary iron as a meat eater.
Each capsule of Thorne's Iron Bisglycinate provides 25 mg of elemental iron that has been reacted with glycine for the optimal absorption of iron in the gastrointestinal tract, which also helps to decrease iron’s typical GI side effects.*
2. Methylation support: Methyl-Guard Plus®
Healthy methylation is important for many functions in the body, including maintenance of a healthy level of homocysteine.* Thorne’s Methyl-Guard Plus provides 5-MTHF (active folate) and the active, tissue-ready forms of vitamins B2, B6, and B12 to support healthy methylation for cardiovascular, cognitive, and bone health.*
The inclusion of 3 milligrams of vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin) per serving is particularly important for individuals who have adopted a vegan or vegetarian diet because vitamin B12 is only found naturally in animal-sourced foods.
Although some vegan foods, like cereals and nutritional yeast, are fortified with vitamin B12, individuals relying on a plant-based diet should consider supplementing with vitamin B12 – and including the other nutrients in Methyl-guard Plus allows vitamin B12 to do its job more efficiently.*
Protein or Amino Acids
1. Muscle and cognitive function: Creatine
Creatine is an amino acid that is produced naturally in the body from other amino acids, and it is also found in foods such as meat, eggs, and fish. If you aren’t consuming these foods, then you might be at risk for having less creatine available for quick energy production, to support muscle maintenance, and to enhance cognitive function.*
Thorne’s vegan-friendly Creatine plays an important role in the body's production of cellular energy because creatine helps make ATP,* a molecule needed by all cells.
2. Muscular endurance: Beta Alanine-SR
Many vegetarians and vegans don’t get enough beta-alanine in their diet because it's mainly found in meat. Therefore, individuals who consume a plant-based diet should consider supplementing with Thorne’s Beta Alanine-SR.
Beta-alanine is required to make carnosine, which is necessary to help maintain a normal pH in muscle tissue by buffering the hydrogen ions created when muscles generate energy.*
Carnosine's absorption is poor, and it tends to be even lower in females and individuals who limit animal protein in their diet. Supplementing with Beta Alanine-SR will support muscle health, muscle work capacity, and perceived time-to-exhaustion in both athletes and non-athletes.*
3. Supplemental Protein: VegaLite
For vegans and vegetarians, a high-quality protein snack without extra carbohydrates can be hard to find, especially if you are traveling or need an in-between meal or post-exercise snack.
Thorne’s VegaLite is made from an easily assimilated blend of pea protein and rice protein – an excellent alternative to more allergenic proteins like whey (from dairy), soy, and eggs. VegaLite is low in sugar, calories, and fat, it contains 20 grams of protein per serving, and it is available in vanilla or chocolate flavors.
4. Vegan protein plus other nutrients all in one: MediPro® Vegan
And if food-on-the-go is what you are looking for, then we have you covered. At the airport, on a road trip, or in times of managing weight, a convenient nutrient-dense protein option with a multi-vitamin/mineral complex and other nutrients is a healthy and nutritious option.
Thorne’s MediPro Vegan provides 22 grams of protein per serving from an easily assimilated blend of pea, chia, and chlorella proteins – a much better alternative to allergenic casein-, soy-, or egg-based protein sources. MediPro Vegan also contains plant-based digestive enzymes, probiotics, a proprietary fruit and vegetable blend, and fiber.
MediPro Vegan replenishes protein after workouts, and it's safe for children and the elderly.* This multi-nutrient protein powder has only 4 grams of sugar per serving and is available in both chocolate and vanilla flavors.
1. GI health: EnteroMend® — which includes L-glutamine, Meriva® (curcumin), Aloe Vera, Casperome® (Boswellia), and Sunfiber®
Individuals with high-stress lifestyles or individuals who engage in high intensity or prolonged exercise can have a higher level of systemic inflammation that can result in gastrointestinal hyperpermeability (or leaky gut).
The amino acid L-glutamine benefits gastrointestinal health, promotes wound healing, supports immune function, and helps restore plasma glutamine levels depleted after periods of physical stress.*
Although animal proteins tend to be highest in glutamine, Thorne’s L-glutamine is not animal-derived; it is synthesized via fermentation from glucose, and therefore is an excellent option for those avoiding an animal-sourced nutrient. EnteroMend’s other unique ingredients are also all plant-sourced.
Although many probiotic supplements tend to be controversial for vegans because they are sourced from dairy, none of Thorne’s probiotics are derived from dairy.
Two vegan-friendly Thorne products are Sacro-B and FloraMend Prime Probiotic®.
Sacro-B (Saccharomyces boulardii) is a yeast species that enhances immune function in the gut by increasing sIgA, the first-line defense immunoglobin of the gastrointestinal tract.* Yeast is a single-cell organism that's classified as a fungus, so it’s perfect for individuals on a plant-based diet.
Thorne’s FloraMend Prime Probiotic is a combination of three beneficial bacteria that are naturally found in the human digestive tract. When taken daily, FloraMend promotes a healthy gut microbiota that supports a wide variety of health benefits – from GI support, to weight management, to immune function* – and it’s dairy free.
1. Pre-sleep stress support: PharmaGABA-100 or -250
Thorne's PharmaGABA is produced via a fermentation process that utilizes Lactobacillus hilgardii, the same bacteria used to ferment cabbage in the preparation of the traditional Korean dish, kimchi.
Clinical studies have shown that the natural form of GABA in Thorne's PharmaGABA decreases the brain's stress-related beta waves and increases the production of alpha-waves, creating a profound sense of physical relaxation while maintaining mental focus.*
Full Body Benefit
1. Manage the body’s response to stress and fear, physical discomfort, GI distress, and more: Hemp Oil +
It’s hard to find one nutritional supplement that does so much, especially one that acts on the endocannabinoid system with wide-ranging positive effects on everything from fertility to pain.*
Thorne’s Hemp Oil + is a synergistic blend of phytocannabinoids derived from multiple plant-based ingredients: a blend of oil extracts from hemp stalk, clove, black pepper, hops, and rosemary.