Calcium deficiency is fairly common in vegans, so a supplement can really benefit certain people.
The good news is that vegans can take calcium supplements…just not all of them.
Most “regular” calcium supplements are not vegan.
It seems like they all should be. After all, the vast majority of calcium comes in forms that are obtained from stones like limestone (calcium carbonate), or produced in a lab (calcium citrate). Those forms by themselves are vegan friendly.
The problem is that most calcium supplements don’t just have calcium in them.
In order to absorb calcium, you need vitamin D at a minimum, which usually isn’t vegan. Vitamin D is typically added in the form of D3, which is the most absorbable one. This comes from lanolin, which isn’t vegan (the vegan version of vitamin D3 is more expensive).
Additionally, you’ll often find magnesium, vitamin K, and more, which may or may not be vegan.
Finally, you’ll often find ingredients like:
- Non-vegetable glycerine
All of which aren’t vegan. For example, here’s the ingredient list from one of the top selling calcium supplements on Amazon, which has both gelatin and beeswax.
In summary: Yes, vegans can take calcium supplements, just get one specifically made for vegans. I’ve made a guide to the best vegan calcium supplements if you need help finding one.