Alive!® Vitamins by Nature’s Way is a brand that offers many different vitamin formulas for men, women, and children. The company has vitamins available in tablets, soft gels, and gummy forms. Nature’s Way Alive!® also offers one liquid multivitamin product.
Most people would assume that it’s unlikely they’d be ingesting animal products if they swallowed a vitamin pill, but they’d be wrong. Vitamins commonly have animal-derived ingredients.
Are Alive Vitamins vegan?
Alive Vitamins are not vegan except potentially their Max Potency Liquid Multivitamin. All other Alive Vitamins contain animal-derived ingredients. Even the vegetarian gelatin-free vitamins include beeswax and D3 sourced from sheep’s wool.
It’s surprisingly common for vitamins and supplements to contain animal-based ingredients. Let’s look at the vitamins they sell and which ingredients are the problem.
Alive Vitamins Product Listing
The Alive!® Vitamins product line-up contains several formulas. The following varieties include animal ingredients and are unsuitable for vegans or vegetarians:
- Adult Ultra Potency Complete Multivitamin
- Everyday Immune Health*
- Garden Goodness™ for Men
- Garden Goodness™ for Women
- Kids Chewable Multivitamin
- Max3 Daily Multivitamin Without Iron
- Max3 Potency Multivitamin
- Max3 Potency Women’s Multivitamin
- Men’s 50+ Multivitamin
- Men’s Energy Multivitamin
- Men’s Max3 Daily Multivitamin
- Once Daily Men’s 50+ Ultra Potency Multivitamin
- Once Daily Men’s Ultra Potency Multivitamin
- Once Daily Women’s 50+ Ultra Potency Multivitamin
- Once Daily Women’s Ultra Potency Multivitamin
- Premium Men’s Gummy Multivitamin
- Premium Women’s Gummy Multivitamin
- Women’s 50+ Multivitamin
- Women’s Energy Multivitamin
- Women’s Gummy Multivitamin
Those vitamins contain gelatin, so even vegetarians have to cross those products off their list. Gelatin is a product made from boiling the skin and bones of slaughtered animals to release collagen.
What about the other products in the company’s line-up? Are Alive Vitamins vegan if they don’t contain gelatin?
Unfortunately, almost all other vitamins under this brand still contain one or more animal-sourced products. The rest of their vitamins, with one exception, are suitable for vegetarians but not vegans.
Which Alive Vitamins Are Vegetarian?
Nature’s Way makes a long list of vitamins without gelatin. Instead of gelatin, they use beeswax, which vegetarians generally find acceptable. Vegans, however, will want to avoid all but one product, primarily because of Vitamin D3.
D3 as cholecalciferol can be vegan if it comes from lichen, but when this happens, the product will generally advertise it as a vegan form of D3. Most commonly, though, D3 comes from the lanolin in sheep’s wool.
Nature’s Way has confirmed in responses to questions on Amazon that their D3 comes from lanolin and is not vegan-friendly. They also have experts in their organization answering questions about D3 on their website that makes it clear they use animal-sourced D3 in their vitamins.
This type of D3 is suitable for vegetarians because it comes from sheep’s wool and not their meat, but vegans avoid all animal-based products, including wool and lanolin.
The following products in the Alive Vitamins line-up are suitable for vegetarians but not vegans because of the animal-sourced D3 and the beeswax used in place of gelatin:
- Calcium + D3 Gummies
- Calcium Formula
- B-Complex Gummies
- Kids Gummy Multivitamin
- Men’s Gummy Multivitamin
- Premium Adult Multivitamin Gummies
- Premium Hair, Skin & Nails Gummies
- Premium Immune Gummies
- Premium Men’s 50+ Gummy Multivitamin
- Premium Prenatal Gummies
- Premium Prenatal Multivitamin
- Premium Women’s 50+ Gummy Multivitamin
- Teen Gummy Multivitamin for Her
- Teen Gummy Multivitamin for Him
- Women’s 50+ Gummy Multivitamin
Many gummy vitamins and candies use gelatin to create their texture. In their vegetarian formulas, Nature’s Way uses beeswax or pectin instead. Pectin is vegan and comes from fruit, but beeswax is a product vegans avoid.
Other Ingredients in Alive Vitamins
When you’re shopping for vitamins, gelatin is the most common ingredient to look out for, followed by Vitamin D3. If the packaging doesn’t point out that the D3 is vegan or came from lichen, it probably came from the lanolin in sheep’s wool.
Other ingredients you’ll find in supplements that might or might not be vegan are:
- Stearic acid
- Magnesium stearates
These ingredients can come from both animal and plant sources. When animal-based, they come from animal fats and are unsuitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Some Alive Vitamins contain one or more of these, but the company has confirmed on Amazon that those ingredients come from palm oil instead of animals. They also list vitamins containing those ingredients as vegetarian on their website, which they wouldn’t do if they were animal-sourced.
One more questionable ingredient you might find in supplements is carmine. Is it vegan? No, carmine is a food coloring made from crushed insects. The Women’s 50+ and Energy Multivitamins contain carmine, but they’re already non-vegan because of the gelatin.
Which Alive Vitamins Are Vegan?
Only one of the Alive Vitamins product line-up appears to be vegan. The Max Potency Liquid Multivitamin doesn’t contain gelatin, beeswax, or carmine. More encouraging still, the Vitamin D is ergocalciferol, which means it’s D2 instead of D3. Vitamin D2 comes from plant-based sources.
The only ingredient in this liquid vitamin that sometimes comes from animal sources is the Omega-3 fatty acids. Sometimes these come from fish oil, but the ingredients list flaxseed and sunflower seed powder as the Omega-3 sources. If the Omega-3 came from fish oil, they wouldn’t list the product as vegetarian.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Supplements contain so many things it can be hard to find vegan brands. Look for potentially controversial ingredients before taking vitamins.
Is choline vegan?
The choline listed in most vitamins is choline bitartrate, which usually comes from a compound in grapes and is vegan-friendly.
Are stearates vegan?
While stearic acid and magnesium stearate can come from animals, they’re often plant-based and made from oils. If the product is vegetarian, the stearates have to come from plant sources. If it’s not vegetarian, you’ll have to ask the company to find out if the stearates are plant-based.
Does Nature’s Way make other vegan vitamins?
Nature’s Way sells several vegan supplements outside of their Alive Vitamins brand. You can sort their product list by checking the vegan box to see only their vegan-friendly supplements.
The Bottom Line, Are Alive Vitamins Vegan?
The only Alive Vitamin product that appears to be vegan is the Max Potency Liquid Multivitamin. The company does list this product as vegetarian, and none of the ingredients look potentially sourced from animal products.