Are probiotics vegan?

Dairy products may be used when producing Premedy™ probiotics. So, how else can you support your microbiome as a vegan?

As a vegan, you care so much for the planet and its animals that you’ve changed your lifestyle for them. You also care about your own health and may already know that a healthy microbiome is important.

THE BALANCE OF NATURE

Animals are often grouped according to their dietary behaviour in the wild. The rainforest, for example, contains herbivores (plant-eaters), like butterflies, beetles, sloths and monkeys; carnivores (meat-eaters), like crocodiles, jaguars, ocelots, pythons and hawks; and omnivores (eat both animals and plants) like toucans, honey bears, warthogs and sugar gliders.

These feeding relationships help to keep the rainforest ecosystem stable and strong. And such food webs aren’t always linear – some birds eat snakes and some snakes eat birds!

As humans, we’re in the fortunate position of being able to choose what to eat. For ethical, environmental and/or health reasons, increasing numbers of us are choosing to be vegans, avoiding meat, eggs, fish and dairy. Some of us also try to avoid clothing and household products that use animals. But can vegans take probiotics?

Animal derived ingredients, such as dairy, are often used in the growth and production of probiotic supplements in the form of active and excipient ingredients.

CAN VEGANS EAT PROBIOTICS?

Yes. There are many non-animal derived and non-dairy probiotic foods and beverages, such as:

  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha
  • Miso
  • Pickles
  • Sauerkraut

Including these foods and beverages in your diet will help promote healthy levels of gut bacteria to support your microbiome. That’s the intricate ecosystem of microbes, including bacteria, yeast and fungi, that live on and inside you, influencing your general health in many ways. A healthy microbiome contains large numbers of many different types of bacteria. Your lifestyle, including your diet, can influence your bacterial communities.

CAN VEGANS TAKE PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTS?

Animal derived ingredients, such as dairy, are often used in the growth and production of probiotic supplements in the form of active and excipient ingredients:

  • Active ingredients, meaning the probiotic strains themselves may have been originally isolated from animal or dairy sources or may need to be grown on animal or dairy sources during commercial manufacture.
  • Excipient ingredients, meaning the non-medicinal ingredients. Some capsule shells, for example, are made from gelatin of pork or bovine origin.

This means many probiotic supplements on the market are not vegan.

For example, some probiotics were originally isolated from animal products such as milk or cheese. When Lactobacillus strains are isolated and cultured to produce a probiotic supplement, they’re often grown on a dairy medium, which is then removed as new generations of the strain are grown and regrown. This means you can take a Lactobacillus probiotic without consuming any dairy – but dairy was originally used during the product’s cultivation.

Many vegans therefore avoid all probiotics, while others already avoided them because bacteria are technically a living organism.

IS Premedy™ A VEGAN-FRIENDLY BRAND?

No, we’re not. We’ve consciously chosen to be open and transparent about our products so that you can make informed choices about whether they’re right for you.

We respect the world we live in, including our furry and not so furry friends. Whilst our probiotics are vegetarian friendly, they are not vegan. This is because some of our strains were originally isolated from dairy sources, while others may be grown in cultures containing dairy products.

Please note: Premedy™ products do not contain animal products. We do not use gelatin in our capsules.

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