New data from The Vegan Society reveals 1 in 4 (25%) Brits admit they don’t take any form of vitamin D supplementation – despite strong recommendations from the NHS.
Currently, public health guidance recommends that everyone living in the UK should take a vitamin D supplement from October to March as a minimum. This is because the body only creates vitamin D from sunlight when outdoors, and during colder, wetter months we don't get sufficient amounts of it. In fact, during the pandemic the NHS introduced a service for high-risk or extremely vulnerable people to get free vitamin D supplements who may not have got enough from natural sunlight when they were advised to shield.
In general, 81% of Brits say they take a vitamin or supplement in some shape or form but that leaves 19% who admit they avoid them completely. Interestingly, the figure for complete abstinence of vitamins or supplements was highest for those with a meat heavy diet (36%), and lowest for those who describe themselves as either vegan or plant-based (2%).
The news comes as The Vegan Society today (7 June) unveiled a whole new look for VEG 1. The packaging is now made from aluminium – making it 100% plastic-free and recyclable. VEG 1 is the nutritional supplement developed to provide an affordable, reliable source of vitamins D3, B12, B2 and B6, folic acid, iodine and selenium. It was created specifically for vegans, and is registered with the Vegan Trademark, to make taking key vitamins and minerals as easy as possible with seven nutrients rolled into one.
The survey also found that of those who do take supplements regularly, 26% said they took a multivitamin everyday without fail, while 18% take them when they remember, but not regularly or daily. 12% take a vitamin or supplement for a very specific health or dietary reason.
However, the number of those taking supplements declines when you look at the older age groups, with 1 in 4 (25%) of 45-54 year olds admitting to not taking any supplements compared to the average sample. Those aged 55+ are the least likely to take any supplements (26%).
Vitamin D is known to help keep our bones, muscles and teeth healthy by regulating the amount of phosphate and calcium in the body. Thankfully, 68% of those who do take some kind of supplement take vitamin D, which was the highest percentage out of all the vitamins and minerals we surveyed.
Heather Russell, Dietitian at The Vegan Society, said: "It's important that everyone is aware of public health guidance around vitamin D supplementation, especially whilst many of us are spending more time indoors. A well-planned vegan diet includes appropriate supplementation, complementing a balanced and varied intake of plant-based foods.”
“A selective vitamin and mineral supplement designed for vegans can help people to optimise their nutrition. It’s good to bear in mind that discussing supplement use with a health professional will help to ensure suitability for individual needs."
Steve Hamon, Head of Business Development at The Vegan Society, added: “With so many conversations around sustainability, we felt it was time we took the next step to rebrand our VEG 1 and make it 100% plastic-free and recyclable. We couldn’t be happier with the final outcome and now feel like our VEG 1 looks as good on the outside as the vitamins are on the inside.”
Costing only 7p per day, The Vegan Society’s VEG 1 multivitamin is both accessible and affordable as the perfect way to help ensure you’re getting everything you need. To find out more visit VEG 1 Vegan Supplements | The Vegan Society.
In February 2021 The Vegan Society used Attest to survey 1,000 people from Great Britain. The audience was nationally representative for gender, age and home region.