From where we source our collagen to whether or not vegan collagen is readily available to the public, prospective customers are rightfully curious about the key ingredient in Vital Proteins products.
In short, the collagen in our products is not vegan. We have not yet found a plant-based collagen source that meets the standards of our current product lineup. If and when we do, it will undoubtedly find a home among our established fan-favorites.
Outside of collagen, we do offer Spirulina Capsules, which bring the superfood – made from blue-green algae – to the forefront as one of Vital Proteins’ two vegan products. Spirulina is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin K and other potent phytonutrients that help to aid in the body’s ability to naturally detoxify while giving our overall energy levels a huge boost.
Our second vegan product is the Beauty Boost Capsules, which is rich in both biotin and vitamin C. Our Beauty Boost Capsules help the body’s natural collagen production, as well as B6 and Selenium for added hair, skin and nail beauty benefits.
Our bodies naturally produce collagen – a major component of hair, skin, nails, bones, joints, organs, gut lining, cartilage and tendons – but this particular protein slows down production as we age. This is why adding collagen to our diets in an attempt to continue promoting stronger and healthier skin, hair, nails, and bones has become our mission. Our famous hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides – a.k.a. the blue canister you’ve likely been seeing pop up in stores and on Instagram – are sourced from the hide of Brazilian grass-fed cattle, predominantly the Nelore breed. These hides are a byproduct of the cattle industry, which means that the cattle are first used for their meat.
In terms of non-cattle sourcing, Marine Collagen is made from red snapper scale from the South Pacific. It’s a sustainable, natural by-product of the seafood industry that would otherwise be lost. Just like our original Collagen Peptides, the Marine Collagen is easily soluble in hot and cold liquids and is flavorless.
There is some good news for vegetarians and vegans hoping to get their collagen fix, however. Since collagen is a protein and protein is composed of amino acids – with help from vitamin C – focusing on a lifestyle that includes a diet rich in foods containing said nutrient is ideal. Think of adding broccoli, papaya and kale to your list on your next grocery store trip.
Other nutrients that may support collagen production include vitamin A – a major component of our Spirulina Capsules – zinc and manganese.
Benefits: A deficiency in vitamin A may lead to poor bone health and an increase in fractures. Of course, vitamin D, calcium and protein are primarily linked to strong bone health, but it’s imperative to improve your vitamin A intake in order to avoid these potentially harmful side effects.
Foods: sweet potato, winter squash, collards and carrots.
Benefits: Zinc grows and repairs the body’s tissues and is responsible for an impressive range of organ functions. Because our bodies can’t store excess zinc, we are only able to reap its benefits through regular consumption. Red meat remains the top source of zinc, but there are vegan alternatives.
Foods: chickpeas, lentils, pumpkin seeds and almonds.
Benefits: manganese works together with enzymes called glycosyltransferases to aid the formation of healthy bone and cartilage; those with low levels of manganese may experience a lack of or abnormal bone development.
Foods: pineapple, instant oatmeal, brown rice and spinach.
For more information on the benefits of collagen, check out our Why Collagen page.