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All but one of our products are suitable for vegetarians, and most are suitable for vegans. The only product in the range not currently suitable for vegetarians is our For your cholesterol which comes in capsules and consists of hard and soft capsules. The soft capsules are not suitable for vegetarians, as they contain gelatine. The rest of the range is suitable for vegetarians and the majority for vegans, read on to see the full list of our vegan-friendly probiotics.
Following a vegan diet is becoming increasingly popular, there are currently 1.5 million1 people in the UK and around 9.7 million2 in the US who class themselves as vegan, with these numbers on the incline. Vegans and vegetarians look set to make up a quarter of the British population in 2025; motivations behind the decision to follow a vegan or vegetarian diet are varied but include concerns about health, animal cruelty, and the environment.
The following products are suitable for vegetarians:
Not suitable for vegetarians:
The following products are suitable for vegans:
Shop all our vegan supplements.
The rest of the Optibac range may contain tiny traces of dairy, as some of our probiotic strains are cultured on a basis of organic dairy & soy before being extracted. Although the remaining products do not contain dairy as an ingredient, for this reason, the rest of the range is not suitable for those that are strictly adhering to a vegan diet. Read more about this here: Which Optibac are lactose & dairy free?
Probiotics can only be classed as vegan when they are fermented (or grown) on a medium that does not contain any animal derived ingredients, typically dairy in the fermentation of live cultures.
Whilst none of the dairy growing medium will be added to the end product, the fact that the bacteria have been grown on a dairy ‘substrate’ means that we cannot rule out possible trace amounts in the finished product.
All of our certified vegan supplements have been grown on a medium that does not contain dairy or other animal-derived ingredients. These supplements have the ‘vegan approved’ certification from the Vegetarian Society and do not use or contain any other animal products.
Some may wonder why we don’t always use a dairy-free growing medium for all our supplements, to enable our whole range to be vegan. Whilst this may sound simple, the fact is that some strains of friendly bacteria just do not grow well on a medium that does not contain any dairy. Just like you or I have our favourite foods, so do bacteria!
Yes, absolutely! Probiotics do not need to always be cultured on dairy, a lot of the best natural probiotic foods and drinks are vegan, including fermented vegetables, miso, tempeh, cultured vegan yoghurt and kombucha. In terms of the best vegan probiotic supplements, some of the world’s most highly researched probiotic strains are classed as vegan, including Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM® which is the most researched strain of acidophilus in the world, and in our opinion one of the best.
There are many ways for vegans to incorporate probiotic bacteria in their diets, including consuming plant-based fermented foods and drinks as mentioned above. These probiotic-rich foods are easily accessible nowadays and offer global benefits. However, if you are vegan and suffer from a particular symptom or health concern then it does make sense to take a probiotic supplement containing strains that are the most appropriate for your needs, where the research is available. Unfortunately, it is not easy to find out what probiotic strains, or even species you may be taking when you consume probiotic foods and drinks. You may wish to read more about this topic in our Probiotics Learning Lab article: Fermented Foods vs. Probiotics
Those trying out a plant-based diet for the first time may experience changes in their digestion as the good bacteria flourish, one study found that men, in particular, can break wind up to 7 times more per day3! Find out more about how a vegan or vegetarian diet impacts your gut over in the Probiotics Learning Lab.
The below chart shows which products in the Optibac range are certified vegan:
This FAQ was answered by: Camilla Gray, Nutritional Therapist DipCNM.