Nutrition Now's Calcium Soft Chews Assorted Fruit Variety Are Free of All Animal Products

Recently, a reader asked us to look into the sources of calcium and vitamin D in Nutrition Now's Calcium Soft Chews listed in a VRG article on vitamin D (Vegetarian Journal, Issue 2, 2009). The company had provided her with some information, and she wanted VRG to confirm that it was true.

We spoke to Holly, a customer service representative at Nutrition Now, and Kirshing, a process control analyst. Holly told us that the Calcium Soft Chews contained calcium carbonate derived from mineral deposits. The vitamin D2 in this product is yeast-derived.

Calcium Soft Chews come in two flavors: assorted fruit and chocolate. The company's own 'vegetarian approved' label is only on the assorted fruit variety. The chocolate flavor Calcium Soft Chews do not carry this label because "the product contains dairy," Kirshing said. Nutrition Now does not use a 'vegan approved' label, but the Assorted Fruit Calcium Soft Chews appear to be free of all animal products.

Nutrition Now manufactures a children's version of Calcium Soft Chews, known as Rhino Calcium Soft Chews and also available in assorted fruit and chocolate flavors. The company's 'vegetarian approved' label appears only on the assorted fruit variety. The chocolate flavor contains dairy but is otherwise free of other animal products.

Readers may note that some Nutrition Now vitamin products contain gelatin. Those that do-and only those that do-are sprayed with coconut oil and beeswax to prevent sticking. Nutrition Now makes similar products for both children and adults with pectin (instead of gelatin) and without beeswax spray. These product packages also carry the 'vegetarian approved' label.

Readers should be aware that some Nutrition Now products contain vitamin D3 from lanolin found in sheep's wool. The vitamin D3 is listed as such. Tricalcium phosphate may be used as the calcium source in some products. This is a mineral form of calcium, too. See for more information.