Every person’s nutritional needs and health goals aren’t the same. Yet the way we traditionally take nutritional supplements doesn’t factor in individuality. Personalized vitamins, like the custom multivitamin packs from Rootine, are a new, better approach to taking daily supplements.
Instead of manufacturing a single one-size-fits-all multivitamin, Rootine creates a unique, custom supplement for each customer. It does this by analyzing a person’s lifestyle factors, DNA genetic composition, and blood vitamin levels to tailor nutrient quantities specifically for that one person.
Why You Need Daily Vitamins
It’s well known that we can get a lot of nutrients from food — especially from vegetables and fruits. But the simple fact is that in general, we don’t. So we miss out on essential nutrients — nutrients that can lower the risk of cancer, stroke, heart disease, and other health conditions.
According to a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study, 87% of adults don’t eat enough vegetables and 76% of adults don’t eat enough fruit. And according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the diet of most adult Americans fall short in essential nutrients — especially vitamins A, C, D, and E, as well as important minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Even people who are very nutrition-conscious and try to eat healthy often have a difficult time eating right every single day.
The best way to ensure adequate nutrition is to take a multivitamin daily. There are several important reasons to do this:
- Feel better: Giving your body the right amounts of nutrients — especially the vitamin B family — simply makes you feel better. You’ll experience higher energy levels, decreased anxiety and stress, and an increase in overall well-being.
- Water-soluble vitamins: People seldom experience low levels of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E, because excess levels of these vitamins get stored in the body for later use. The same is not true for the water-soluble vitamins B and C — any excess of these vitamins are simply expelled by the body. That means it’s important to get enough of the water-soluble vitamins on a daily basis.
- Heart healthy: Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women in the United States. A number of nutrients play a role in cardiovascular health, including vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, and CoQ10 and magnesium. A daily multivitamin is the best way to get the proper amounts of each of these nutrients.
- Increases immunity: Several vitamins — especially vitamins C, D, and E are known for strengthening the immune system. They can also reduce the symptoms associated with allergies.
- Supports eye health: Vitamins A, C, B3, E, and the mineral selenium, support eye health. Studies demonstrate that multivitamins containing a combination of these nutrients can can reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
- Healthy aging: As you age, your nutritional needs increase. And as you age it gets harder for your body to absorb nutrients. If you take medications there’s a chance that the medicine may further deplete your body’s nutrients.
- Reduces cancer risks: Daily multivitamin use has been shown to decrease the risk of some cancers.
What Are Personalized Vitamin Packs?
If most people aren’t getting enough nutrients on a daily basis, wouldn’t it make sense for a person to simply load up on nutritional supplements by taking megadoses each day? That’s not a good solution because for most people it would be prohibitively expensive to buy a megadose of 15 to 20 different important vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
It’s also not a good idea to simply load up on essential vitamins because when it comes to nutrients, you can definitely have too much of a good thing. A couple examples of that would be that too much vitamin A can cause dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, and even liver damage, while excessive levels of iron can actually be toxic.
As an alternate to one-size-fits-all dietary supplements several vitamin companies now offer personalized vitamin packs. Such a custom vitamin pack will always consist of many different nutrients, but the quantity of each nutrient in a pack will differ based on a person’s specific, individual nutritional needs and health goals.
When you order personalized vitamins you’ll order one or more months worth of supplements. The supplements arrive in pre-portioned daily packets, and the box holding the packets is labeled with your name, the ingredient contents, and instructions how to best take the supplement.
Traditionally multivitamins contain doses that are too low to be of much benefit — the vitamin company is mostly interested in being able to list a large number of ingredients on the container label and less interested in including adequate doses of each of those ingredients. Because with personalized vitamin packs the quantities of nutrients are tailored for your needs, you’ll be getting the exact nutrients you need in the exact amounts you need — nothing more, nothing less.
Rootine Personalized Multivitamins
Rootine is a supplement company founded by Rachel Soper Sanders and Dr. Daniel Wallerstorfer, PhD in 2018 in Nashville, TN. Rootine is also the name of the company’s flagship product — a daily nutritional supplement containing 18 vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in quantities personalized specifically to the needs of each client. Of the several custom vitamin and supplement products on the market, Rootine stands out as the best due to its thoroughness in personalizing the supplement’s ingredients.
Rootine includes up to 18 vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, listed here. The amount of each nutrient is not listed here, because amounts of each vary depending on each consumer’s specific genetic and biological needs.
- Vitamins: B2, B6, B9 (Folate), B12, C, D3, E
- Minerals: Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Selenium, Zinc
- Specialty: Alpha Lipoic Acid, CoQ10, MSM, Phytosterols
Rootine’s Approach to Developing Personalized Vitamins
Rootine uses detailed biological data specific to each customer to put together a truly custom nutritional supplement solution. While most personalized supplement brands base ingredient quantities on just a simple lifestyle online questionnaire, Rootine uses lifestyle information and the data from a DNA test and a blood test that you administer from your home. Rather than just a vitamin business you can think of Rootine as more of a biotechnology company that specializes in personal nutrition.
The lifestyle quiz provides Rootine with useful information, but this information alone isn’t nearly enough to develop the best supplement specific to your body’s needs. Unfortunately, the vast majority of personalized vitamin suppliers rely on only a lifestyle test. Rootine, on the other hand, additionally makes use of your DNA and blood data.
DNA and blood data provide crucial information about what is going on in your body — information that will always be missing using the “lifestyle-only” approach used by other supplement companies. The DNA and blood data reveal how your body is absorbing, distributing, metabolizing, and excreting nutrients. This metabolic data is so essential to generating precise and accurate nutrient recommendations that Rootine modeled its algorithm primarily around DNA and blood data, with the lifestyle information providing only a baseline.
Your first order of Rootine supplements involves a few steps that enable Rootine to accurately customize your supplement. After the first order, subsequent refills are easy and automatic, and won’t require you repeating the initial order steps. Here’s how it works.
The lifestyle quiz is a short, simple online questionnaire that, as its name implies, asks questions about your lifestyle — questions such as Do you smoke?, Do you follow any specific diet?, and so forth.
Taking the quiz creates a nutrient baseline, and also creates your Rootine dashboard — a free, confidential online portal to hold your information and a place where you can order DNA or blood tests or upload data if you already have test results.
Rootine sends you an at-home DNA test kit that allows you to perform a DNA test with a simple cheek swab. You’ll return the swab to Rootine in the mailer that’s been supplied to you, and Rootine will then perform an analysis that looks at over 50 genes that are known to impact your body’s handling of a variety of important nutrients.
Nutrigenetics is a science that explains how slight variations in your genes can alter how your body interacts with nutrients. The DNA test is essentially nutrigenetics testing. A nutrigenetics test reveals micronutrient sensitivities and deficiencies, such as a gluten or lactose intolerance.
Variations in your genetic code are called single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs (pronounced snips). Differences in SNPs between people influence a variety of traits — they explain why you may be more or less susceptible to a disease, or why you may respond better or worse to a particular drug, then someone else.
Differences in SNPs can also influence how your body handles different nutrients. One example would be a SNP that affects the VDR gene — the gene responsible for handling vitamin D. About 10% of the population has this variation, and for those people that means their bodies are less efficient in using vitamin D — such a person requires twice as much vitamin D as the rest of the population. The Rootine DNA test will reveal such an anomaly, and in such a case Rootine would put a higher dose of vitamin D in that person’s daily multivitamin pack.
If you’ve already taken a DNA test, either through 23andMe or Ancestry.com, you can use those results in place of performing a new Rootine DNA test. You’ll be able to upload your existing DNA results directly to your Rootine online dashboard (created when you take the Rootine online lifestyle quiz).
The DNA test gets right down to the gene level, so you might not think a blood test could reveal any additional helpful nutritional information. But it can. The test reveals the levels of vitamin D, and vitamins B6, B9 (folate), and B12 in your bloodstream, which can indicate any vitamin deficiencies you’re experiencing. The test also serves as a baseline — it shows the levels of these vitamins before you start taking your Rootine multivitamin packs.
The blood test is an at-home test Rootine sends you — it’s a simple finger prick test. You’ll return the blood sample to Rootine and after analysis the results will be displayed in your Rootine online dashboard.
Rootine Uses Microbeads to Deliver Nutrients
Vitamins come to the consumer in a few different forms: capsules, pills, liquids, and powders. For personalized vitamins, all of these forms are problematic.
- Capsules and Pills Neither of these forms allow for personalization of nutrient doses. They work fine for fixed, standard doses of a nutrient, but don’t work for doses that have to be fine-tuned and unique to any one consumer.
- Liquids and Powders Both of these forms allow for better dose personalization, but they introduce other problems. In a liquid environment vitamins and minerals interact with each other and can break down. In powder form, a mix of nutrients will not stay perfectly mixed (due to differences in size and weight of various nutrients), so filling capsules with a mix does not yield a consistent, desired quantity of each nutrient. And both methods tend to deliver nutrients to the bloodstream too rapidly.
Rootine solves the nutrient delivery issues by spending three years perfecting what it call microbeads. A microbead is a very small, coated “pearl” that consists of a raw nutrient, pharmaceutical grade cellulose and starch (providing a slow release of the nutrient), and a coating of sustainably-farmed beeswax. This system allows for fine-tuning each nutrient in any one customer’s formula — each nutrient can be dosed with accuracy to the milligram or microgram. It also slows the release of nutrients so they are delivered in a time-release manner for better absorption and bloodstream level consistency.
Rootine believes that your nutritional supplement shouldn’t be identical to everyone else’s. It believes the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in a daily supplement should be specific to you and your biology. Rootine accomplishes this by analyzing your lifestyle factors (such as dietary habits, physical fitness, and so forth), DNA gene data, and blood vitamin levels to determine the nutrients — and quantities of nutrients — that should be included in daily multivitamin packs that are delivered directly to you.