Integrative Nutrition Blog

Are Customizable Vitamin Subscription Services Worth The Hype?

July 14, 2017

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Americans have gotten pretty familiar with supplementing their diets with additional vitamins and minerals—after all, if you’re following the Standard American diet, it’s likely that you’re deficient in more than a few categories.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a few dietary supplements daily in order to maintain health. For many people, that includes a cocktail of vitamin C, zinc, a multivitamin, and maybe another pill or two that’s for more specific ailments, like vitamin E to help with vision or calcium to help build stronger bones.

The supplement industry hasn’t changed much in the past thirty years—people were pretty much expected to pick their own supplements at will, without really knowing how certain “stacks” of supplements worked together. And it definitely doesn’t help that the literature on vitamins and minerals seems to constantly be changing; one week it’s beneficial to take biotin for hair growth, the next it’s been deemed more helpful to supplement with collagen instead.

For the average consumer, it’s all pretty confusing. Plus, this semi-random way of deciding which vitamins and minerals to take means that many people could be getting too much of a certain nutrient, but not enough of another. So when a recent wave of pre-packaged, customizable vitamin companies emerged that promised to formulate the perfect vitamin for each individual, it was pretty groundbreaking.

Care/of and HUM Nutrition both have a unique starting point for consumers. Instead of picking and choosing from their massive individual vitamin selection on your own, you take a test to determine what your nutritional deficiencies might be. After taking the quiz, you’ll be directed to a page that recommends specific supplements for your needs based off of your answers.

One thing that both companies get right is that they ask specific questions about well-being—like whether you’re stressed, or getting enough sleep, if you have a healthy diet, or if you normally feel anxious. To combat things like stress and fatigue, the brands have turned to adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha, bacopa, and turmeric.

In addition to integrating more specialty herbs and supplements like adaptogens into their customizable stacks, the companies also use more familiar faces like zinc, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12. The only downside to these customizable vitamin packs is that there isn’t any scientific research—yet!—that proves they’re more effective than the old pick-and-choose method. After all, not all supplements work for every body. With adaptogens, in particular, some people have adverse or surprising reactions.

So are customizable vitamins right for you? Maybe—only time, and a few servings of bacopa and ashwagandha, will tell!

Have you tried customizable vitamins? What do you think? Share with us below!

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