Personalised Vitamins: Are they really personal?

Personalisation is the buzz right now. We want everything personalised, tailor-made, custom built. It helps us feel like its made for us, makes you feel all warm and fuzzy when you open your pack...

More recently, the personalisation trend has hit the supplement industry and we want to look at how you really personalise someone's vitamins for them?

Can you really personalise vitamins? How do you do this? What are the limitations? Pros and cons?

All is revealed below...

Why personalise your vitamins?

There are 7 billion people on planet earth and we are all unique. And so are our requirements. Everything from our nutritional intake, our DNA, our metabolism and our ability to absorb certain nutrients all impact on whether vitamins work for us or not. The truest way to personalise your vitamins is to scientifically measure and test these variables to help us build a picture of what we need.

This can be done in a number of ways. For example, if a test shows that you’re low on iron and you decide to take more iron, you’re personalising your intake. Ultimately personalising vitamins is the result of data you have that clearly shows you need something.

So you should be looking to personalise your vitamins if you truly want to optimise what you need. Personalise to optimise.

What can you personalise?

We need to understand and differentiate between key vitamins and nutrients needed by the human body to survive, and supplements which may help in other ways. A really good way to draw the line is to consider what can be measured in your blood. For example, we can test your body for Vitamin D and tell you what you might need to do, but we can't test your blood for green tea

As well as vitamins, we can also test for magnesium which is a mineral.

Check out this article on vitamins and minerals for more information.

In simple terms personalising vitamins is only applicable to what your body really needs to survive.

 

What technology is available to help me personalise?

There are a few ways you can do this:

Lifestyle survey

This technique is usually free to use and is easily done over the internet. They are quick and easy and often end up recommending some type of nutritional advice. Scientifically speaking, however, these surveys don't withstand the rigour of science and accuracy. The answers you give are usually very subjective depending on how you feel on the day. For example, if you're asked whether you feel tired, how you slept the night before will most likely impact your answer.

Blood tests

A blood test is perhaps the most accurate way of determining what you really need. Once upon a time, we needed to make an appointment with a Dr, hop along to the clinic and then face the dreaded needle. Once the blood had been draw we'd have to wait for the results to come through

But this is no longer once upon a time, it's 2018 and the home testing market is booming. You can test for a whole variety of issues but we're focusing on Vitamins.

A simple do at home blood test is all you need to begin to understand where the most important changes need to be made.

DNA/Genetics

Taking a closer look at your DNA can also unlock some secrets that your body may be hiding. One important thing to remember is that a DNA test will not tell you whether you're deficient in a particular vitamin or mineral, but it will help you to understand how your body processes those compounds.

Are there risks to personalising vitamins?

The biggest risk is that you begin to believe that a supplement will do the job. Its really important to mention that what we choose to take, we should always put our diets first. A supplement only approach is never recommended, but we should try and get our diets balanced and varied with macro and micronutrients from whole foods.

Final thoughts?

  • To get optimised results, we feel that blood testing is the most accurate way of determining what and how much you really need.
  • Its safe, quick and painless and can be done in the comfort of your own home
  • Doing a test is definitely more informative than being recommended a 'Joint pack' or 'energy pack'. Beware of the fads!

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