Vitamins are a great idea in theory. At least it's the notion carried over from our childhood, the classic mantra known as "take your vitamins!".
Nothing better than getting specific nutrients from your diet, right? And if that's not enough, take a pill, a vitamin supplement, a fruit-flavored stuff, right? Rootine doesn't see it that way. That's why it talks about personalized vitamins.
To each his own
In fact, the question of vitamins is not that simple. First of all, no two bodies and two lifestyles are exactly alike. The vitamins that our body requires and is able to absorb may be completely different from the vitamins that someone else needs. Second, most of the nutrients and minerals found in generic pharmacy multivitamins do not actually enter the system, and are excreted from the body.
Does it have to be always like this?
A high-tech startup called Rootine offers everyone a personalized vitamin and nutritional supplement program based on a comprehensive analysis of DNA, lifestyle, and blood nutrient levels.
Bioavailability + Nutrigenetics
As mentioned above, one of the biggest problems with standard pharmacy multivitamins is getting them into the body in the quantities that the body actually needs.
This is partly due to the fact that oral administration methods have inherently poor bioavailability. Vitamins are excreted from the body before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream. But it is also due to the fact that our body is genetically predisposed to excessively absorb some vitamins and to absorb less others.
Rootine claims to have developed solutions to both of these problems. First, it created a slow-release bead delivery system. These personalized vitamin-containing microspheres are gradually dissolved and absorbed over the course of over 10 hours so that not a single microgram of nutrition is flushed down the toilet.
Second, Rootine uses nutrigenetics and metabolomics to determine exactly which nutrients each one's body is capable of absorbing in these personalized vitamins.
What is this?
La nutrigenetics is the study of how slight genetic variations affect the way your body absorbs and metabolizes nutrients. There metabolomicsinstead, it is the systematic identification and quantification of metabolites, which are the by-products of metabolic processes in cells. By evaluating the levels of certain metabolites, we can get an idea of how the body processes nutrients.
Rootine uses a DNA test to determine how genetics affect nutrient absorption.
This test analyzes over 50 single nucleotide polymorphisms that have been shown to influence absorption, distribution, metabolism and other factors related to nutrients.
One step further: Rootine can also use the results of blood tests to analyze metabolites and determine how each person's body interacts with nutrients. It's a type of analysis, explains Rootine, that can only be done by a handful of labs around the world and reveals nutrient deficiencies that traditional blood tests don't show.
How the DNA personalized vitamin service works
Upon registration on the site the company is subjected to a sort of "lifestyle quiz". Rootine then sends a DNA test home, on an easy-to-use swab. After sending it back, Rootine runs the tests, analyzes the samples and creates a custom report with nutrient dosing recommendations.
Next phase: the creation of customized vitamin packages, with a 90-day supply shipped directly to the user's home.
Rootine's Personalized Vitamins contain 18 nutrients that research has definitively shown to be beneficial for humans. Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Folic Acid, Magnesium, Zinc, Calcium, Iron and others.
Could it be a good alternative to regular pharmacy multivitamins?
I imagine a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and healthy foods can make up for it very well. But this is not the point.