The world of vitamins can be a confusing one—how are we to know what we're supposed to be taking and the best way to take it? There have been supplements for years marketed towards various wellness goals, but no one body is the same. Why should I be taking the same thing as someone else, no questions asked? It's for that very reason that companies began looking deeper into the real needs of their customers. The result is newer, science-backed vitamins personalized to your specific needs.
Each one, of which we have four favorites, asks a series of thorough questions before combining all your information into their proprietary algorithm and spitting out exactly what you need. Then, they offer up easy-to-understand information about what each ingredient does and why it's helpful for your particular health issues or goals. One even uses a strand of your hair to do its diagnosis (more on that below). Keep scrolling for the personalized vitamins we can get behind.
One of the reasons it took me so long to habitually take supplements is the fact that I never knew what my body actually needed, and whether the pack I chose was effective for my specific issues. Care/Of helps to demystify all of those things. First, you take a quiz on their website that goes pretty in-depth—it asks about your general intake of alcohol, fruits, vegetables, protein, fish, and dairy, as well as your biggest health concerns (sleep, skin, stress, digestion, and the like). There are questions about how often you exercise, where you live, how many pills you want to take, and any other lifestyle choices, making the answers you give really comprehensive as part of your diagnosis.
Then, the results come in and detail every last ingredient they're prescribing you, what it does, and why it's suggested. It's as easy as that. About a week or so later a personalized pack of daily vitamins come to your door and you can start incorporating them into your routine from there.
The co-founder and chief nutrition officer at Persona, Tamara Bernadot, works in tandem with the company's medical advisory board and on-staff team of registered dietitians and nutritionists to create 82 vitamins and dietary supplements (and counting) that deliver more than 5 trillion combinations of unique vitamin packs. "Not every person’s body is built the same, therefore vitamins shouldn’t be cookie cutter replicas for one person to another," says Bernadot. "There needs to be high-quality vitamins and supplements that meet the unique needs of each person—whether they are vegan, have food allergies, need smaller capsules to swallow, etc." Persona's online nutritional assessment is built from a proprietary algorithm, which factors individual needs, lifestyle factors, dietary preferences, stress levels, sleep patterns, health conditions and prescription medications to deliver a recommendation as unique as each consumer.
"We cross-reference more than 850 prescription medications to help our subscribers avoid risky nutrient depletions or interactions from prescription medications," adds Bernadot.
Vous Vitamin is a physician-led company that builds personalization into single pill formulations (so, if you hate taking a bunch of pills, these are for you). "We are different than the direct-to-consumer vitamin companies that build their formulas for 'all women' or 'all men,' Brad Helfand, the COO and co-owner says. "We wanted to help people know exactly what vitamins they needed. As doctors, we were very concerned that our patients were taking the wrong things." He continues, "We devised a system whereby our customers could go online and through our vitamin quiz get a multivitamin tailored to their exact needs." All you have to do is take one pill (twice daily).
As someone who is quite pill adverse, it makes sense that making the experience more pleasurable will offer more incentive for people to continue with their supplement routine.
First developed for doctors and pro athletes, Paragon takes personalization a step further with both an online analysis and actual hair testing. Technology, right? Combined, the entire process generates highly-targeted vitamin, mineral, nutrient, and lifestyle programs that take into account your perceived deficits, as well as those taken from your hair sample. The company explains on their website why a hair sample works best, too. See, you can have a "normal" blood test and still have hidden cellular vitamin, mineral, or nutrient imbalances that are revealed in a hair test, as levels of nutrient in cells and blood are different.
Your hair minerals also reveal information regarding your cell health, metabolic activity and type, glandular and hormonal activity, nutrient levels, and any ongoing toxic metal exposures. So, yes, it's thorough. You'll receive a packet in the mail complete with a hair testing kit and instructions for what to do next. A few weeks later, you'll receive your specific prescription. Easy as that.