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Companies selling personalized vitamins claim they tailor their supplements to an individual’s specific health needs. However, taking supplements this way carries some risks.
For example, the federal government in the United States does not closely regulate personalized vitamins. Companies may not deliver what they claim to provide, and the vitamins they recommend may not be safe.
Keep reading to learn about the health benefits and risks of personalized vitamins.
Certain companies claim to sell personalized vitamins that they can tailor to an individual’s particular health conditions, genetic makeup, or both.
These vitamins differ from traditional dietary supplements, which provide the same types and amounts of vitamins to anyone who takes them.
Numerous companies in the U.S. offer personalized vitamins. Most of those companies claim to base their customization on an online questionnaire that customers can complete within a few minutes.
These surveys collect information on a person’s:
- level of physical activity
- health concerns
- intake of certain dietary staples, such as vegetables or food sources of calcium
Companies may also claim to base their vitamin customization on a person’s DNA test results. This testing comes from
Factors to consider when choosing a vitamin subscription include:
- Quality: A person can check quality of products by looking for certifications such as Certified Organic. Individuals should also check that companies manufacture products in facilities that follow the
Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations.
- Cost: Prices can vary between subscription services. Therefore, a person may wish to obtain a quote from various services before making a decision.
- Types of personalization: Some companies require a person to fill out a lifestyle questionnaire. Based on the answers to this, they will make recommendations for vitamins and supplements a person should take. Other companies allow customers to choose what they would like.
- Transparency: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate supplements, and therefore, it is important that supplement and vitamin companies are transparent. Brands should be clear about ingredients and manufacturing processes they use. Ideally, products should undergo third-party testing, and brands should display the test results.
Below is a list of five of the best personalized vitamin services.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
Best BBB rating: HUM
|Trustpilot rating||2.7 out of five stars|
|Pros||Products undergo third-party testing for potency and triple-testing for purity.|
Most products are suitable for vegans.
The company does not use artificial sweeteners or colors.
|Cons||Not all products are suitable for vegans.|
The short quiz is not thorough.
Products may be costly.
HUM provides products for skin, body, mood, hair, and nails. A person needs to complete a short survey for the company to match them with suitable products. New customers receive $10 off on their first order.
Also, HUM currently has an offer of 15% off when a person purchases three products.
The company has an average customer rating of 2.7 out of five stars on Trustpilot. However, there are only five reviews in total. Positive reviews mention customer service, while negative ones note delivery and order problems.
HUM has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The company has closed six complaints in the past year.
The company states that a typical order will cost approximately $50.
Best for one-time purchase: Nurish by Nature Made
|Pros||Customers can choose their own products.|
The company has a wide range of products available.
Subscription is not essential.
|Cons||There are no customer reviews on the Trustpilot or the BBB website.|
There is no access to healthcare professionals for advice.
Not all products are vegan.
This company gives people the option to personalize their purchase by taking a quiz or to choose their own items.
It groups supplements based on health goals, including bone, heart, digestion, and eye health. If a person wishes to take the short quiz, the company will then recommend a personalized pack.
Nurish by Nature Made offers 35% and 50% off the first month to subscribers. However, individuals can buy their vitamin pack as a one-time purchase, if they wish.
Nurish by Nature Made manufactures its products in a CGMP-compliant facility. Some of its products are non-GMO, free from gluten, and vegan.
Best for customization: Persona
|Trustpilot rating||4.4 out of five stars|
|Pros||Subscribers have unlimited access to nutritionists.|
The company offers customization.
A wide range of products are available.
|Cons||Not all products are vegan.|
Products do not undergo third-party testing.
The brand may be pricier than competitors.
Persona provides a 5-minute survey to offer people personalized vitamin packs. Individuals may also customize their order.
The company offers products for digestion, sleep, heart health, women’s health, and more. It is currently offering 50% off to new subscribers.
Subscribers can speak with a nutritionist as frequently as they like.
A person should make sure to read all the nutrition facts panels on each recommended supplement to ensure that they are not getting duplicate supplementation. This is because some of Persona supplements contain more than the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals.
Persona has an average customer rating of 4.4 out of five stars on Trustpilot. Positive reviews primarily note high quality and quick customer service. Negative reviews frequently mention order and shipment problems. However, the company responds to each of these negative reviews individually.
The company has an A- rating from the BBB and has closed three complaints in the past year.
It manufactures its products in a CGMP-compliant facility. Some products are non-GMO, vegan, gluten free, and organic.
Best for personalization: Rootine
|Trustpilot rating||3.7 out of five stars|
|Pros||The company offers a more detailed personalization than just an online quiz.|
Its laboratory has a number of professional certifications.
All products undergo thorough third-party testing.
|Cons||Customer reviews on third-party review sites are limited.|
A person needs to pay for DNA and blood tests.
There are no healthcare professionals to answer customers’ questions.
Rootine requires a person to fill in a lifestyle quiz and complete a DNA test via a cheek swab, a blood test using a finger prick test, or both. This allows the company to more accurately determine the levels of vitamins or minerals a person should take.
The company offers a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and supplements. All products are vegetarian and do not contain sugar. They also undergo third-party testing.
Rootine has an average customer rating of 3.7 out of five stars on Trustpilot. However, there is only one review, whose author had a positive experience with the company. Rootine does not have a BBB page.
Rootine laboratory is CGMP compliant, medically licensed, and ISO 9001, 15189, 22000, and 22617 certified.
Best Trustpilot rating: Care/of
|Trustpilot rating||4.7 out of five stars|
|Pros||The company has mostly positive customer reviews on Trustpilot.|
Products undergo triple-testing internally during the manufacturing process.
The company has an app available on iOS and Android.
|Cons||Products only undergo testing internally, not by a third party.|
The company does not offer access to healthcare professionals.
Only some products are vegan.
Care/of is a subscription service that uses an online quiz to determine which vitamins are best for an individual. It offers a large variety of vitamins, minerals, and other supplements, such as protein powders.
The company states that most products are vegan, gluten free, and non-GMO. Moreover, it manufactures and tests all its products in NSF– and CGMP-certified facilities.
Care/of has an average customer rating of 4.7 out of five stars on Trustpilot. Positive reviews frequently mention the effectiveness and quality of the products. By contrast, negative reviews mention incorrect orders and late deliveries.
The company does not have a BBB page.
The table below compares the brands detailed in the section above.
|HUM||Nurish by Nature Made||Persona||Rootine||Care/of|
|Price||depends on products||depends on products||depends on products||$69 per month for the first 3 months, plus test costs||depends on products|
|Personalization||online quiz||online quiz||online quiz||DNA and blood tests||online quiz|
|Healthcare professional advice||registered dietitians||no||professional nutritionists||no||no|
|Shipping||free on orders over $50,|
$5.95 on those under
|free on orders over $30,|
$8 on those under
|free on orders over $50||free on orders over $100||free on orders over $20|
Studies on personalized vitamins are limited. There is little research to support their benefits, particularly in comparison to non-personalized options.
The U.S. government exercises limited oversight over companies selling personalized vitamins. An older Government Accountability Office (GAO) study found that these vitamins may fail to improve health and that the companies selling them may provide misleading or unreliable health information.
One of the main claims of these companies is that they tailor supplements to an individual’s health needs. The GAO study verified the accuracy of this claim by using fake profiles to investigate four companies offering this service. The authors took the online surveys and then submitted DNA samples for the tests.
Upon delivering the test results to the study authors, the websites urged the purchase of expensive personalized vitamins. However, the vitamins recommended for each of the fictitious profiles were the same rather than customized. This is especially concerning because the profiles came from the DNA samples of two individuals with differing lifestyles.
Additionally, the American Society of Nutrition (ASN) states that there is insufficient evidence to prove that taking multivitamins generally prevents chronic or long-term diseases. This is despite limited research suggesting they might help certain conditions.
The online surveys and quizzes that most personalized vitamin brands offer may not be accurate or interpreted correctly.
A person’s medical history and family background contribute to their nutrition needs. This makes the analysis of online surveys and results complex and unlikely to be definitive or comprehensive. For these reasons, a healthcare professional is typically the most suitable person to interpret these tests.
The ASN cautions that taking vitamins may increase a person’s likelihood of receiving more than the tolerable upper intake (TUI) of some nutrients. This in turn can lead to health risks.
For example, when people take a supplement containing folic acid, they may exceed the TUI if they eat foods fortified with the vitamin. High levels of folic acid
Problems due to incorrect interpretation of DNA tests
When personalized vitamin brands offer DNA testing, they are usually looking for gluten intolerance, caffeine metabolism, skin antioxidant capacity, and more. They may also be assessing the risk of certain conditions.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), no research indicates that DNA tests provide a safe basis for customizing dietary supplements.
The FTC states that it is often hard to draw definitive conclusions about health risks based on DNA tests. This is because someone’s likelihood of developing a certain condition often does not solely depend on their genes. Rather, it hinges on multiple interactions between their genes and the food they consume, their lifestyle, and substances they have frequent exposure to, such as tobacco and sunlight.
The second issue involves a negative result for a certain condition. This may merely indicate that the test did not examine the particular genetic changes associated with the condition. Most DNA tests only look at a small number of genes.
As the GAO study concludes, a positive result may unduly alarm people and encourage them to take costly personalized vitamins to be healthy. Additionally, a negative result may give some individuals false assurance that they are healthy.
Instead of taking personalized vitamins, the
The FTC suggests a good starting point is a doctor’s exam that includes conventional laboratory tests, such as blood chemistry and a cholesterol profile. If the tests show abnormalities, a healthcare professional can make dietary and other lifestyle recommendations.
If a person is interested in following a diet that provides optimal nutrition, a registered dietitian can help. This health specialist can develop a detailed eating plan that considers a person’s diagnosed health conditions and dietary preferences.
If people believe they have deficiencies in certain nutrients, they should undergo blood work assessments from a doctor. Healthcare professionals rely on these tests to assess certain deficiencies, for example, vitamin B12 and vitamin D deficiencies.
Working with qualified healthcare professionals, such as dietitians, can help determine whether an individual’s diet lacks certain nutrients and whether supplementation is appropriate.
Below, we answer some of the most common questions about personalized vitamins.
Are personalized vitamins better?
The benefits of personalized vitamins are that companies tailor them to a person’s specific needs. People may not realize they would benefit from certain vitamin supplements unless companies make such suggestions.
However, the results of an online questionnaire should not replace advice from a healthcare professional.
How much do vitamin subscription services cost?
This varies depending on the company and how many vitamin supplements a person takes per month. Usually, the price ranges from around $20 to $100 monthly.
Has the FDA approved personalized vitamins?
No dietary supplement, including personalized vitamins, has FDA approval. This is because the FDA does not have authority to review these products before they are marketed unless they contain a new ingredient.
Companies selling personalized vitamins may claim to offer vitamins that cater to an individual’s health needs. However, such supplements do not always live up to this promise. They may also include unsafe amounts of certain vitamins that can negatively affect health.
Companies that authorize third-party testing on all products are most likely to produce safe supplements.
An alternative to investing in customized vitamins is to request a health examination with a healthcare professional and work with a registered dietitian to receive dietary and lifestyle recommendations.