Why should we personalize our vitamins?
Most people know that they require vitamins and minerals to live, in fact without adequate vitamins and minerals body processes begin to break down. But which vitamins and in what amounts do we really need them, and what amount is right for you as a unique individual?
Eating a varied and colourful diet is great advice, but that’s not personalised, neither is taking a multivitamin supplement, although (again) it does tend to be good advice for most people.
Ensuring you get a basic amount of each micronutrient ensures that we stave off vitamin depletion diseases, but we want optimal health and optimal performance. This is where a personalized approach is of tremendous benefit, and using personalized software is going to help you with these decisions. This blog will go over the various methods we can use to personalize our vitamins and supplements.
We are all unique, so are our vitamin needs
Your biochemistry is unique to you and inherited from your ancestral line (genetic), which determines a tendency to over or under utilize a certain nutrient or group of nutrients. As an example, Caucasian people from Northern climates will produce more Vitamin D than dark skinned people during the same time exposure to the sun. Thus, darker skinned individuals will require.
- More sun exposure
- More Vitamin D rich foods
- More vitamin D supplementation
These specific fixed factors will not change over time. Age is also a factor which has an ever-changing impact on our vitamin demands.
Diet, lifestyle, and even emotional state all contribute to your unique needs. As an example, someone who is under a lot of stress will deplete B Vitamins as well as Vitamin C at a much quicker rate than someone who is not under stress. A person who smokes will also have a much higher need for Vitamin C, bioflavonoids, and other antioxidants than a non-smoker. These unique differences affect our micronutrient needs yet can change as our diet and lifestyle changes.
So, how do we narrow down and pinpoint our unique needs?
Types of Personalized Vitamin Pack Health Testing Methods
There are several options for determining your nutritional needs, we will discuss the pro’s and cons’s of each below.
Not easy to pronounce but very easy to understand.
- Can test for every vitamin and mineral
- You are in control
- Easy to track and understand progress and efficacy
- Can be done from anywhere (no lab required)
- Uses both objective and subjective measurements
- Must have software available
- Can be influenced by other factors (ie. medications)
- Can be cumbersome and lengthy to fill out
Blood Testing for Vitamin Packs
This is a traditionally accepted form of nutrient testing.
- Widely available
- Direct objective measurements
- Can catch significant findings
- Very expensive (not covered by insurance)
- Hard to interpret (usually need a physician to read results)
- Only reads blood levels and not tissue levels. What’s in your blood may not reach or be absorbed or assimilated well in tissues
- Can provide false-positives and misleading results
- Can only test for a handful of vitamins and minerals
- Can only provide objective measurements
Urine samples offer some insight into body nutrition levels.
- Simple and easy to complete from anywhere
- Can show vitamin and mineral loss, which is important
- No determination of vitamin and mineral body levels
- Can be misleading
- Greatly affected by hydration and medication
- Only considers objective measurements
Tissue Mineral Analysis
Usually in the form of a hair sample taken from the base of the skull (neck).
- Direct reading of true tissue levels
- Very accurate in its measurements
- Provides data over several months, which shows trends and changes
- Cannot test all vitamins and minerals
- Some readings cannot distinguish between natural and synthetic (harmful) nutrient
- Only considers objective measurements
So What's the Best Personalized Vitamins Testing Method?
It’s important to use a method that will allow you to understand what you need to take. Although we believe a combination is the best way to ensure you have all of the available, this also requires interpretation from an expert in more than one of the methods, plus can become expensive and time consuming to do continually. With the currently available methods and data we believe a good personalized vitamin test is the best method at the moment.
Look for the following things in a vitamin test:
- High accuracy testing
- A precise scoring sheet or results at the end
- Avoid superficial questions that don’t account for uniqueness
- Trackable data over time (measurable improvements)
- Data-driven results
There are several companies that provide this form of testing and vitamin fulfilment service, and it’s highly recommended that you use the above checklist as a guide before making a purchase.