There is an emerging area of the nutritional supplement market focused on personalized vitamin solutions that holds tremendous promise for the average consumer around weight loss.  Today, the consumer is forced to navigate the vitamin aisles on their own.  This do-it-yourself mentality in the vitamin aisles rarely results in a vitamin formula that would be considered effective for supporting weight loss goals.  In fact, many consumers are subject to dangerous supplements with low-quality manufacturing, or harmful ingredients that could actually do more damage than good.  The problem of being “lost in the vitamin aisles” is only growing worse as consumers shift to ecommerce marketplaces, such as Amazon, that have even broader arrays of supplements.  These are virtual aisles with endless options, and it is not hard to imagine that a person seeking supportive supplements for weight loss can easily be presented with options that fail to meet the standards for effectiveness.  

Fortunately, there is an emerging sector of the industry that builds personalization into the vitamin selection process.  A new breed of personalized vitamin companies are helping the consumer navigate the confusing world of supplements to find targeted solutions.  All of these companies perform some level of digital survey assessment that covers questions around health, lifestyle, and nutrition, and in some cases, there is an additional piece around biological or genetic testing.  The biological testing (hair, blood, stool, urine) can sometimes be suspect, so an informed consumer should look for third-party validation of the testing methods.  On a similar note, the field of nutri-genetics is in its infancy, and the science is not yet established, so it is easy for companies to make claims that are not strongly backed by science.  The survey questionnaire is typically the most effective form of understanding the consumer’s needs and adapting a vitamin regimen.      

Following the assessment, the models diverge in their approach to personalizing a supplement.  The most common solution is to provide a pill pack.  This is a supply chain innovation that packages individual supplements together in a daily serving packet.  The supplements are standard pills that you could buy individually from the store or online marketplace.  The main drawback of pill pack models is they tend to overprescribe supplements based on the assessment.  The business model has an inherent tension, where the supplement company is incentivized to prescribe higher levels of supplement use to support their revenue and profit motive.  Many of these companies have been established by marketers looking for new hooks to sell existing supplements at higher rates.  The use of genetics or biological testing can often be a hook to sell more supplements.  Another solution format is to prescribe liquid supplements that can be mixed into a personalized blend.  The downside of this approach is that many consumers are not used to the format of drinking their vitamins and may be averse to the taste.  Some reviews have characterized the liquid forms as “vita-sludge” and in many cases, liquid is not the ideal delivery mechanism to achieve high dosage levels and optimal absorption of certain nutrients.  Finally, there are companies that deliver customized tablets with personalized vitamin blends.  These all-in-one solutions are often tenable to many consumers and can be accessed at a lower overall cost.  The downside of these models is that they may not have the same range of supplements allowing for use of herbal supplements, protein powders, and other formats.  However, this last group of companies aims to find a model that is a step forward from mass market options and sustainable for long-term adherence and use.  

Navigating Weight Loss with Personalized Vitamins    

How does taking the right vitamins help with weight loss?  Well, providing more energy is a helpful start.  If you are taking key nutrients that can improve your energy, such as Iron and B12, you may find that your replenished energy can be helpful in motivating you to increase exercise s well as lead a healthier lifestyle.  Feeling as though you have the energy to make it through the day without unneeded caffeine or other quick snacks to boost energy may ultimately assist with losing weight.

In addition to vitamins for energy, taking the right supplements may help with weight loss by reducing your craving for other foods.  When we are vitamin deficient our body is always wanting to eat something to satiate its needs.  If you take the right mix of vitamins for your needs, you may find that you do not crave high calorie or unhealthy foods as much since your body is getting the right nutrients to function optimally.

Some supplements that may be part of a personalized vitamin regimen, such as Iodine, can help boost your metabolism.  Iodine is an essential component for your thyroid to function.  The thyroid regulates metabolism and taking a proper and safe amount of Iodine may improve overall metabolism control.

Another factor that comes in to play when determining what supplements to take for weight loss is sleep.  It turns out that sleep can actually play a key role in weight loss.  Did you know that your body makes essential hormones that help with weight loss while you sleep?  Taking the right vitamins for insomnia and sleep can then facilitate weight loss by aiding in getting deep and meaningful sleep.  It turns out that some nutrients that may be in your personalized vitamin routine may assist in getting deeper more meaningful sleep – these may include Magnesium, Vitamin D3, certain B-vitamins and Iron.  If you can get restful quality sleep, your body may respond not only by feeling more rested the next day, but also further your efforts toward weight loss.

Selecting Your Personalized Vitamin for Weight Loss

It is time to select the company that will propel you into the new era of personalized nutrition.  You should make sure that you find a company that you can trust with your personal data.  Look for a company with physicians involved in the process.  A scientific advisory board is nice, but if physicians and other scientists are not involved in the company on a daily basis, it could be a red flag that the company is being driven primarily by marketers and looking to use personalization as a method to overprescribe vitamins.  You should check out the company’s blog, and be sure that they have high quality content and educational support to facilitate a long-term vitamin-taking journey.  You can also assess some aspects of the company by reading customer testimonials and understanding how long the company has been in business.  Don’t trust your personal health to a fly-by-night company and be wary of upstart brands that are new to the space.  You should also look for indicators of quality like Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP-certified) and the ingredients should be natural and free of common allergens.  Regardless of whether you choose a pill pack, liquid mix, or personalized all-in-one vitamin, you will find the combination potentially more effective for your weight loss goals than any prior routine cobbled together in the vitamin aisles or delivered through a mass market multivitamin.