Multivitamins Vs Tailored Supplements

Multivitamins Vs Tailored Supplements
A lot of people pop a multivitamin in the morning and give it no further thought, perhaps thinking of the multivitamin as a sort of 'nutritional insurance policy', one that will patch any vitamin and mineral gaps in their diets. 

The problem with multivitamins 

The problem with this approach is that it's unlikely that an individual will need a top up of all of their vitamins and minerals, and if they're already eating a decent diet they may be taking in a surplus of some vitamins - resulting in expensive urine at best, or at worst, toxicity. Toxicity from multivitamins combined with a good diet is perhaps unlikely, but the risk is very real if the individual also consumes energy drinks and 'vitamin juices/waters'. 

The book 'Nutrition Facts' goes into great detail with each individual vitamin and mineral and talks you through what happens if you have a deficiency or surplus amount of them. It's also important to consider your own health conditions, as the recommended daily amount (RDA) for some vitamins and minerals may be lower or higher to suit individual requirements.

The bottom line, is that no multivitamin is likely to suit all people, as individuals are incredibly complex with genetic variations, environmental factors and individual lifestyle and health conditions to consider. 

Tailoring your supplements

That's why I love the idea of Vitamin Buddy, a four weekly subscription service of vitamins, tailored to each customer by a professional, based on their responses to a five-minute online lifestyle survey. Vitamin Buddy's team includes a Nutritionist, Nutritional Therapist, a Pharmacist and a Personal Trainer.

You can check the survey out here: http://www.vitaminbuddy.co.uk/take-the-quiz, it's free to take it, and once completed, you will be emailed your vitamin plan created by a member of the team containing your recommendations and an explanation for why you may need each supplement. If you're happy with it, you can then proceed to set up a 4 weekly subscription of your plan at £24 per month for three different vitamins. 


Vitamin Buddy Review


When the box arrives (it fits through your letterbox easily) you will have a smaller box within the package for each of the four weeks. Within these, you have individual plastic packets containing your vitamins - one for each day. This is so much more convenient than having to take individual supplements out of all different boxes and risk forgetting some or skipping days. All of Vitamin Buddy's supplements are free from artificial fillers and gluten, as well as being vegan friendly and made in the UK.  

My own tailored plan

When I answered the lifestyle questions, I had to mention that I was currently breastfeeding, as well as training frequently and experiencing quite a lot of stress and anxiety. I'm pleased that these were taking into account with the recommendations that hit my inbox within a matter of hours. I was recommended Iron, B complex and Vitamin D. Here are Vitamin Buddy's reasoning behind my personalised plan:

The Iron supplement was recommended to complement my workout routine, as an hour of working out could deplete up to 5.7% of the body's iron stores. Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen to muscles. Losing too much of your stores can result in iron-deficiency anaemia, which causes fatigue and zaps your endurance during lengthy sessions. Women are at a particular risk of exhibiting iron deficiency due to their menstruation cycles. 

The Vitamin B Complex was suggested for reducing stress and anxiety levels and to reduce and combat the effects of anxiety and stress. Vitamin B1 is important for blood sugar control which has a major impact on anxiety. Vitamin B3 is involved in many enzymatic processes and plays a key role in serotonin synthesis. Vitamin B5 is very important for the adrenals and therefore helps with modulating stress. Furthermore, both B9 and vitamin B12 may help combat depression, and given the links between anxiety and depression, they may also be helpful for anxiety. They also support heart health, which is important if you suffer from anxiety or panic attacks, which stress the heart. 

Biotin, also known as B7, is essential for your metabolic process. This vitamin processes nearly every type of food that you ingest, including carbohydrates, protein and fat. When biotin levels are at the proper levels in your body, the food that you take in will be processed quickly. If you are trying to lose weight, a Biotin supplement may help, since it is sometimes thought to speed up weight loss, due to its clear effects on metabolic levels. 

Phew - all that just from one supplement!

My final, third supplement was Vitamin D was recommended for to strengthen immune system. The Public Health Authority recently issued guidelines suggesting that most people in the UK should supplement with Vitamin D. This is because that one has to get enough sunshine in order for the body to manufacture sufficient vitamin D through the action of ultraviolet light on the skin. This may be very difficult to achieve during the winter months in UK. Vitamin D is safe and effective for the prevention of flu, colds, cancer and approximately 200 different diseases. If you have adequate blood levels of Vitamin D it is possible to prevent any and all infections.

As with all supplement plans, it's strongly advised that you consult a medical professional prior to taking supplements. I think the Vitamin Buddy quiz could also be a great start too, as you could print out your recommendations and discuss them further with your GP before signing up to your tailored vitamin subscription box. 


*Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Vitamin Buddy. As always, my opinions and research are my own.

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